Following Cialdini’s Science of Persuasion

Last week we talked about Robert Cialdini and the first two principles of influence, especially as they relate to sales. Last week we talked about Reciprocation and Consistency. This week we continue with the final four.

Social Proof

Social proof is the third of the six influencers. Basically it means that we are influenced by people we deem to be similar to ourselves. If a group of people is buying wine in a tasting room there is a greater chance that others in the room will do the same. The subconscious of the visitors persuades them that if other people are doing something that they should do it, too. That’s why, when someone is buying wine, if you can, put the bottles on the bar where they can be seen during the transaction. Then they are bagged or boxed and handed to the purchaser.


Most people will follow the lead of those who are seen to be authoritative in their positions. If you watch advertising for medical or pharmaceutical products you will often see a doctor as a spokesperson for these products. In today’s society people have been trained to listen to doctors and to assume they know what they are talking about.

Giving visitors information that they can take home and impress their friends with will make it easier to sell your products to them. As the salesperson you are the expert. Your job is to pass along some of that expertise to make your customers feel that they have some expertise. Use language that is easy to understand and make the information interesting or your will lose your audience to glazed eye syndrome.


As well as being influenced by authority, customers are also more likely to be influenced by people they like. If they like you, the salesperson, they are more likely to buy. So the key is while you are the expert be a nice expert and make them feel good about what they know or what they are learning.


There is much more chance of your customers wanting what they cannot have if they wait. Scarcity will make people buy, which is why it is used regularly in advertising.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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