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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

157. Dr. Robert Cialdini and the (Now!) 7 Principles of Persuasion

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Today I am beyond excited to have Bob Cialdini here to talk about the newly expanded version of his book Influence. There are 220 additional pages and a 7th principle of persuasion that has been added, which he explains in the conversation.

If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while or have a background in behavioral economics, behavioral science, or psychology, you have likely heard the name “Cialdini.” His work paved the way for so many careers and I’m pleased to report that he is just an incredibly nice person who is a delight to talk to.
During our conversation, you will notice that I ask questions from listeners just like you – how exciting is that? These questions were posed from within my free global community of behavioral economics and behavioral science enthusiasts, the BE Thoughtful Revolution, which you can join today, and maybe you’ll hear a future guest answer one of your questions during the show! 

Show Notes:

  • [00:08] In today’s episode I am so excited to be speaking with Dr. Robert Cialdini about the newly expanded version of his globally acclaimed book, Influence.
  • [01:17] Cialdini’s work paved the way for so many careers
  • [03:07] Bob shares more about who he is and what he does. He is a behavioral scientist with an emphasis on persuasion and social influence. 
  • [05:52] He found a small footprint of principles that seemed to be employed in all the professions he studies and he decided to write a book on the topic. 
  • [08:18] Bob shares the first six principles that he talks about in the book. The first is reciprocity—that people will give back to people that have given to them first. 
  • [09:27] The second principle is liking—we like to say yes to those we know and like. We can identify genuine similarities that exist between us and then raise them to consciousness. We can also give genuine compliments. 
  • [10:22] The third principle is social proof. When people are uncertain they don’t look inside themselves for answers so they look outside. One key place they look is to their peers. 
  • [12:55] The fourth principle is authority.  Besides looking at peers the other principal source they look to for information is the voices of experts or authorities of the topic. 
  • [13:41] The fifth principle is commitment and consistency. We all have a preference to be consistent with what we have already said and done especially in public. 
  • [15:00] The sixth principle is scarcity. We want more of those things we have less of. We find those things that are scarce, rare, and dwindling in availability more attractive. 
  • [15:47] After writing the first six principles, he started to recognize that there was one principle he had missed. The seventh principle is unity. 
  • [18:55] Bob shares his story and lesson about the Cuban Missile Crisis. 
  • [20:37] It turned out that Kennedy had an act of reciprocation in place and had not drawn a hard line as many thought.  
  • [21:54] It was a reciprocal concession that helped end the Cuban Missile Crisis. 
  • [23:48] It turns out if you look at loyalty and advocacy of your product and service it is not a problem-free experience they are looking for. Instead, it is a problem freed experience. Bob shares a problem that was resolved in favor of the customer.  
For memorable experiences that drive brand loyalty, problem-free pales in comparison to problem FREED. Hear @robertcialdini explain why in episode 157 of The Brainy Business podcast. #behavioralscience Click To Tweet
  • [25:04] There are going to be mistakes and bobbles. If those people can then resolve the problems quickly that is what is perceived as a special kind of gift to the customer who then feels obligated to give something special in return. 
  • [26:08] When there are mistakes, there should be budgets available to allow you to fix that mistake. 
  • [28:07] If there is a problem, it is an opportunity to have this reciprocity benefit. 
  • [29:13] Melina asks a listener question from Adnan: “How do your strategies of influence adapt to a digital world, for example, social media?”
  • [31:05] The platforms and delivery systems on which those principles are presented can change but the principles don’t change.
  • [32:18] One principle has gained greater traction than all the others with the advent of the internet and that is social proof. People now have access to the views of others all around them. 98% of people check product reviews before making a purchase. 
  • [34:01] Another listener question from Brant: “As people are becoming more familiar with the principles of persuasion and know they are there, are they less effective now?” We should not resist those principles being employed on us if they are being employed honestly. 
  • [36:44] Where it is true, we want people to use these principles on us. They inform us.  We have to guard against the manipulation and counterfeit of these principles. 
  • [38:18] We have to be in a position to reward those who use these principles to inform us properly, but we have to sting those people who undercut their validity.  
  • [40:11] When he wrote the first edition of the book there were no prior readers so he sent out an invitation for the readers to send him an account of when they witnessed the principles working on or for them successfully. He included Readers’ Reports throughout the most recent edition. 
  • [42:21] He is thinking about writing his next book as all readers’ reports with a comment from him on each. 
  • [43:01] Bob shares a story of the unity principle working for him after he recognized its power. 
  • [46:00] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [48:33] Melina’s first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is officially available on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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