Robert B. Cialdini‘s work, Influence: Science and Practice, is basically a psychology based book and here in the book it deals with the aspect of influencing people by compliance professionals. The basic idea of the book is that it is a complex world where people are generally overloaded with information about every thing that can be found and ultimately the decision-making approach backed on the aspect of generalization.
The general findings of the book are mainly based on different empirical studies like the aspects of marketing, psychology of the general people, economics and social science. There are several aspects of the book that is very important and I personally found them fascinating, like the aspect of reciprocation as people are generally obliged to reciprocate the favors that have been endowed to them. The consumer professionals use the attitude to offer gifts to their potential customers only to influence them. It is a general aspect that people are generally consistent in their behavior and also they value a great deal on the aspect of consistency. The book identifies several aspects that can make a person like something:
In the book the first chapter deals with the art of influencing and I found the chapter very interesting. Influencing is a subject that happens to every body in an everyday basis, and the writer has dealt with the aspects in a brilliant way.
There are a number of chapters in the book, and if I want to say that I have personally experienced several of the aspects, like ‘weapons of influence’, ‘reciprocation’, ‘commitment and consistency’ and most importantly ‘social proof: truths are us’. I have been influenced by many things at many times and the most important thing of influencing is the situation. One can be influenced easily if the thing appeals to the person personally. Here I can talk about a personal experience. Once there were a number of t-shirts that had a poster of a very popular film of that time. I was a huge fan of the film, and I told my parents to buy me a t-shirt though the shirts were bigger than my size. It was a general case of influencing to buy a certain product and it must have happened with every body. In the case the film was used as the weapon of influence.
In the school days, if a student showed commitment towards studies and other activities the student generally became popular among the teachers, and slowly he or she became consistent with his or her grades. It is also a common factor in professional field or any other case. Actually commitment is a very important thing in human life. It is a general feature of human to reciprocate and we all have done that. Robert B Cialdini importantly notes, “Our best evidences of people’s true feelings and beliefs comes less from their words than from their deeds. Observers trying to decide what people are like look closely at their actions. Researchers have discovered that people themselves use the same evidence their own behavior –to decide what they are like; it is a primary source of information about one’s own belief’s, values and attitudes”.
A very potent example will be relationship with our pets. We all have kept pets at a young age and there was a certain bond between the pets and us. This is nothing but the process of reciprocation; the pets reciprocate the love and affection that we show to them.
Personally speaking, I can say that the book is a very important read as it focuses on the very small things that we tend to overlook in our professional lives. The aspects of influencing and reciprocating along with other things are very common in a general person’s life, and it establishes the importance of the aspects. There are certain things that the organizations can learn from the book. The first thing is to thoroughly understand what they wants from their employees and their customers and what will the proper way to influence them to use their products and services. The organizations should be true to their commitments and this will give them a certain edge in the market or over their competitors. Most of the organizations are not really clear about their social roles and it is very important for them to become the part of some social campaigns. This will increase their potential market value to a higher scale and also can gain them new markets too.
Actually the book clearly informs the readers about the different ways a sales marketing and what are the aspects that the marketing managers use to sell their products. The influencing part is the most important in any marketing concept and here it deals with that in a clear way and also shows why it features so highly in the list. Profound and interesting, it can be surely be placed in the most important marketing books published in the last ten years.