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Basic Principles of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini, a social psychologist, published a book on persuasion and influence in 1984. In it, he lists six science-based persuasion principles based on research in the field of psychology. Marketers continue to use his persuasion techniques today.

Use the principle of reciprocity

If you do something for a person without expecting anything in return, that person is more likely to do something for you. There is no quid pro quo. The key to applying this principle is to be the first to give and to make your gift personal, exclusive and unexpected.

Use the principle of commitment and consistency

People want to behave in a way that is consistent with their past behavior. To apply this principle: 1. Ask customers to take small actions. 2. Encourage them to engage publicly so they do not back down so easily. 3. Reward them for investing time and effort in your brand.

Use the principle of social proof

People are more likely to believe in things that are popular or endorsed by people they trust. Incorporate social proof into your sales process by citing customer case studies, third-party reviews, customer/user endorsements (ratings, reviews, testimonials), etc.

Use the principle of authority

People trust authorities such as officials, professors, doctors, and experts. To leverage authority, use title (positions of power/experience), clothing (superficial signs that signal authority), and trappings (indirect cues that accompany authority roles).

Use the principle of likability

We are more easily persuaded by people we like. To apply likability use: 1. Physical attractiveness: design 2. Similarity: be a friend, not a brand 3. Compliments: use a friendly voice 4. Contact & cooperation: fight for the same cause 5. Conditioning & association: shared values

Use the principle of scarcity

The less there is of something, the more people like it and want it. Usually, they are not even aware of their preference for scarcity. To apply this principle, create an environment of scarcity where your product or service is in high demand.

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