Thursday, March 01, 2007

Six "weapons of influence"

As a part of the Strategic Leadership course, we saw a wonderful video by Robert B. Cialdini. He talks about his 06 weapons of influence.

Did some more resarch over the net and came out with the Wikipedia link and this site. Interesting info. I should read his book.

This is an extremely powerful tactic and can even spur unequal exchanges. In one experiment, for example, half the people attending an art appreciation session were offered a soft drink. Afterwards, all were asked if they would buy 25-cent raffle tickets. Guess what? The people who had been offered the soft drinks purchased twice as many raffle tickets, whether or not they had accepted the drinks!

When you can get someone to commit verbally to an action, the chances go up sharply that they'll actually do it. For example, before starting your next meeting, ask each person to commit to following the posted agenda. Then, if anyone goes off on a tangent, just ask them to explain how it fits the agenda. If they can't, they'll quickly fall back in line.

3. Social Proof
Product endorsements are the most obvious application of the Social Proof. If you want someone to do something for you, be sure to let them see that many other people are already doing it or are willing to do it. Show them that others like them (and the more like them the better) believe in your product or are using it.

People also tend to like and trust anything familiar. The best way to build this familiarity is to have frequent, pleasant contacts. For example, if you spend three hours straight with someone you've never met before, you would get a sense of who they are. But if you divided the same time into 30-minute segments of pleasant interaction over six consecutive weeks, you would each have a much stronger and positive knowledge about the other. You have established a comfort level, familiarity, and a history with them. Their repeated pleasant contacts with your organization's services or products helps builds familiarity and liking.

5. Authority
You can put this general principle to use by citing authoritative sources to support your ideas. Look and act like an authority yourself. Be sure others know that your education and experience supports your ideas. Dress like the people who are already in the positions of authority that you seek.

6 Scarcity
For example, the object you've almost decided to buy is out of stock. The salesperson offers to check their other stores. And guess what? A store across town has one left! Do you buy it? Of course!

Whenever appropriate, you can use the Scarcity Principle.The possibility of losing something is a more powerful motivator than of gaining something. Let others (a customer, your boss, a lover) know what they will be losing if they don't say 'yes' to your offer.


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