(1 minute read)

In his bestselling book, ‘Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion’, Professor Emeritus of Psychology & Marketing, Robert Cialdini, collated years of research on social influence into 6 Universal Principles for understanding attempts to influence human behaviour.

“Persuasion is no longer just an art; it’s an out-and-out science.”


Supporting Cialdini’s research is a vast body of scientific evidence exposing how, when, and why people say ‘yes’ as a consumer.

In applying the findings of Cialdini’s extensive research, we can learn and understand these 6 key principles which influence consumer behaviour.

  1. Reciprocity: Humans often feel the need to return a favour or reciprocate a gesture. (Discounts and free samples are proven methods applying this principle).
  2. Scarcity: People often want what they perceive they cannot have. (e.g., exclusivity)
  3. Authority: People are more influenced and persuaded by ‘experts’ than those with limited knowledge or experience.
  4. Commitment and Consistency: Once engaged with something, people are more likely to stick with it. In business, this leads to brand loyalty.
  5. Liking: Individuals who are similar to the target consumer are more likely to persuade the customer to purchase.
  6. Consensus/Social Proof: If/when more people purchase something (subscribe, etc.) others are more influenced to do the same.

In the application of one or more of these principles, companies and individuals can considerably increase their sales conversion rates.


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