What Influences Your Decisions?

We all face information overload from e-mails, web ads, mainstream and social media news stories, reviews and recommendations, etc.

This situation is creating a new decision process in which we take short cuts to comply, agree, or buy based on a single piece of information or triggers, according to Influence, written by an accomplished social psychologist, Robert B. Cialdini.

Cialdini, in a very comprehensive and compelling practical and scientific presentation, reports that the most reliable and the most popular triggers for our decision making include these six principles.

#1 – Reciprocity
We are obligated to the future repayment of favors. This is best exemplified by Amway who offers prospects a product sample bag for a week trial to affect purchases.

#2 – Commitment and consistency
When a person commits, he or she will be consistent to that commitment. “Get it in writing” shows this principle which auto dealers use to successfully sell cars.

#3 – Social proof
The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more a given individual will perceive the idea to be correct. This is reflected in the claims of the “nation’s leading or top-selling product or service.”

#4 – Liking
People buy from friends and someone they like. Tupperware parties are all about this principle

#5 – Authority
We follow a leader, especially one with a genuine or perceived expertise. Every diet treatment or exercise plan uses this principle on infomercial.

#6 – Scarcity
People assign more value to opportunities when they are less available. Think iPod or products available on a limited time offer and scarce baseball cards.

So, what can you do with this information? Are these strategies right for your plans? Not alone, but they can help guide your tactics and execution, and they can do so individually or together. When you read Influence, you will be impressed and inspired by these triggers in action and how they could help grow your business.