Sharon Livingston’s Interview on Influence – Part 1
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Influence is at once a very tangible and a very elusive thing. We might not see or know when another person is having influence on us, and we certainly don’t always know when we are influencing others. Additionally, our intentions to influence other people in or information marketing business may fail miserably, or they may succeed brilliantly.
Sharon Livingston’s interview with Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence, Science and Practice, provides excellent insights in the process of understanding influence. She is in the business of conversion optimization, or getting sales pages and websites to work better. This is something that every information marketer needs to learn.
Cialdini shares his methodology:
“I decided to try to determine what are the most powerful features of the influence process — the drivers that cause people to say yes to requests — by actually studying from the inside. I enrolled in training programs of as many influence professions as I could get access to. I took training in how to sell automobiles, and I learned how to sell vacuum cleaners, portrait photography, insurance and so on. I embarked on my mission to study influence, by presenting myself as a trainee and going through the training programs, as someone who would be interested in learning what they knew, and then I recorded this kind of information. “
What a monumental exercise in patience and great opportunity for information marketers to learn! As a result of his personal research, Cialdini arrived at six basic ways that anybody or any organization attempts to exert influence:
“What I found was, even though there are hundreds of individual tactics these organizations use to get us to say yes, the great majority of them could be categorized into terms of just six overarching principles of persuasion. These appeared to be universals. If one or another of those principles was incorporated into a request, it significantly increased the probability of getting a yes to that request.”