Archive for the ‘The Robert Cialdini Checklist’ Category

The Robert Cialdini Checklist

September 7, 2008

The Cialdini Checklist

Automaticity (automaticity can be enhanced: Increased rush, stress, uncertainty, indifference, distraction, and fatigue all lead to less thoughtful and more automatic responses. Thus by adding to these elements, we increase the effectiveness of all of these techniques. … Because: When you add a ‘because’ followed by no new information, the chances of compliance increase substantially … Default decision process: Logic is only used if there is a desire and ability to analyze the situation, otherwise, pattern matching to known social behavioral patterns is used … Desire not to think: If it requires thinking and they can back down to a simple rule of behavior, they will try to do so … Strong desire not to rethink: If it requires rethinking, it introduces self-doubt and will be avoided unless absolutely necessary)

Contrast (Contrast principle: Substantial differences tend to be exaggerated. Things are taken relative to context. After having your hand in hot water, lukewarm water seems cool. To sell something expensive, start by offering something more expensive and work your way down)

Reciprocation (Reject and retreat: This invokes both reciprocation and contrast. You start by asking for something big, then lower the request to something smaller. By reducing your request, you are both giving a concession [reciprocation leading them to offer you something] and by lowering from a higher value you are invoking contrast [the second request doesn’t look as high next to the first one] … If it costs more it is worth more: Raising the price on many items increases their sales because the buyers are looking for high quality and associate it with price … Reciprocation: People tend to reciprocate any gifts. For example, even a meaningless gift will create an obligation. Refusal to accept a return gift makes you less likable because of the lack of opportunity to reciprocate)

Authority (Experts know more than others: When someone believes you are an expert, they will tend to defer to your opinions regardless of the sensibility of those opinions … Duty to authority is deeply embedded in culture: Higher authority overrides lower ones, appearance of authority replaced real authority, titles lead to the appearance of authority, higher deference to known authorities … Appearances imply authority: Higher position appears to be taller, taller as more important, importance seen as larger, larger size implies more strength. clothing and accouterments imply authority (as a function of situation), other trappings imply authority.)

Commitment and Consistency (Commitments are honored: If you can generate a promise of some sort, there will be a strong desire to fulfill it – no matter how much effort it takes or under what circumstances the promise was given … Consistency is highly valued: Once you commit, your interpretation of inputs tend to support that committed view … Small commitments lead to big ones: Self-image is raised through making and keeping to commitments and as a result, larger and larger commitments are made over time … Active commitments are better than passive ones: Commitments where you do something are far more effective at gaining subsequent compliance than those which are passive promises … Public image leads to self image: Written statements are given more credence than oral ones – both by author and reader, there is a higher tendency to do something if you write it down, public commitments are more often kept than private ones … Increased compliance with investment: Invested time and effort [sunk costs] forms increased commitment; more pain involved increases commitment level [loyalty from hazing, more pain more gain], less external return forces more internalization of value [ownership and commitment follow], low-balling works [get a commitment, create other supports for the decision, then remove the original motivation and the commitment remains] … Consistency causes decisions: Even when remaining consistent seems foolish, people will choose new reasons to stay with a decision because to do otherwise would cause you to have to admit you were wrong and rethink your previous commitments)

Social Proof (We interpret based on how others interpret: Laugh tracks work even if we know they are in use. Seeded collection boxes cause increased donations. Popularity is taken as goodness, even if known to be wrong … Social proof replaces hard proof in uncertainty: Fear is reduced by watching others like you not fear it. Create uncertainty and generate social proof. Social proof works better when they are like you)

Liking (We like saying ‘yes’ to people we like: Twice as likely to say yet to people we like, referrals from friends increase likelihood of success in sales, MCI ‘friends and family’ is 90% effective because it ‘does a friend a favor’ to switch … Physical attraction increases liking: We are more likely to like someone we are physically attracted to and likely to dislike someone we are not physically attracted to … Similarity breeds liking: Similar dress, color, background, behaviors, accents, lifestyle, interest, age, religion, politics, and names are all examples of how similarities increase liking and differences decrease liking, even when known to be falsehoods … Compliments increase liking: Even when compliments are known to be deceptions, people still like those who give them – unless they go ‘too far’ … More contact increases liking: Familiarity improves liking unless the experience is unpleasant … Groups working together bond: Common cause increases liking and friendship between group members and groups … Groups in competition breeds enemies: Competition creates hostility and personal dislike … Messages are attributed to messengers: When a message is unpleasant, the messenger is disliked, while good messages cause messengers to be liked. The attributes of the message are attributed to the messenger by association … Association enhances liking or disliking: People are more receptive to compliance after a good meal. People associate to their nation, city, race, etc. and like it when the things they associate with succeed … People tend to associate with things that enhance their self-image: If they like themselves, they choose to associate to things that are successful through the similarities to themselves. If they have a negative self-image they tend to associate with things that fail by seeking similarities with themselves)

Scarcity (Perceived scarcity increases perceived value: Similar to Shannon’s information theory in which less frequently used syntax elements have higher information content. Scarce quantity, time, availability all make things more attractive … Loss is higher value than gain: In trading a loss against an identical valued gain, the loss is more highly valued … Desire to have what is restricted: Especially effective against teenagers and young children, but also quite effective against people of all ages. More effective if more restrictive. Exclusivity yield desire to have … Desire to have it “our way”: Even if ‘our way’ is actually not ‘our way’, the fact of choice increases desirability … Exclusive information is more valued: Secrets, information that others do not have, restricted information, all seem to make the information more valuable. Exclusive information about a shortage has more effect on driving up perceived value that the shortage itself … Drops from abundance to scarcity increase value: More value is attributed to something if it is first possessed then lost. For example, revolutions are far more likely after some political gains followed by retrenchment)