One of the great sales books of our generations. Influence teaches you the psychology behind why people act in certain ways and the psychology behind it. Written in 1984 it has remained a best seller for a reason. All sellers must read this book at least once.
He breaks the down the book by different key lessons:
Automatic Triggers: We are wired to respond predictably to certain cues. Humans have triggers that are automatic and irrational. They typically are shortcuts that help us make decisions, but sometimes these triggers can be hijacked so we make decisions that are not in our best interest. One example of this in action is adding the word “because” to a request or sales pitch. This makes a lot more people say yes to it. See an interesting study below, “A study by Ellen Langer tested how many people would let someone cut into the from of a line to use a photocopy machine. First they tried asking: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” and 60 percent of people said yes. Then they tried asking “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” This time 93 percent of people said yes! The single word “because” caused almost everyone to say yes, even when the reason given was empty!”
How does this apply to sales: On a cold call, always say, “reason for the call or because” early on the pitch to get more buy in from a prospect.
We feel obligated to help those that have assisted us in some ways in the past. One example that Cialdini gives in his book is the country of Ethiopia, which donated to Mexico in the 1980s after several earthquakes had ravaged the country. Although Ethiopia was going through an extreme famine and an economic slump, they still gave assistance to Mexico, which had helped Ethiopia when they were invaded by Italy in 1935.
How does this apply to sales: Give your client small gifts such as Starbucks gift cards or company swag and they will be more inclined to reciprocate. The more you give the better off you’ll be.
Social Proof. People are more inclined to take action when they see others doing the same thing, especially people in their inner circle. When an individual realizes that other are also doing that same action it puts them at ease and makes the act seem more reasonable and “normal”. Think to the laugh tracks in sit coms that are clearly staged but are geared to take advantage of this principle.
How does this apply to sales: When pitching to clients always have similar companies in their space that you can name drop. The more detailed the better (think employee size, industry, location etc..)
Liking. People are more likely to say yes to a friend and no to a stranger. This is why referrals are such a key piece of thriving businesses. Make sure you have many touch points with your clients outside of just asking for money or referrals.
How does this apply to sales: Befriend current clients to get easier referrals that come in as much warmer leads.
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