Best Books for Small Business Owners – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
October Monthly Must-Reads: Best Books for Small Business Owners
As a business owner, you likely wear many hats, from human resources to operations and from sales to fulfillment. So, where do you fit in time for learning and professional development?
Keep up with innovation, business and leadership trends by reading the right business books for your small business.
In our Monthly Must-Reads series, we share a featured business book’s main focus and key take-aways, so you can determine within a minute if it’s relevant to you and your small business—really, whether it’s worth your valuable time. This month, we’re covering Dr. Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which seeks to teach you how to use six universal principles of persuasion as well as how to be aware of when others use them on you.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini
Understanding the psychology and main principles behind effective persuasion
There is useful science behind how people are persuaded
Great for Small Business Owners Who:
Want to improve their sales conversations
Dr. Cialdini identifies and explains six principles of persuasion. He argues that utilizing them ethically will help readers more successfully win people over to their way of thinking. In fact, he says, employing tactics related to each principle to make small, free and practical changes can often improve your results.
While exploring each principle, Cialdini shares research and past studies that illustrate each principle in action. He then uses real-life examples to help readers understand each one in ways that will help them apply these principles to their own efforts.
The six principles are:
- Reciprocity – The inclination to return favors
- Scarcity – When people perceive a scarcity, demand tends to go up
- Authority – People want to believe they’re working with someone who’s credible
- Consistency – If someone has previously said or done something, they’re more likely to take a similar or related action than those who have not
- Liking – People are more likely to go along with someone they like
- Consensus – People are more likely to go along with your points if you can show that others agree with you
- Understanding and using these principles empowers you to grow more persuasive—in an entirely ethical way.
- When trying to persuade people:
- Build the beginning of a positive relationship by looking for similarities between yourselves and consider genuine compliments you can offer.
- Always be the first to give. Something unexpected and even personalized works best.
- Share not only what is unique about your offering or argument, but also what they stand to lose if they don’t consider your ideas.
- Find ways to present or display proofs of your credibility.
- Look for ways to tie your ideas to something that they have said or done in the past.
- Show them that others—especially people similar to themselves—already agree with and/or have acted on your ideas.
“I own perhaps 2,000 books on the subject of selling. This is certainly in the top 5.”
“This book is dated and largely appears to pre-date what we consider the modern internet/TV phenomenon, and that’s obvious in reading it. That’s its only real flaw… and, to be fair, this wouldn’t likely receive much improvement from an updated revision. [The] lessons inside about how we are susceptible to persuasion don’t really need updating… they are solid enough, outlined well enough, and supported with facts and data enough that they withstand the obvious test of time.”
“I read this book when it first came out 25 years ago. It had an enormous impact on my thinking and behavior. Since then, I have recommended it to thousands of people…In return, I have had hundreds of people thank me for recommending it. I recently decided to reread the updated version. It does not disappoint. I will still be recommending it. I would say that this is a book you need to read in self-defense, if for no other reason. You have no idea how many times a day people try to influence you using the techniques described in this book. If you like to think that you are an autonomous person who thinks for yourself, you would be wrong. This book shows just how much you respond to influence cues in your environment without any thought at all. Unfortunately, we all function on autopilot far more often than we realize. This book will help you get off of autopilot, at least some of the time.”
Kapitus Monthly Must-Read Business Books:
August – Blitzscaling
September – The E-Myth Revisited
October – Influence