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Exploring Cialdini’s 7 Principles of Persuasion Part-1

Before beginning…

Let’s make sure about these 12 part series articles. We are in the pursuit of learning and understanding the “Psychology and Persuasion to Boost Sales” with simple examples and analogies.

This is the 2nd article in this series.

Make sure you understand the fundamentals of how our brain works from the 1st Article. Catch the article in the below link,

Human Brain, You (Guide), & Your Customer (Hero)-Review

Fine… Let’s jump into this week topic, Persuasion,

Persuasion is a form of Influence. It is the way to get people to agree with an idea, attitude, or action by rational and emotional means.

In simple terms, it is making people to do an action we need.

As a marketer and salespeople, our intent is to convert the Prospect to a Consumer.

When people talk about Persuasions, Cialdini is the first name that comes up.

His 7 principles of persuasion –



3.Social Proof





Let’s explore these principles with examples and focus on how to boost sales.

1.Reciprocity: Give a Little Something to Get a Little Something in Return

Cialdini’s first principle of persuasion states that human beings are wired to basically want to return favors and pay back our debts.

In short… to treat others as they’ve treated us.

The idea of reciprocity says that people by nature feel obliged to provide either discounts or concessions to others if they’ve received favors from those others. Psychology explains this by stressing that we humans simply hate to feel indebted to other people!

Example of Execution

Give people free tools, free downloads, free goodies – that they enjoy – and they’ll be way more likely to buy something from you.

If your products are expensive and/or complicated, it’s often better to avoid asking for a sale from new visitors and instead offer a free download in exchange for their email. Then you start nurturing the lead by constantly adding more value until you finally ask for the sale.

In the Digital Marketing world, Hubspot Is the best example of this.

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Hubspot has all the free templates from Buyers Persona to Inbound Analytics.

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They also provide a free version of their tools.

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They also say us why they are giving us this freely!

Again, in the industry, HubSpot certificates are valued a lot. So when a person who has used HubSpot freebies or took up a certification course. If he thinks of buying any CRM or Sales and Marketing tool the first name comes to their mind is Hubspot.

This is the power of reciprocity.

In the Brick&Mortar stores, Jewelry shops make use of this beautiful principle. They provide us juice, snacks, and Even a free pick-up & drop services to the stores. In return making our purchase from them more easily.

2.Commitment: People Want Their Beliefs to Be Consistent With Their Values

The principle of commitment (and consistency, too) declares that we human beings have a deep need to be seen as consistent.

As such, once we have publicly committed to something or someone, then we are so much more likely to go through and deliver on that commitment…hence consistency.

Example of Execution

Web forms are one area where this can be used. You split your large form into multiple small steps (multi-step form). Once people fill out the first part of the form and see there’s more to fill on the second page, they’re much more likely to do it since they already got started with it.

Example: eHarmony. Take a look at the form, and look at the sequence of form fields.

You’re asked your name, where you’re from, and who’re you looking for (commitment). CTA is extremely important: declaring the final intent to find a mate, in writing, upfront.

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The button copy – “Find My Matches” — is another form of “committing” to the match-making process. What follows is a really long questionnaire. Without the established commitment, completion rates of this questionnaire would be much lower.

We Have seen this many times in many forms, right?

3.Social Proof: There’s Nothing Like Feeling Validated Based on What Others Are Doing

Cialdini defines social proof as people doing what they observe other people doing. It’s a principle that’s based upon the idea of safety in numbers.

I’m influenced by this every time in social networks. If a profile is there with more than 30 mutual friends. I wanna check who he/she is and wanna connect with them. Naturally!

If our coworkers are working late, then we’re likelier to do the same; if we note that a particular eatery is always full of people, we’re likelier to give that establishment a try. We’re even more influenced by this principle when we’re unsure of ourselves or if the people we observe seem to be similar to us!

Example of Execution

You can harness this power of social proof to drastically increase the conversion rates of your website because there are several ways to incorporate it, but one of the most powerful is through so-called “wisdom-of-the-crowds” social proof.

Amazon is the best example,

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With Amazon’s Choice if a user doesn’t have deeper knowledge about the products, than he may easily go with Amazon’s suggestion.

Two key components of social proof:

1. Nobody wants to be the only person buying your stuff.

2. People don’t want to make the wrong choice at the risk of being judged by their spouses, bosses, colleagues, or friends.

The bigger the risk, the bigger the effect social proof can have.

Another good example is Hootsuite

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Bottom line: Show impressive numbers! Tell what other people are doing! Show off testimonials and social media followers!


This week we saw 3 out of 7 Principles in a detailed manner.

Next week we can see the other 4 Principles “Authority, Liking, Scarcity, Unity” in a detailed manner.

To summarize visually I have created a cool mindmap using XMind

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I hope that you got the 3 Important Principles of Persuasion.

Feel free to leave a comment or any questions. If there is any good example strikes your mind share it below. So, I can explain more clearly.

Always happy to get connected with new people and to learn from all.

Connect with me or mail me

With 💜 & 💡, Naveen

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