Happy #ManuscriptMonday! Today, I want to delve into a classic – Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” This seminal work is a must-read for anyone in our industry, but let’s shake things up with a fresh take.
Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion – reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity – have shaped our understanding of influence. But rather than simply adopting these principles as tactics, what if we viewed them as a framework for ethical communication?
1. Reciprocity is not just about giving to get. It’s about fostering a genuine sense of mutual exchange, a symbiotic relationship with our stakeholders.
2. Commitment and Consistency go beyond getting a customer to make a purchase or sign a contract. It’s about ensuring our brand message and actions are consistent, providing a reliable brand experience.
3. Social Proof isn’t just about jumping on the bandwagon. It’s about demonstrating our value through authentic customer stories, creating a community around our brand.
4. Authority is more than flaunting expertise. It’s about earning trust through transparency, knowledge sharing, and showcasing thought leadership.
5. Liking extends beyond surface-level charm or friendliness. It’s about humanizing our brand, building relationships rooted in shared values and genuine empathy.
6. Scarcity isn’t just about creating a false sense of urgency. It’s about highlighting the unique value we bring, the problem we solve that no one else can.
Influence isn’t about manipulation; it’s about communication that fosters understanding, builds relationships, and creates value. It’s about speaking to the human on the other side of the screen, the newspaper, or the billboard.
So, as you embark on another week of crafting messages, building campaigns, or launching startups, remember Cialdini’s wisdom. Influence is more than a toolbox of tactics; it’s a compass guiding us towards ethical, meaningful, and successful communication.