Influence by Robert Cialdini Review

influence-by-robert-cialdini-reviewShort Profile

Title: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Author: Robert B. Cialdini PhD
Year: 01/09/2007
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Psychology; Self-help
Short Description: One of best books about influencing people. Find the best ways to manipulate the people around you and convince them to do what you want.
Get a copy: 1) Search in local bookstores to support small business 2) Amazon



The author walks us through several extremely effective techniques for influencing people. At first, you might think that this book is devious or manipulative but that’s not the case. It offers enough data and information to turn even the most naive person into a real good communicator and modern influencer. Yes, it can be used for manipulating people but, the main idea of the book is to protect you from people that are trying to convince us to do something we are really keen on doing.


My opinion:

I’ve actually heard about this book long before I read it. I am not quite sure why I postpone getting it for so many years and I regret it a bit. Still, better late than never, right? The thing I like most about Influence by

The thing I like most about Influence by Robery Chaldini – it’s practical. There are a lot of examples, stories and researchers included so you can really picture what the author is saying.

The book is 320 pages, it’s fairly easy to read and it won’t take you more than a week if you read every day. There are some moments where the author just digs a bit deeper into the explanation of specific thing and you can zone out a little bit.

Mr Chaldini masterfully defends each one of his argument with sufficiently convincing research, data and life experience.

I will definitely recommend the book to everyone. Mostly, because the book can really help you in a lot of daily conversations with different people – win an argument, convince a potential client to purchase your product, raise your children. If I have to be more specific, I must say that the book is a must to sales people.

If you are selling whatever products or services to other people, the book will give you a lot of techniques to become really good at persuading others to what you are offering.


Key Takeaways:

Notes, thoughts, and essential takeaways that I want to remember from the book. My main goal is to leave you with curated content, to which you can easily return to in the future for reference, that’s holding (spoil free) insights of the book, but mainly actionable steps, that can be used in our real lives, today:


Power of Contrast

Our everyday life is so busy that we easily form certain beliefs and establish automatic behavior at some point. Use these rooted beliefs in people to convince them to what you want. Example – a friend of yours can complain about his current job or girlfriend – but he can be wrong about the bought. You can easily convince him that his current situation is better when you tell him to remember his last job and girlfriend who are actually worst and to compare with his current situation.

This can be used when selling products to potential clients by first showing them expensive products first. If the client is not happy with the price you can then show them the package you originally wanted to show them.

Reverse engineering – we can do quite the opposite. You can explain in details the negative consequences to a person when doing something to persuade them to do the opposite. Following that logic, we can convince people to buy or shiny product, car, a house at a higher price, by first showing them a couple of now so perfect products. Once the see the shiny new product with a bit increased price they will be convinced that the price is worth it.


Give First to Get What You Want Later

The law of reciprocity is really widespread and there are a lot of other books that support it’s genuine.

You can easily make someone obliged to you by giving him something for free, even if that something is really small. In other words, say something like this: “Hey, John, take this beer. I know how much you like this brand. No, it’s fine you don’t owe me anything. I wanted to ask you, are you free on Sunday to help me move my furniture?”

Giving something first to others will make them feel enslaved till they don’t return the favor. We actually see this everywhere: sites asking for your email and giving your free eBook; shampoo companies giving away free samples; election campaign where free food is given.

Think about this the next time you want to convince someone to do what you want them to.


The Power of Recommendations

This is huge nowadays. We live in a world flooded with all kinds of products and it’s getting harder and harder to actually choose something. We can spend hours searching for the best washing machine, for example, and we can still end up regretting our final decision. However, things will be quite different if a good friend recommends us a specific brand and model. Then, we will be more convinced to get that exact same model.

A lot of online companies use this powerful psychological tool to increase their market share. Most of these companies are ones which offer a service, something you can’t actually see and touch (hosting provider for example), so that kind of strategy really help them make more sales. What they do: they are convincing their current customers to recommend the product and offer something in return. Actually, there is a word for that – affiliate marketing.

Here it’s how it works:

You recommend a product to a friend > He purchases the product using your link > You get paid for introducing the product to someone.

It’s basically a win-win situation for everyone:

  • Current customer: He gets a commission and helps a friend with the decision.
  • New customer: He trust his friend and he is satisfied with the decision.
  • Company: They get a new client and the current customer is now even more likely to recommend another client.

Authority: We, as humans, can obey someone only because he has more authority than we do. And, we even don’t need to know this person.

If you bump into a police officer and he tells you to lay on the floor or to give him your car, like in the movies, you will be quite willing to obey his decision. Why not, he is all dressed up – uniform, radio station, gun and all the perks. But what if it turns out that this man was not a real policeman but only pretended to be to steal your car?

There are a lot of ways to gather or authority. Here are

  • Born – Some people are born with it, others, can learn it. You also heard about these people being referred to the Alpha male.
  • Position – Your position in the company you work with can give you authority.
  • Things – People can see you with someone with authority if you have a nice new car or a big house.
  • Clothes – They way you look can definitely change the way how others perceive you.

Limited quality = more interest: If you make a product look like it’s soon going out of stock, you will make it far more interesting in the eyes of others. This applies in pretty much every aspect of our lives.

We simply want the things we can’t have more than anything else. In most of the cases, we don’t acuatlly need them but we buy them anyway. This is why you can go to a store to purchase a pair of jeans but end up getting a t-shirt, sneakers and a bag, only because it has a label limited quality or “SALE”.

This is also why married men and women are much more desirable from the other sex. Simply, because they are already in a relationship and are not available.


Get a copy:

  • Local Bookstore: Search in near local bookstore to support small business.
  • Amazon
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