Our January Book Club book was Influence by Robert Cialdini.

I LOVED it! It’s gotten me thinking about a few things. I hope you will join us in reading it or check out the summary below:

Pre-Reading Questions:Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 9.05.18 AM

  1. Is persuasion a dirty word? Is it different than manipulation?
  2. Think about one of your previous purchases or decisions–was there a secret persuasion strategy at play?
  3. Who do you want to influence? How do you want to influence?
  4. What’s the best example you have seen of:
    • Reciprocity
    • Commitment and Consistency
    • Social Proof
    • Authority
    • Scarcity

Some of my reading notes…

(Because of different editions, your page numbers might be different)

Introduction Thoughts:

  1. (Page 1) I think it’s interesting he starts off with a confession. “All my life I’ve been a patsy.” It is an admission of vulnerability which I think is a great example of People Skills Law #13 about embracing imperfection. It instantly makes us relate to him not as an academic or expert, but as a person. It also got me thinking about our own self-narratives around influence. In other words:
    • How do you think you are influenced? Are you a patsy, a wall, a push-over, a skeptic?
    • How do you think you influence? Are you a leader, a follower, a manipulator, do you have a soft touch?

Chapter 1:

  1. (Page 3) I love the idea of a Trigger Feature. This got me thinking about the things that trigger me as well as what Trigger Features can or are in my business. I think I accidentally use Trigger Features in my courses when I have consistency with my slides. I’m not sure if you noticed by in my Master Your People Skills course all blue slides are scientific studies. In my Power of Body Language course I have a slide for all of the Laws of Body Language. I didn’t realize it but maybe that helps students go click, whirr to know whats coming and what to take notes on?
    • Do you have any automatic behavior patterns that get you to go, ‘click, whirr’?
    • Can you use a Trigger Feature in your life or business in a positive non-manipulative way?

Chapter 2:

  1. (Page 36) I thought his story about the Boy Scout selling him chocolate bars was really interesting. It counters typical logic. Usually we start with a small ask and go bigger. This shows us we should start with a big ask and go smaller. It was the same with the Billiards Table example (page 47 for me). It got me thinking…should I list my courses in order from most expensive to least expensive? Right now they are listed in newest to oldest…maybe thats not the best way?
    • When has the big to small ask worked on you?
    • Can you use this in your life or business?
  2. Cialdini suggests that you should counteract the Reciprocation Effect by redefining gifts in your head as ‘sales tools.’ This is a great idea, but does it really work in practice? It is a heightened awareness, which I am always a fan of…but I wonder if that takes the sting of reciprocation away? Would love your thoughts because if this does work I would like to teach it…but I need more case studies.
    • When you rename gifts as ‘sales tools’ do you still feel the need to reciprocate? Try it and let me know. I’ll do the same.

Chapter 3:

  1. Commitment and Consistency was my least favorite chapter. For some reason I couldn’t quite get the connection between all the examples. Never the less, the studies and stories were interesting. Specifically I was intrigued by the study by Canadian Psychologists (Page 57 for me) that people are much more sure of their chances of winning after placing a bet.
    • How could you use this in business? How do you get people to bet on you?

Chapter 4:

  1. Why doesn’t every school in the world know about the study by O’Connor on page 119? If a 23 minute video can get anti-social and shy children to play and lead social interaction, why isn’t every child watching that video?
    • Moreover, why aren’t there more 30 minute movies demonstrating children doing great things?! I swear thats a great business idea.

Chapter 5:

  1. I am trying to decide how I would feel getting a postcard from a car salesman saying, “I like you.” In theory, it seems like a scammy thing to do…in practicality?
    • I kind of want to try it. If you got that card from me, what would you think?
  2. Has anyone every tried the jigsaw classroom mentioned on page 182?

Chapter 6:

  1. I loved the story about Vincent the waiter (page 234). I was a bit terrified about how true his story is. If a waiter were to tell me that something on the menu was bad I would probably believe anything he said afterwards. Terrifying that the authority effect is so strong.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 8.06.25 AM

Chapter 7:

  1. Page 247: “Outright Defiance” I do not look forward to having a toddler. I wonder if you could set-up scarcity or not allowed areas of your business in an ethical way.
    • If I put a “Do Not Click Here” button on my website. How many people would click it?

Check out our February book: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and human behavioral investigator in our lab.

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