S03E08 Interview with Dr Robert Cialdini on Influence


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After spending his entire career conducting scientific research on persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini has become the foundational expert on influence and how to apply it ethically in business. His books, including Influence and Pre-Suasion, have sold more than seven million copies in 44 different languages. He is also the Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.

In this episode, Robert explains how the 7 Principles of Persuasion—plus one other principle—can be applied in these times, diving into the 3 goals that communicators often have. He shares studies and stories to better illustrate his point. He also offers advice on asking for a favor, for feedback, or for your partner to make a change.

Tune in and start communicating better with other people!

Key Takeaways:

  • Reciprocity, Liking, and Unity are indispensable in the early stages of a relationship
  • When uncertain, people look to figures of authorities or their peers
  • Scarcity and Commitment are the 2 principles that mobilize people into action
  • The top factors that were most effective for 6,700 eCommerce sites
  • The difference between the Liking Principle and the Unity Principle and the power of unifying commonalities
  • How to leverage the Principle of Reciprocity and the Contrast Principle


  • (On taking action) “Sometimes we need a spur to get us to take that step.”
  • “Unity is about commonality of membership... being one of that group.”
  • (On responding to expressions of gratitude) “Of course I was glad to do it. It’s what long-term... partners do for one another.”
  • “You can always contrast something against something else, and we often make the mistake of failing to do that.”
  • “Ask for that person’s advice on this idea. They take a half-step toward you psychologically.”
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