#118: The 6 Principles Of Influence (AKA The One Book Every Business Should Know Cold)

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This is a podcast episode titled, #118: The 6 Principles Of Influence (AKA The One Book Every Business Should Know Cold). The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. ----- If you're in marketing or sales, this is a drop what you're doing and listen to this one and get the book type of episode. We're breaking down Robert Cialdini's 6 Principles of Influence -- from what might be the single greatest business book of all-time. 1. Reciprocity 2. Social Proof 3. Commitment 4. Authority 5. Scarcity 6. Liking -- Say hi to @dcancel and @davegerhardt. AND DONT FORGET -- HYPERGROWTH 2018 is coming. You can get your tickets at hypergrowth.drift.com with the promo code SEEKINGWISDOM for just $199. That is the lowest price on the Internet just for SW fans.

DG: Ladies and gentlemen, we're back.

Speaker 2: We're back.

DG: Here we go.

Speaker 2: Seeking wisdom.

DG: This is what we're talking about.

Speaker 2: A real book, we're reviewing a real book here.

DG: I actually cannot believe we've gone almost 120 episodes and we have not reviewed this book.

Speaker 2: Little humble brag... there's a picture out there with me, and DG, and Robert Cialdini.

DG: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Cialdini, is how he says it.

DG: Cialdini. Wow, that's right. Tell them that story.

Speaker 2: We were hanging with our homie, Ryan Dice, and Ryan Dice runs a company called Digital Marketer. I speak at his conference called Traffic Conversion, and a fantastic person who's going to be on the podcast later on. He's a homie. Anyway, we went backstage-

DG: Well, actually, hold on. Hold on, hold on. So DC was backstage, where the VIP speakers go. I was trying to find him, and I go backstage and he's sitting on this couch next to this older gentlemen, and the two of them are just talking. And I'm like-

Speaker 2: And who was that guy?

DG: "Whothe hell?" I'm like," Oh my God, that's Robert Cialdini." And DC's like," Yeah, I want you to meet somebody." I'm like," What is happening right now?" And this guy, we pose for a picture. Best part of it though, he has six principles which we're going to talk about today, you'll intro that. He reaches in his pocket and he hands me a little card, a little cheat sheet, and it had the six principles on it.

Speaker 2: That is awesome. I wish... I don't have my card with me, or else I'd show-

DG: When did you first hear about this book, when it came out? No.

Speaker 2: Do you see that? Do you see that? Do you see the attacks?

DG: I didn't mean it like that, that was in the eighties. That was not an attack, that was not an attack, it was not the'80s. It was-

Speaker 2: It was in 1962. Is that how you heard the book? Man, cold blooded here.

DG: Come on, come on.

Speaker 2: All right, all right, it's okay. So no, I did not hear of this book when it first came out, which was in 1984, all right? I don't remember what year I heard of this book, but I have read this book for many years, at least a decade now.

DG: What it meant to say is when-

Speaker 2: When DHD was two, I read this.

DG: When did this book start taking off in the marketing world? Because it wasn't a marketing book.

Speaker 2: I don't even know if it even took off in the marketing world, I don't remember how I found it. But I came across this book at least a decade ago, and the book is called Influence. And if you are a marketer and you're listening to this podcast and you have not read this book, you're a poser. I'm sorry, dude, you're not a marketer.

DG: That's a fact, it's a fact.

Speaker 2: Dude or dudette, you are not a marketer until you read this book called Influence.

DG: To prep for this, I actually just-

Speaker 2: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to harm you, calling you a poser, but you need to read this book.

DG: No, it's true. I brought all my notes, my Kindle notes, from his book. It saved pages.

Speaker 2: Anyway, I read this book at least a decade ago. It's probably the first book that I would read if you're interested in marketing or sales. If you're in sales too, you need to read this book, and it basically goes over how we make decisions and why we make those decisions, and Robert Cialdini goes into this. And guess what? You know who recommends this book?

DG: Who?

Speaker 2: Who's that over there?

DG: Oh, your boys? Your boys, Walter and Charlie? He does? He does.

Speaker 2: Charlie Munger. If you know me, you know I've talked about cognitive biases, and go look for the video on YouTube called The 25 Cognitive Biases, Human Misjudgment, and that is an interview with Charlie Munger. And in Charlie Munger's interview, the first thing that he says is that this is the book that blew him away, that led him to understand cognitive biases, the book Influence, right here.

DG: So is that what you should do when you say go right to the top? If Charlie Munger says read this book, should you read the book?

Speaker 2: Pretty good. My old uncle over there, 90 something years old, billionaire, I think is okay.

DG: So the point that he makes is that we all have these automatic... He calls them automatic behaviors, and there's things that we are just naturally biased to do, and prone to do, that make us really vulnerable to buying, to making decisions.

Speaker 2: I'm confused.

DG: What's the matter?

Speaker 2: I don't know how you could be a marketer and not have read this book.

DG: Oh, that's tough. You know, we should probably give it away.

Speaker 2: We should give it away, how are we going to give it away?

DG: You got to listen. Okay, so here's what we're going to do. We're going to talk about the book, there's six principles, we're going to run through each, but here's what you can do. If you're going to listen to this podcast right now, I want you to take a screenshot on your phone, do the screenshot thing.

Speaker 2: Okay.

DG: Okay? Do the screenshot thing. The first 10 people that do that, tweet at us, tweet at you. Because they need to show you... They need to admit that they didn't read it yet, which is okay because humility is a big part of this, right? So they're going to take a screenshot and then tweet," Hey, you can't say at D Dancel first, because then... A lot of people will still see it, but you need to say," Hey at D Cancel, can I get a copy of Influence?"

Speaker 2: All right. Do that on Twitter, and that's the first 10 only on Twitter we're going to do that. But for everyone else, if you miss out on the Twitter thing, I want you to take a screenshot of this book, post it on your Instagram feed.

DG: Oh, on the feed.

Speaker 2: Feed, no private messages. Put it on your feed and say," I want this book," and we will send you a copy of this book.

DG: Yeah. Tag Hey Drift at Hey Drift. That's pretty good, we're going to give this book to a ton of people.

Speaker 2: Robert Cialdini right here. All right, let's get into it.

DG: I love it. Let's talk about the six things. I'm going to tell them, and I want you to do the... I'm going to run through the six principles and you narrate.

Speaker 2: He's quizzing me, he's quizzing.

DG: No, not, I'm going to tell you what they are, you just comment. Okay, so there's six principles, and they're basically all these automatic behaviors that we have. So number one, reciprocity. He says we all have a natural obligation to reciprocate. What does that mean to you, from a marketing perspective?

Speaker 2: So the way a great example of reciprocity is have you ever been over to... DHG's too young, so she hasn't been. Have you ever been over to Costco?

DG: I have.

Speaker 2: Okay. So you go to Costco-

DG: But I don't know where you're going with this.

Speaker 2: Okay. You go into Costco and you walk around, and there are all these people that are sitting there with little tasters.

DG: The samples?

Speaker 2: The samples. So you go up to the samples-

DG: I'd never thought of the samples as reciprocity. Damn.

Speaker 2: Come on, man. You go up to the samples... So you go into Costco and they have these people that are standing that are free samples, and it'll be samples of chips, samples of drinks, samples of candy, samples of heated food, frozen food. And what they're doing, because Costco got that from... You know who they got that from?

DG: Who?

Speaker 2: Sam Walton, Walmart.

DG: Pretty good.

Speaker 2: Okay, so they got that, and so what that is is an example of reciprocity. If you will take a sample from someone, you're more inclined to want to do business with that person, or want to even buy that product. That is why they have those samples out there. And so that's an example of reciprocity.

DG: He says," Another person can trigger a feeling of indebtedness by doing us an uninvited favor." So even if the favor is uninvited, even if you didn't want it, if I say,"Here you go, have this," then all of a sudden-

Speaker 2: Then that's how come we're willing to do something. I'm willing to do something for anyone who leaves a six star review, shouts at Amy and DHD in there. Reciprocity.

DG: No. In all honesty, that's why we're okay with spending a bunch of money buying books and giving them away, because you're going to help spread the word for the show. We're going to give you this book.

Speaker 2: Exactly, muchas goodness.

DG: All right. So number one, reciprocity. Number two... By the way, this is like... You have to read the book, but we're giving it to you.

Speaker 2: It's okay, you don't have to read it, we're teaching it to you.

DG: Number one, number one, reciprocity. And by the way, this is literally a checklist that Cialdini gave me, gave us. He gave us a card, it is on my desk now. If you know one thing about marketing-

Speaker 2: You should have seen it, inaudible here.

DG: It was the coolest thing, it was the coolest thing, I should get it.

Speaker 2: He was like a little kid. His eyes were shiny.

DG: He gave me this little card and it had these six... I keep it in my notebook. You don't need anything else, you follow these six things. So number one... I was amazing, it was amazing.

Speaker 2: I was like Santa Claus, giving him a present.

DG: It was really cool, it was really cool. Number one, reciprocity, number two is social proof.

Speaker 2: Come on, social proof.

DG: This is one that seems so obvious to marketers, but how many websites do you go to, how many landing pages do you go to that there's no social proof?

Speaker 2: Almost all of them, all of them, all the bad ones. Even the first versions of most of our pages, and one of the first things that I point out is that we need social proof. So an example of social proof is you need faces and testimonials. If you've ever watched an infomercial, you know that 80% of the infomercial, if not 90% of the infomercial, is testimonials. One after another, after another, after another, after another.

DG: Right. You know who was a legendary testimonial guy?

Speaker 2: Who?

DG: A legendary social proof? Billy Mays.

Speaker 2: Billy Mays. Testimonial, testimonial, testimonial. DHE is too young for that, she is is like," What's an infomercial?"

DG: Billy Mays would literally smash his foot with a hammer to show you that his foot was not getting injured, that is social proof. He would seal up a thing and then put water in it and show you.

Speaker 2: Yeah, the testimonials were the social proof, so that's the social proof. So everything has to have social proof, because we make decisions based on that. If you go to Amazon. com and you go buy a product, you will see the ratings and reviews, and the reason the ratings and reviews are there are to trigger social proof.

DG: Social proof, number two.

Speaker 2: Actually, almost all of these things that we're talking about-

DG: Amazon.

Speaker 2: Is on the Amazon product page. And so, maybe, if you're good, we'll give you an example of... We did a mock up. I did a markup of an Amazon page showing... This was internal, only at Drift, showing people how all of these things are triggered on every Amazon page.

DG: And so Cialdini is a... He's a doctor, he's a psychologist, PhD. And he said the scientific definition is," One means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct." So if you're making a decision, show me the 10 people who already did this, I'm more likely to do it. So that's number two, social proof. Number three is really underrated, I think not a lot of people talk about this one, and this one is commitment.

Speaker 2: Hmm.

DG: You remember this one?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I remember all of these.

DG: I know you do.

Speaker 2: So commitment... Charlie Munger would call this commitment consistency bias, right?

DG: Yes.

Speaker 2: If you look at that. I can't believe the young guy trying to quiz on cognitive bias.

DG: Pretty good, that's pretty good, that's pretty good. inaudible Elias, come in here.

Elias: inaudible.

DG: Elias, come in here, we're talking about Cialdini.

Elias: Oh, when you guys met him?

DG: Yeah.

Elias: What happened with Cialdini?

DG: We're just talking about his book, the principles. Social proof, commitment, reciprocity.

Speaker 2: Elias is shy.

DG: This is the first time he's ever been shy, unbelievable. This is a live broadcast.

Elias: I've got a customer call, bye.

Speaker 2: All right. So commitment consistency, this is how we do things here at Drift. Commitment consistency bias. So the bias here is, and the way that Charlie Munger describes it, is that once we make a decision, we are more likely to stick to our decisions and be stubborn about that decision, and that's called commitment consistency. So as soon as we make a commitment, we have a bias to want to stick to that commitment and not retreat from that.

DG: This is why the gym membership thing is such a powerful model, right?

Speaker 2: Yes. Because the gym membership thing is a perfect example here. So gym membership, the way that that model works is that you join, and somewhere like a Planet Fitness, which is big in the United States, you go... It's like 9. 99 a month,$ 9. 99, it costs nothing. But once you've made that commitment, you almost never cancel because, in the mind... and this is commitment bias... In the mind, you think," I'm going to go next week, I'm going to go next month. Why would I cancel it? It's just too much worry."

DG: Or you don't cancel because you don't want what canceling your membership says.

Speaker 2: Says about you.

DG: You might have never gone. You might have never gone to the gym once in that year, but if you cancel it-

Speaker 2: Don't look at me when you say it.

DG: I'm not looking at you. If you cancel it, then you know that the chance is never going to happen. And so by keeping your membership open, you know you're more likely to go. Commitment bias.

Speaker 2: I'll have you know I went to the gym today.

DG: You did? Respect, respect.

Speaker 2: Yeah, YMCA.

DG: Oh, okay. The Y, what's up?

Speaker 2: I also belong to the Equinox here, but I went to the Y.

DG: All right. So reciprocity, number one, social proof, number two, commitment, number three, number four is authority. And the point that he makes with authority is that we're all influenced by authority, even if we don't know it. And so this is like getting people with bigger job titles, or pushing messages from the president or the CEO, or putting your face on a letter that we write out to people.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And so a perfect combination of the authority bias and the social proof bias is that you'll try to get someone... Imagine that this book, on the book page, that there was a testimonial from a former president. And so that hits two things, authority bias and social proof bias.

DG: Oh, I didn't even think of that.

Speaker 2: So you've got social proof and you have authority mixed in there. And so that's why people tend to choose people with elevated status, whether it's professionals, influencers, or business people. It's because it's hitting on multiple biases here.

DG: He says we all fall for even the perception of authority.

Speaker 2: Yeah, it always works.

DG: Which is one of my pet peeves, which is the six person startup where everyone is a VP or C level person.

Speaker 2: Not here.

DG: That's not here. Okay, scarcity. Scarcity, come on. You could do an hour... How many texts have you sent me in my life about scarcity?

Speaker 2: Scarcity, everyone forgets the scarcity part. So again, a perfect example of this. Go to Amazon, go to a product listing page, and often on that product listing page, you'll see a little thing that's right at the top. And you know what that little thing says? It says," Only two left." We'll be getting more, we'll get more next week, but two items are left, and what that triggers in you is that they're going to run out. But they hit you with another thing. It's not misleading, it's not saying," I'm never going to get any of these," we're going to get more next week. But if you want this this week, we only have two left.

DG: Yeah. If you want it in your house by Saturday, you better get it now.

Speaker 2: Exactly. And then they trigger it again one other way, which is if you order in the next one hour, we can have to you by tomorrow. And if you order two hours later, it's going to take two days.

DG: Urgency and scarcity into one bucket together. But what I learned from this, and then thinking about how we apply this is... It's actually, the thing with scarcity is the loss is more powerful than the gain.

Speaker 2: Loss aversion.

DG: Yeah. What we miss out on, the potential loss is what drives the behavior. Not that I have to get this so bad, but oh my God, I'm going to miss out. Am I going to miss out on this if I don't get it now?

Speaker 2: Absolutely, and I think Charlie Munger calls that loss aversion. So one of the things that we don't want is forget the gain, we're more scared of loss. So loss of status or loss of an opportunity.

DG: Yeah. It's the same thing, right? In one of your new favorite books, like Relentless and your guy Tim Grover. If you talk to somebody like Michael Jordan, did Michael Jordan love winning so much, or did he hate losing?

Speaker 2: He hated losing. Me too.

DG: Hated losing. Okay, last one. Number six... I know. Number six, and then we're out of here, because we just broke down the whole book. Number six is liking. People are easily persuaded by other people that they like.

Speaker 2: Yes, and so liking bias. I'm trying to remember what Charlie Munger calls this, but this is one of his as well. All of these are part of his, and then he expands into 25. This is only six. So liking bias. Liking is the more... This one is interesting, because the more likable someone seems to you, and it might be totally someone that someone else would not like, the more willing you're to do business with them, or to do something with them.

DG: Yeah. This is why those MLMs, the multi- level marketing things, this is why they work so well. The Mary Kay, the Tupperware, the whatever, because it's usually from somebody that you're friends with.

Speaker 2: Totally. The reverse of this is something that I'm always talking about internally here, which is one of the traps that we fall in with this bias right here, this liking bias, is that we are often, all of us, are often unwilling to learn from people that we don't like because of this bias. Right?

DG: Yes. Say more, dive deeper into that. So you use an example of somebody who people don't like.

Speaker 2: Yeah, lots of people, yeah.

DG: And the people just... Off.

Speaker 2: Off, right. Yeah, you can use anyone. You can use Kim Kardashian, I don't know anything about her. Donald Trump, whatever.

DG: No, that's a popular one, right? The Trump example is a great one. There actually is marketing lessons in there, but people don't want to hear that.

Speaker 2: There's marketing lessons in everything, but as soon as you mention someone that you don't like, then I can't listen to them, I can't listen to them, I can't listen to them. And we're not saying listen to them and be convinced by them, but analyze them and understand what did they do-

DG: Why did that work?

Speaker 2: Why did it work? And so there's a lesson in everything, and so this bias holds us back from learning. Probably of all the biases that we listed here, the liking bias holds us back the most, in terms of growth and learning.

DG: That's a good one, I didn't think of that. All right, so there you go, there you have it. Those are your six principles, let's recap them. Reciprocity, social proof, commitment, authority, scarcity, and liking.

Speaker 2: Yeah. You said an interesting word there.

DG: What?

Speaker 2: Six.

DG: Six?

Speaker 2: Yeah, as in six stars.

DG: Oh.

Speaker 2: See? I like the number six. So six, there's six principles, there's six stars.

DG: One for each.

Speaker 2: One for each. So why don't you leave a six star review, open up that Apple podcasts on your phone, Stitcher, leave six star reviews. I think I heard reports this week that they're still broken and you might have to leave five, but then in the comments say," I was trying to leave six." Call out DHD, Amy, never call out DG-

DG: Don't call me out, I'm good, I'm good.

Speaker 2: Okay. And let us know how you like this, and let us know if you want a copy of Influence. This is the book.

DG: Don't forget, screenshot, screenshot, screenshot, screenshot now, right now. Screenshot on your phone, post it on Instagram, post it on Twitter.

Speaker 2: Yeah, first 10 on Twitter who posts this, and then anyone who puts it in their Instagram feed, we're going to get you a copy of this book. Robert Cialdini, gangster. Dude looks good for his age, huh?

DG: He looks real good. He had a suit, man. He had a pocket full of those cheat sheets and that was amazing.

Speaker 2: Oh yeah. And just so you know, Robert Cialdini here holds dual appointments at Arizona State University, shout it out ASU. Go party.

DG: It's pretty good.

Speaker 2: Go Cardinals.

DG: We're out of here.

Speaker 2: That was pretty good, see you.


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. ----- If you're in marketing or sales, this is a drop what you're doing and listen to this one and get the book type of episode. We're breaking down Robert Cialdini's 6 Principles of Influence -- from what might be the single greatest business book of all-time. 1. Reciprocity 2. Social Proof 3. Commitment 4. Authority 5. Scarcity 6. Liking -- Say hi to @dcancel and @davegerhardt. AND DONT FORGET -- HYPERGROWTH 2018 is coming. You can get your tickets at hypergrowth.drift.com with the promo code SEEKINGWISDOM for just $199. That is the lowest price on the Internet just for SW fans.