December 09


What could you learn from ‘Pre-suasion’ by Robert Cialdini (2016, 233 pages)?

To be successful, you need to sell.  You may not be in sales or even interact with customers, but you will need to sell yourself.  You will need to convince people that you are the person to hire, that you are the person to trust with work and that you are the person that can be given additional responsibility.

In his book ‘Pre-suasion’, Robert Cialdini provides a fantastic collection of tips and advice to help you convince people of your point of view.

To learn from the most successful performers, you need to set the conditions for success in advancedWhat you present first, frames other people’s next experience.  Robert argues that you need to use both attention and association to maximise your effectiveness.

  • Attention. Repeated exposure works, as does subtle product placement but you need to do things differently to grasp people attention.  Speaking quietly, using silence, or doing the unexpected work to grab attention.
  • Association.  Use French music to sell wine, sex to sell perfume, music to evoked emotion.  If people are safe, use an association of distinctiveness (stand out, rebellion).  If people are unsafe, use association of others (social proof)

Robert recommends the following sequence:

  1. Reciprocity – give a gift that is meaningful, unexpected and customised
  2. Liking – by finding commonalities and by using true compliments
  3. Authority – use your own, but more importantly other people’s authority
  4. Social proof – show how others have done it, or are doing it
  5. Consistency – show how doing it is consistent with what they said/done/want to be
  6. Scarcity – show there is a limit
  7. Unity – do things together, ask for advice

Robert also highlights that pre-suasion effects can be temporary.  However, he offers two ways to extend the impact:

  • String commitments – active, effortful and voluntary fashion
  • Cue up cues – use imagery or if/when-then (e.g., visible rankings,


‘Pre-suasion’ is an excellent book.  Very well researched, the book offers compelling advice for those who want to develop their ability to persuade others.  Read this book if you want well-researched tips and techniques to improve your ability to persuade people.



There are also several other good bits of advice in the book:

  • Unfinished tasks are more memorable
  • Use you/your
  • Ask for advice not feedback……
  • Next in line effect – if you are expected to speak next you will not concentrate
  • Build credibility by talking about failure or what is wrong
  • Build credibility by saying what you would tell a family member
  • Unity is also important, and you can engender this by:
    • Ask people to ask people
    • Act together – play, march, dance