Imagine that you have the power to convince anyone … Your friends, your girlfriend, your parents, your boss, your clients! Your life would be totally different wouldn’t it ?! You could see all your requests be accepted, always have the last word and influence people to rally them to your cause. Concretely what would that give?

You could sign more clients and make more sales if you are an entrepreneur.

Google Loves Me Workshop

And for everyday uses, you are going to be able to influence your friends to go to this restaurant rather than another, to choose that specific movie when you are the only one who wants to see it, or to go on vacation to a city instead of another.

And this super power, does it exist?

Obviously YES! This is what we will see today.

How only 6 principles of influence and manipulation will they help you convince anyone to do what you want!

Influence and manipulation: The basics!

Over 30 years ago, Dr Robert Cialdini wrote a book “ Influence and Manipulation “.

A bestseller for some, a real bible for others (Yes yes, it proves the power of the book)

Even today, his persuasion techniques are used by marketers to sell more, regardless of the industry.

After all, having the ability to influence people is incredibly powerful, especially when it comes to selling a product or service.

The icing on the cake ?

His persuasive techniques can be used in ALL areas ; online, for a physical store, for an association or in everyday life! (A real super power I assure you!)

To choose between flying over the city in red underwear or being able to influence people… The choice is quickly made!

the power of persuasion

Here is a recap of Dr Cialdini’s 6 persuasion principles

  • Reciprocity;
  • Commitment and consistency;
  • Social proof;
  • Affection;
  • Authority;
  • Scarcity.

Thank you, have a good day bye.

No, I’m kidding … let’s go through each principle to learn how to use it.

1. The principle of reciprocity: In many social situations, we repay what we have received from others.

When you offer something first, people feel indebted… Which makes them more likely to respond to your subsequent requests.

Why ?

This is because as a human being we are deeply committed to reciprocity.

There are three factors that will make this principle more effective:

  • Offer something first – make them feel indebted to you;
  • Offer something exclusive – make them feel special
  • Personalize the offer – make sure they know it’s from you.

As simple as it may seem, reciprocity is exercised on you every day … and it works !

Are you inviting friends over for dinner? They give you flowers when you arrive.

What are you going to do when you go to their place …?

You are going to do the same, because you feel indebted.

principle of reciprocity cialdini

The social pressure is on you and bingo you absolutely have to give something back. This is the power of this first principle.

Because after all, what will you look like if you don’t offer anything?

A cheapskate ? Selfish?

What will your guests think?

Doesn’t he like us? He didn’t want to come?

And don’t lie to me, I know that reciprocity has already exerted its power on you too 😉

How to apply reciprocity in marketing?

Give a gift to your customers ! A sample, a free Ebook, an additional product with a purchase, a discount …

They will necessarily have to return the favor!

How do you say no to someone who has already given us free after all?

2. The principle of commitment and consistency: we tend to stick to what we have already chosen

We are bombarded with hundreds of choices to make every day. For simplicity, we take each time one decision and we stick to it.

The people most exposed to this principle will be called “narrow-minded” or “stubborn”… 😉

The way to retain customers using this principle is to get them to engage in something, whether it is a statement, position, political affiliation or identity.

The principle of consistency says that a person is automatically forced to stick to the decision she’s already made.

Follow these three ways to take advantage of this principle:

  • Ask your customers to start with small actions – so they will have to stick to them;
  • Encourage public engagements – they will be less likely to back down;
  • Reward your customers for the time and effort they put into your brand.

This is the technique I call “the foot in the door”. Once you’ve created a commitment, the person in front of you needs to stick with it.


You are trying to sell a program for weight loss.

You ask your prospect specific questions:

  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • Since when ?
  • Why has it not worked so far?

Then the questions foot in the door:

  • Are you sure you want to lose weight?
  • How would your life be without those extra pounds?

When the person has answered, they will not be able to go back to your product! She has made it clear that she wants to lose weight, that her life will be better and you are offering her the solution.

ciladini coherence principle

You have the solution to a big problem that she just expressed for several minutes, the next logical step is to buy.

To be consistent with what your prospect has just said, he must continue his commitment to want to lose weight: He buys.

3. The principle of social proof: we trust things that are popular or approved.

You want to learn the piano and you just discover an online course to learn in just 4 weeks!

Magic, scam … You are skeptical.

But that was BEFORE social proof.

Because after seeing that the course was taken by 4,500 people, that you have seen the testimony of Magalie who was 100% amateur and can now play the piano correctly: There is no longer any doubt, this course is the one for you!

social proof cialdini

So what’s going on in your head to go from “Scam!” “To” Go, I take out the bank card “?

This is thanks to the principle of social proof. People are more inclined to approve a product or service that has already been approved by other people (even more a person they trust)

That’s why one of the most powerful persuasion techniques used today comes in the form of social influence …

… Because it works.

How to make it work? Take advantage of the influence – or social proof – of these types of people:

  • Experts – Approval of credible experts in the field concerned;
  • Celebrities – Approval or endorsement of celebrities (paid or unpaid);
  • Users – Approval of current and past users (ratings, reviews and testimonials);
  • Peers – Approval from friends and people you know.

If your favorite singer trusts this clothing brand to dress up, you will automatically trust them!

Have all your friends bought the new iPhone and tell you it’s great? Apple won’t need to target you with an ad or an in-store vendor.

You have already made your decision based on what your friends told you.

Honestly, who has it never happened to make a decision on the recommendation of an acquaintance?

  • The restaurant that your favorite soccer player goes to every week must be really good;
  • The baker certified Meilleur Ouvrier de England will be more likely to have customers than another;
  • The bar that displays a crowd to enter will be more attractive than the one that is empty.

You get the idea.

So concretely how to use it for your marketing?

Display the opinion of your customers, show video testimonials of your customers, collaborate with influential personalities of your niche, display your media references, the serious studies that prove that your product is the best …

social proof influence and manipulation

4. The Affection Principle: We are more likely to comply with the requests of those we love.

For some reason, people we like tend to have more credibility than the ones we don’t like.

Yeah … It makes sense!

The people we love tend to have the same beliefs, interests and language as us.

So the mind tends to believe that a person we love is worth of trust.

Otherwise, why would we love him?

This explains why we trust recommendations of word of mouth of our peers, as well as those of our singers, actors, influencers favorite social media or bloggers.

how to convince

(Part of the reason why influencers are powerful – we follow them because we love them).

As you can imagine, loving people can have a huge impact on how we make our decisions.

Marketers who understand this have greater influence and persuasion over their target audience.

Follow these factors to make the affection principle work:

5. The principle of authority: we follow people who seem to know what they are doing

This is especially true in areas where we are NOT experts.

Why ?

It is easier to trust an authority figure in the field than doing your own research on a given topic.

You can see this in many online marketing cases with headlines and blog posts that contain phrases like “scientists say”, “experts say”, “research shows” or “scientifically proven”.

You can give an air of authority if you pay attention to these factors:

  • Titles – Positions of power / experience;
  • Clothing – Superficial clues that indicate authority;
  • Props / indirect cues that accompany authority roles.

We are going to listen to a “scientist”, because he has a white coat and he uses complicated words … Although it is not actually confirmed …

But his jargon and his clothes mean thatwe perceive him as an authority in whom we can trust.

And it works in all areas: The mechanic with a dirty and stained blue coat with a key in his hand? He necessarily knows what he’s talking about, doesn’t he?

Like the sports coach, in shorts, Marcel with protruding biceps and apparent abs will necessarily be convincing to talk to you about weight loss.

How to do your marketing?

Either you use an authority figure recognized by all!

Example: Mac Lesggy for Oral B.

Or you adopt the codes of a person of authority: Clothing, language …

6. The principle of scarcity: we are always attracted to things that are difficult to find

We tend to think of things that are hard to get are generally better than those that are readily available.

The principle of scarcity is therefore inspired by this belief in creating a sense of urgency.

You can learn how to trigger a sense of urgency in your customers through these methods:

  • Limited number – The item is in short supply and will no longer be available when sold out;
  • Limited time – The article is only available during this period.
  • Unique special offer – Only for members of CLUB XYZ.

Sometimes you can use more than one technique at the same time.

Another way is to use contests – Our tendency to want more things because other people want them too is often used in auctions for example.

ciladini rarity principle

It’s a strategy that works every time for a reason: The fear of losing!

This fear is present in all of us. We wouldn’t want to miss this promotion for anything before the price doubles ! (Even if in the end we won’t even use it …)

In such moments, we no longer have any rationality ! Only the desire to have the object possesses us and not the real need for this object.

This is the most often used strategy and can be seen everywhere: in stores and on the Internet.

Conclusion: Use these principles to your advantage, but remember to apply them well

These principles are powerful because that they bypass our rational mind, appealing to our subconscious.

However, note that while these principles can help build awareness of your brand, the most important factor that ultimately drives customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales is a great product.

All efforts in a marketing strategy will only work if they are supporting a product that delivers real value to customers.