Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, was the Affiliate Summit keynote speaker this morning. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.

Cialdini covered 6 Universal Principles of Social Influence:

  1. Reciprocation
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Consensus
  6. Friendship / Liking

I’m not going to cover all 6 points, but the one that made me think the most was scarcity. The basic idea is, if I can’t have it, I want it. Ask yourself about your customers, what do they stand to lose? That’s very powerful when it comes to marketing.

Also, when you have information, get it out quickly. “For every hour of delay, there’s an hour of decay.” “Information is not like wine: it doesn’t get better with age.”

With regards to authority, Cialdini talked a bit about the word “but”. “But” is a powerful word, which can be taken advantage of in your marketing efforts. Mention the weakness, followed by the positive, not the other way around. Consider this example from a former CEO of Ford:

I feel very good about our plan, but, we have a long way to go.
-vs-
We have a long way to go, but, I feel very good about our plan.

The first sentence has a negative feel to it, while the second sentence, saying the same thing, has a positive spin. State the weakness, then the strength.

Unfortunately, this keynote could not be recorded & shared, so you’ll have to check out Dr. Cialdini’s books to get the full message.


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