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How do you influence people?

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Quick Answer

Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence are reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity. Reciprocity means that the one seeking to influence another identifies personal objectives, then calculates what he or she can give in return. Commitment can be earned by talking to stakeholders early about projects, and incorporating feedback to gain support. Social proof means generating support from influential people or generating hype for a product.

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Full Answer

Robert Cialdini was a Regents' Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University when he developed the Six Principles of Influence, also known as the Six Weapons of Influence. The principal of scarcity is that things are more attractive, or of more value, because the supply is limited. Items appear more favorable if the opportunity to purchase is lost by forgoing the immediate purchase.

The principal of authority relies on a sense of duty or obligation to people with perceived authority, whether those people are experts or are in authoritative positions. Job titles and uniforms are influences in this category. Cialdini also stated that influence comes from familiarity, or liking. One is more likely to buy from a respected acquaintance or friend. Companies use sales agents from within the same community, as people tend to purchase items from similar individuals.

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