Wednesday, June 22, 2011


"Consistency is easier than thought."

So says Robert Cialdini in his excellent book Influence:  The Psychology of Persuasion. 

According to Cialdini, people often adjust their thoughts to match decisions they have already made.  Understanding that most decisions are made before a sales presentation even takes place can radically alter (and improve) the effectiveness of how sales presentations are made. 

Understanding how "social proof", "social jujitsu" and the "principle of association" affect persuasive psychology can also dramatically improve the impact and effectiveness of your sales presentations.

Under the theory of social proof, consumers can be heavily influenced by the actions of others.  That's why claims about being "the number one brand" or being recommended by "4 out of 5 dentists surveyed" are so effective.

Social jujitsu is a theory that states if a few people inside of a group can be herded in the right direction, the rest of the group will follow.  This is why, in many opera houses and even Broadway theaters, proprietors hire "professional clappers" to applaud and cheer loudly at pre-determined moments to bring the rest of the audience along.

Finally, under the "principle of association", persuaders attempt to connect themselves with positive or popular events.  That's why radio stations will repeat their call letters before every hit song, and it explains why every concert, sporting event and college bowl game has a presenting sponsor.  

How can the Psychology of Influence make you a more effective salesperson?  

For me, the goal has always been to provide value.  By understanding what motivates people, I am better able to give more effective presentations.  In essence, I can give people more of what they want, and less of what they don't.

Similarly, understanding influence is a valuable skill when it comes to marketing more effectively, especially with listings.  Popular neighborhoods, school performance or community awards can all be leveraged in positive ways to help the salability of a home.     

A career in real estate is about so much more than homes and land.  It is first and foremost a marketing job, starting with yourself. 

Influence:  The Psychology of Persuasion is a terrific and timely read that will sharpen the sword of any committed sales professional.