The Power of Influence and Persuasion

6 persuasion shortcuts
Robert Cialdini
Robert Cialdini

Because of the world-wide recognition of Dr. Robert Cialdini’s cutting edge scientific research and his ethical business and policy applications, he is frequently regarded as the “Godfather of influence.” You can read more about his thinking in a recent article,  Why you say yes, even when you don’t want to.

Scarcity is one of Cialdini’s six “universal principles of influence.” Along with the other five — reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority and liking — he suggests that a good salesperson can talk someone into buying just about anything.

Here are short definitions of these six principles:


What it is: “There is a rule in all human cultures that says you must not take without giving in return,” Cialdini said, and this principle assures we do just that.


What it is: People want to be consistent with what they’ve already said or done. “If someone tries to get you to take a small step in a particular direction — so small that it seems trivial — beware, because you’ll now be much more likely to take a larger step in that direction … when asked.

Social proof

What it is: People want to follow the lead of what those around them, like them, have already done in a situation.


What it is: “People prefer to say yes to those who can show them evidence that what is being recommended comes from legitimate … authorities on the topic.


What it is: “We prefer to say yes to those who we like. That’s not a surprise.


What it is: You want what you can’t have.

“These six principles generally steer people correctly into choices,” Cialdini said. “That’s why they’ve evolved to be the ones we’re particularly sensitive to, in deciding how to choose.”

The following 12 minute video will give you a better grasp of what this all means. With that you can either sell better or avoid purchasing what really isn’t for you: