How Your Decisions Are Influenced

Social media posts, mainstream news and emails continue to overwhelm us with news, entertainment, information and sometimes education. It’s enough to make you avoid your inbox.

Photo Robert B. CialdiniBut for marketers, it is important to understand 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 by accomplished social psychologist Robert B. Cialdini.

That thinking is as relevant now as it was four years ago when I wrote this original newsletter.

Cialdini, in a very comprehensive and compelling practical and scientific presentation, reports 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 infomercials.

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 for your 2013 plans?

Maybe not alone, but they can help guide your strategies, and they can do so individually or in tandem.

When you read Influence, you will be impressed and inspired by these triggers in action and how they could help grow your influence with customers and make your business grow.

Kevin Donnellon

The Macali Enterprise newsletter offers ideas and insights and best practices on your point – – brand relevance through visibility, credibility, energy and alignment. Subscribe free for regular advice, ideas and insights at