Robert Cialdini literally wrote the book on sales techniques. And while that’s not a section of the bookshop short of titles, his classic ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ differed primarily in the fact that it was all based on Cialdini actually leaving his desk and going out selling. Not abstractly theorising, or only considering sales in terms of big brand marketing campaigns, but the sharp end of sales – he took a job as a used car salesman, he went door-to-door selling double-glazing… not glamorous, but absolutely fascinating nonetheless.
The results of all this research are highlighted in this video (and in his excellent book, if you’d like more detail…).
The really fascinating thing here is that it is not really a book about sales. It’s a book about persuading others. And everyone in the communications or media industry is in the business of persuading others. In fact, everyone in life is in the business of persuading others, whether in their working lives or their personal life (there are plenty of examples in the book of negotiating with small children, which will make parents realise just how true this is).
Cialdini’s examples are concrete and easily applicable to daily life, and once you’ve learned them you’ll be amazed at how often you see them being used. It may also make you a bit less susceptible when it comes to buying your next car…