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The Art of Influence with Guest Robert Cialdini: MakingBank S3E7

with Robert Cialdini



MAKING BANK is a weekly YouTube TV show and iTunes Podcast full of #Success and #Business with Josh.

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If you have been in business for any length of time you’ve probably come across the work of Dr. Robert Cialdini whether you realize it or not. An impressive amount of the psychology that we use in marketing has its foundations in Dr. Cialdini research. If you want to be more influential in your marketing then this episode is a must-watch!

Today on #MakingBank, host Josh Felber invites Robert Cialdini to discuss influence in marketing and how to sway people’s decisions to work with you.

Robert is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Best-Selling author.

Fortune Magazine lists his book Influence in their “75 Smartest Business Books.”

Robert has spent his career researching the science of influence which has earned him an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.

Because of his cutting-edge scientific research and his ethical business and policy applications, he is frequently regarded as the “Godfather of influence.”

So, tune-in to hear Josh talk to Robert about some amazing tips on how to get the most out of your marketing, what he thinks set him apart from everyone else back in 80’s, and what made his book Influence so popular. As well as…

✔  Robert’s six principles of influence.

✔  The best time to ask a person to make a change and why.

✔  Some great examples and tips on how to influence consumers.

✔  Information on the new workshop that Robert is developing.

And more…

SUBSCRIBE for weekly episodes and bonuses:

The Art of Influence with Guest Robert Cialdini: MakingBank S3E7

Josh Felber:                          Welcome to Making Bank, I am Josh Felber, where we uncover the mindset and the success strategies of the top 1% so you can amplify your life and your business today. I am really honored and excited for today’s guest Robert Cialdini. He is known as the godfather of influence, New York Times bestselling author for Influence and Pre-Suasion. Such an honor to have you on Making Bank today.

Robert Cialdini:                  Well, I’m glad to be with you and your audience.

Josh Felber:                          Awesome. I appreciate it. For maybe a few of the people out there that do not know who you are, what would you say kind of make you unique and what’s got you on this path of Pre-Suasion, Influence, and kind of the whole clique?

Robert Cialdini:                  You know, I think I’m not so unique anymore, but when I first wrote my book Influence, which was back in the ’80s, it was the first attempt to take academic research into the psychology of persuasion and bring it to the larger audience, the people beyond the professional exchange of information in journals and so on. That was what I think really differentiated me. I thought it was important because the people beyond the academic community had paid for that research with their taxes, with their donations to universities and so on. They paid for that research. They were entitled to know what we had found out with their money.

Josh Felber:                          Right. Okay. With Influence, you kind of wrote that to help consumers become more aware of the different marketing and things that are going on. Can you explain a little bit more on that?

Robert Cialdini:                  Well, one of the things I recognized is that there are various forms of professional efforts to move us in their direction, sales, marketing, advertising, recruiting and so on, fundraising. I thought it would be interesting to find out what those most powerful approaches were, what were the tactics and so on that work best, and then to describe to the consumer how to understand what was being done when somebody was using one of these on us.

Josh Felber:                          With Influence then, I know a lot of consumers read it, but there was a lot of marketers that adopted the book and applied it to what they were doing.

Robert Cialdini:                  Josh, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing with requests from marketers, sales people.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Robert Cialdini:                  If these are the tendencies that work universally in people to move them toward yes, how can we harness them? I do speak to groups of business professionals and so on with an ethical understructure for this. If these are the things that move people in your direction, here’s how to move them that way ethically so they stay with you and your products and services. They don’t feel burned or exploited by some trickery.

Josh Felber:                          Sure. With that is using it for the good of … You know what I mean? Because there’s a lot of people that could try to, “Oh, you know, I want to use this,” and try to trick people like you said or whatever. One of the things I was reading and I had watched a couple other interviews that you have done that, I will say that if you’re trying to use it for deceit or trickery, you have to know it well first for the right reasons. If you’re trying to use it for that, you’re never going to be able to know it right for the right reasons.

Robert Cialdini:                  I believe that and I think the consequences are that you will do it in a way that is suboptimal even in the particular incidence, but much more damaging in the long term because you won’t have established, you won’t have cultivated a relationship with your clients or customers.

Josh Felber:                          For sure. You released another book Pre-Suasion. Kind of tell us the premises behind that and how that helps set stuff up for influence in what we’re doing as marketers. Even just having more influence and persuasion in our life in genera.

Robert Cialdini:                  The first book Influence was all about what do you put into your message that most pulls people toward a scent. Pre-Suasion is about what you put in the moment before you send your message that makes your audience agreeable before they’ve encountered it. Now that sounds like some kind of magic. How can you get somebody to agree-

Josh Felber:                          Sprinkle a little dust.

Robert Cialdini:                  … yeah, to something that they don’t know what’s in it.

Josh Felber:                          Even know. Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  It’s not magic. It’s science. It happens by creating a state of mind in people that is aligned with your message before they encountered it. If you have a message about safety for example or reliability or change, so before people get that message, if you have put them in a state of mind that’s congruent with reliability or stability or reliability or change, now they’ll be more willing to move in that direction. I’ll give you an example, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  The did an email blast to their customers. It was about a diminishing opportunity. If they subscribed to this program, they would get a significant discount on cruises during the holiday season of last year. When they clicked on the message, they saw this digital clock that was ticking down, right? Okay. They had two forms of the message. One, they just had that message. In the other, in the subject line of the email, there were two ticking clock emojis, which put people in mind of scarcity and dwindling opportunities.

That email produced several hundred percent increase in profits because before people got to a scarcity message, they were primed for scarcity. That’s the idea of Pre-Suasion.

Josh Felber:                          I see. A lot of our audience is marketers. They’re entrepreneurs and have online businesses. Through email, through like the emoji of the clock for scarcity and everything, I guess let’s take one step back. Through your research, you discovered six principles.

Robert Cialdini:                  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh Felber:                          Maybe we could go over what those six principles are and then dive into two that would really help with what we’re doing.

Robert Cialdini:                  Sure. The principles are on the one hand, reciprocation. People want to give back to those who have given to you. The first thing you should do is give benefits before they’re your customer. It’s not the economic exchanges. You sign a contract with me, you buy my product, and I guarantee that you will get these benefits. This is you give something first, information or a free trial, and now people want to give back to you in return. That’s one. Another is something we all know, liking, right? We prefer to do business with people we like. One thing that we can identify is what are the commonalities of purpose that we have with our audience?

What are the things we are striving for together to produce? Raise that to the surface. Now you’ve got a bond that wasn’t there before. People are more willing to …

Josh Felber:                          Is it more kind of like that mission that you’re changing the world for example in a certain category?

Robert Cialdini:                  For example, I saw a saw study in Sweden. All right? They wanted to market organic bananas in a supermarket. All right. They had three conditions. People came into the store and there was a sign over the bin of organic bananas that was next to the bin of regular bananas. There was a sign where it said “organic bananas.” Another group of people as they came in the signs had an economic reason for choosing it. It said, “Organic bananas now cost the same as our regular bananas.” Right? That could boost a significant purchase, right?

Josh Felber:                          Okay. Sure.

Robert Cialdini:                  But the one that made the biggest difference was the sign that said, “Hello, environmentalists. We have organic bananas.” You put people in mind of their desire to be in an environmentalist and then they move in that direction even beyond an economic reason. It was involved with who they were. If we can show people that we have the same purpose, we have the same end in mind, the same goal state, they feel connected to us. They want to move in the direction with us.

Josh Felber:                          Got it. That’s awesome. The next one?

Robert Cialdini:                  Next principle is the principle of authority. People believe in those things that genuine experts, authorities of the matter have recommended. If at the top of our message we put a testimonial from an authority voice that is consistent with what it is that we are suggesting, you get a significant increase.

Josh Felber:                          Okay. Sure.

Robert Cialdini:                  Second right after that is the principle of social proof, which says people want to follow not just what authorities are saying, they want to follow what their peers are recommending and saying. If we put testimonials from people just like them at the top, again it’s at the top of our message, put them in a mind state, “Oh, this is a popular product among people like me,” then they move in that direction.

Josh Felber:                          You know too it’s like a lot of times on eCommerce sites as well as free offers and things like that, you see a lot now when you go to purchase the little popup at the bottom that says, “Hey, so and so from Charlotte, North Carolina just purchased XYZ.”

Robert Cialdini:                  Right.

Josh Felber:                          They’re creating that proof. You’re like, “Oh, well, if they’re buying it, I live in Charlotte, I’m going to buy it too.”

Robert Cialdini:                  It’s remarkable how the commonality of place causes people to decide yeah, this is something that we need. We did a research study in hotels where people are asked to reuse their towels and linen. The standard request is a little card that says “please do this for the environment.” Well, we put in certain rooms a card that said “the majority of our guests do reuse their towels.” That produced a significant increase over what many argue, but now relevant to the point that you just raised, if instead the card read “the majority of people who have stayed in this room have reused their towels,” we get the most.

Josh Felber:                          Even more specific.

Robert Cialdini:                  It’s commonality of place.

Josh Felber:                          Right. That’s interesting.

Robert Cialdini:                  If that person is like me in terms of the locale in the end, then that’s a reason for me to feel, “Oh, I know that somebody just like me in my circumstances has decided to do that. It must be the right thing for me.”

Josh Felber:                          That’s awesome. Authority and then-

Robert Cialdini:                  Social proof.

Josh Felber:                          … social proof.

Robert Cialdini:                  Then finally, we’ve got a couple more. One is scarcity. We talked about scarcity. People want more of those things they can have less of. There’s a study done in supermarkets that showed that promotions for various brands on the shelves more that doubled all other promotions for those brands if they provided limited time or limited number. Only X per customer or only for this week more than doubled all other kinds of promotion. That’s how powerful they are of scarcity.

Josh Felber:                          Even just saying four lemons per customer at this price and they’re like … More people buy that.

Robert Cialdini:                  Or only two more days at this price, then people go a little crazy to have it because we want more of those things we have less of.

Josh Felber:                          Interesting. Cool. Then the last one?

Robert Cialdini:                  Last one is commitment and consistency. We want to be consistent with what we have already said or done especially in public.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Robert Cialdini:                  If we can ask people to take a small step in our direction. There was a study done in a restaurant where they had a problem of no shows. People who booked a table then didn’t …

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  They changed what the receptionist said when she took a booking from “thank you for calling Gordon’s Restaurant. Please call us if you have to change or cancel your reservation” and they changed that to “will you please call us if you have to change or cancel your reservation,” and then she paused. You know what people said? They said, “Sure. Glad to. Of course.” That was their commitment.

Josh Felber:                          Right. That granting of commitment.

Robert Cialdini:                  That reduced no shows from 30% to 10%.

Josh Felber:                          Wow.

Robert Cialdini:                  You get people to make a commitment, even a small one like that, and then it will reach into the future, hold them congruent with what they said or did.

Josh Felber:                          I mean just from reading your books and understanding some of that, by hearing it now in real world application is like cool, this is how this applies. You know what I mean? It totally like opens a light bulb up in what we can do to help provide that to people. As marketers and we’re doing this, what would be two of the most significant ones that you think …

Robert Cialdini:                  Let’s take that commitment and consistency.

Josh Felber:                          Commitment. Okay.

Robert Cialdini:                  There was a study done … Well, suppose you want people to respond to a survey or give you some information or maybe try something new, a change. Okay? There was a study where if at the top of your message you said, “Do you consider yourself an adventurous person who likes to try new things,” it increased uptake from 30% to 55% of something new.

Josh Felber:                          Wow.

Robert Cialdini:                  You ask people to make a commitment. They go, “Oh yes, I consider myself adventurous.” Everybody does. It turns out 97% of people say, “Yes, I am adventurous.”

Josh Felber:                          Because they feel it somewhere in there that they are.

Robert Cialdini:                  They can find it. They can go, “Am I ever? Oh yeah. I remember the time I …”

Josh Felber:                          I did this once.

Robert Cialdini:                  Yeah.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  Now they’ve made a commitment. Bang.

Josh Felber:                          When it comes down with my wife and our skin care company, we offer people a free trial of a tooth powder. It’s all made out of dirt and clay, but people are used to brushing their teeth with toothpaste and have never tried anything like that. Putting something like that at the header of, “Are you adventurous? Are you willing to try things out?”

Robert Cialdini:                  Let me suggest one more thing-

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Robert Cialdini:                  … to your audience. If you’ve got something new, something that requires change, right?

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  Ask at the beginning of the month. It turns out people are more likely to say yes to a request for change in the first week of the month than the last week of the month because it’s associated with change because the first week is the beginning of something. Now even more applicable, ask on Monday or Tuesday and you get a better response than if you ask for change on Thursday or Friday.

Josh Felber:                          Wow. Why is Monday or Tuesday more significant?

Robert Cialdini:                  It’s the beginning of the week.

Josh Felber:                          Beginning of the week.

Robert Cialdini:                  It’s gets the news …

Josh Felber:                          Beginning of the month and beginning of the week to do better.

Robert Cialdini:                  Beginning of the week if you double back.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  When change is in the air, people are in a mindset for change and are more likely to accept it. Now if you’re asking about them to be loyal or to stay committed to a promise or something, no, that’s not the same thing. That doesn’t work at the beginning of the week. It’s only when you’ve got something-

Josh Felber:                          New.

Robert Cialdini:                  … that’s associated with change, something new, that’s what works at the beginning of a period of time.

Josh Felber:                          Okay. If we were sending emails and we wanted somebody to try something new or to change, then that would be convenient upon the beginning of the week.

Robert Cialdini:                  Right.

Josh Felber:                          Now if we want somebody for more loyalty, for more commitment, then how does that differ?

Robert Cialdini:                  Then not at the beginning. You’re going to ask them at the end of the period where if they stay the same, there’s a progression.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  Right? Stay there. What? Change at the beginning.

Josh Felber:                          Change at the beginning and loyalty and commitment …

Robert Cialdini:                  At the end.

Josh Felber:                          Awesome. Super cool.

Robert Cialdini:                  Stay consistent with where you are.

Josh Felber:                          That’s great. We got a little bit of time left. I want to maybe dive into one more point and then I know you guys have some really cool things, the initiative that you’re launching, that can really help a lot of our audience and anybody that’s watching right now. I want to get into that before we end.

Robert Cialdini:                  Sure.

Josh Felber:                          What are the other principles, so commitment, what would be another one do you think would be high on the list as partners?

Robert Cialdini:                  You know, the scarcity is one.

Josh Felber:                          The scarcity.

Robert Cialdini:                  We have some evidence of that from that Royal Caribbean that it was possible to dramatically increase the uptake of a scarcity program by first putting scarcity in consciousness before people ever encountered the program.

Josh Felber:                          Right. That’s with time, with limited supply, limited opportunity. Because as marketers, we kind of see that. What maybe some other ones that have a significant impact in that?

Robert Cialdini:                  Other principles?

Josh Felber:                          I’m sorry. Other in relation to scarcity.

Robert Cialdini:                  Well, whenever there’s a competition for a scarce resource, that increases. If you had the choice between we have a limited time or a limited number, choose limited number because that means there’s competition-

Josh Felber:                          For that.

Robert Cialdini:                  … for this. You can dive in anytime in our limited timeframe before the deadline, but if all are gone, you’re out of luck.

Josh Felber:                          Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  Right? That amps up the impact of scarcity. Limited number.

Josh Felber:                          Limited number. Okay. That’s awesome. The cool thing as marketers, we can use emails to help prime some of that. Like you said with the clocks at the beginning for scarcity or social proof in the beginning of our landing pages or sales pages. Even in the email, you want something that go out and do that. Super cool. I guess where can people go find out about you and what you’re doing and your work? Obviously you have books out there, but what website?

Robert Cialdini:                  Well, the best place is to our website. It’s Influence at work is all one word.

Josh Felber:                          Influence at work. Okay.

Robert Cialdini:         and they can see about our books, about our training opportunities, our programs, our offerings.

Josh Felber:                          Just from being on there previously, you guys have different video content they can watch. I know YouTube has a lot of it as well. There’s a lot of great free content out there for you guys to watch and learn about Influence and Pre-Suasion, as well as getting his books. I know they’ve helped and made a significant impact in what we do on a daily basis just here at Making Bank, as well as our skin care company and everything. Tell me a little bit about … You guys have a new course. Is that correct?

Robert Cialdini:                  We’re very excited about the fact that we have for almost 20 years now had a workshop to bring people in or people can ask us to come into their organization and learn about the six principles of influence.

Josh Felber:                          Sure.

Robert Cialdini:                  Now we are developing a workshop. It’s about to launch on Pre-Suasion. Not just what you put into your message, but what you put into the moment before your message that increases your effectiveness. That’s about to launch, that Pre-Suasion workshop. It’s called “Moment Makers.” You make the moment in which to place your message.

Josh Felber:                          Awesome. One last thing you’d like to leave our audience with. If it’s a little bit about Pre-Suasion because we didn’t dive into that a whole lot. Maybe a little bit of drop before the message and then we’ll wrap it today.

Robert Cialdini:                  I think this whole Pre-Suasion idea has me enthusiastic because for a long time I was just focused on the message. I think most of us are. Then I recognized that there’s a piece of persuasive real estate that exists and almost completely ignored that makes a big difference, that serves as a launching pad for our message, it’s the moment before we deliver it. What we put there is an elevator of our success.

Josh Felber:                          Can you give us an example real quick of what that might look like?

Robert Cialdini:                  Well, for example, suppose you want somebody to … One of the things we like to do in online marketing is co-create our next model, our next product. We ask individuals to give us feedback, let us know what they would like to see, what their expectations are for the next line of products and so on. If we ask for their opinion on these things, we’ve made a mistake. When you ask for someone’s opinion, that person becomes a critic. If instead you ask for their advise, they become a partner. The research shows if you ask for their advice on something, a new initiative, they become more favorable to it because they feel more collaborative that they have cooperated-

Josh Felber:                          Participated with you. Right.

Robert Cialdini:                  … with you on the process. So right before you even present your idea, you create a mindset of cooperation by asking for advice rather than an opinion.

Josh Felber:                          That’s awesome. Tons of great information today guys. Make sure you go back, watch this again. It was such an honor to have Dr. Robert Cialdini here at Making Bank and really appreciate your time today.

Robert Cialdini:                  I enjoyed it, Josh.

Josh Felber:                          Thank you very much. I am Josh Felber. You are watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.