Dr Robert Cialdini, an American psychologist who has worked several decades in understanding the underlying factors that influence people to say “yes”. He identified six universal principles that help to understand how one could be persuaded and accept the idea.
- Reciprocity: My first personal experience was in Europe on this aspect. My fonding love for chocolates pulled me into a chocolate house. I was confused in making a decision to pick one as everything looked attractive. The person behind the counter asked me if I would like to taste to help me to make an informed decision. I went from one to six and asked to pack four out of six. I went to pick one but ended up with four packs of chocolates. I realised the order of offering free bite did work for the chocolate house.
- Authority: Making an opinion and advising anyone seem easy at times. In one such conversation over with cousins and family members in a general conversation. One of my uncles asked, “why do you want the lawyer to do a doctor's job?” I paused and stayed mum as he had hit the bull’s-eye.
- Consistency: As much monotonous or mundane tasks are taunted as boring but this tells about consistent activity like daily chorus like getting up, cleaning the house, traveling to work and so on. This is very much true for ads. Brands like Bisleri which we equate to water. I don’t think one could resonate the same as for water if Bisleri gets into soap or washing powder.
- Consensus: We love to buy through testimonials or peer influence or suggested by several people. This is known as social proof. E-commerce websites use this as an opportunity to sell more items like people also bought this as well.
- Scarcity: I am sure we have come across “Limited offer” or “Only two left” or “Claim your offer in the next 4 hours”. We love to be the first few to pick up and be in a rare club!
- Liking: Were there any instances you went to help a friend to buy accessories or a cloth and you ended up buying one for yourself?! We generally fall into a loop of persuasion - a) people who compliment us - haven’t you heard from the sales people in the clothing store saying - this is a perfect match for you? I think you should pick this tie as well. b) people who are similar like us - friends plan to shop together. c) people who cooperate in achieving your goal - weddings are the best example where one ends up buying larger than the list.