PRE-SUASION BY ROBERT CIALDINI REVIEW/SUMMARY
Dr Cialdini did it again! I read his book Influence a few years ago and it is one of the books that had the most impact on my life…So I was super excited when I learned that he just released Pre-Suasion!
I’m not going to lie, Pre-Suasion is not as good as Influence, but it is still a good book…Maybe it is because I had such high expectation about it though…
The goal of the book is to identify what savy communicators do before delivering a message to get it accepted. What Dr Cialdini discovered is that the highest achievers (in terms of influence) spent more time crafting what they did and said before making a request…The best at this are aware that the psychological frame in which a request is first placed can carry as much weight as the request itself. To make sure your message get accepted, you have to make sure the audience is sympathetic to it.
As you probably know I’m an online marketer. My job consists of selling stuff and services on the internet…This is why I’m always reading books about social psychology; the better I understand these concepts, the better I will be at selling things on the internet.
One thing I’ve always found fascinating is how sometimes science is behind in terms of understanding concepts…We marketers have understood the concept of Pre-framing a long time ago and we use it all the time, so I was suprised to find out that the book was almost exclusively all about Pre-framing.
Hell, I even remember telling all of my friends a few years ago that Donald Trump was using his TV show The Apprentice as a pre-framing tool to get elected as the president...Everybody thought I was crazy to think so, but now I guess that science is on my side…(and the result of the election too).
In Pre-Suasion, Cialdini argues that effective persuasion often happens a long time before the message is even communicated. People that masters influence understands that the secret to success depends on how the message is set up and delivered.
Now let’s take Donald Trump for example…If you follow me you are probably aware that I’m a big fan of Donald Trump. I read all of his books and I really thing this guy is a genius. I’ve learned a lot from him and I consider him one of the person I’ve learned the most from in my life…
Alright, so as you probably know at some point he has a TV show called The Apprentice and the goal of the show was to simulate a job interview in which people from all over the country would compete againste each others to gain Trump’s approval. Donald would give them a task, then each team would compete against each other and in the end, Trump would bring them into the boardroom and he would ultimately fire someone. You’ve probably heard is iconic catch phrase ¨You’re fired¨ once before…
Not only was this show super entertaining, but it would market Donald Trump as a true business expert (which he is in real life, but a lot of people didn’t know about it). When you think about it, this show was a huge marketing platform for in which the sole purpose was to promote his own brand. True genius if you ask me. Everybody on the show would suck up to him not to get fired by telling him how great he is and how smart he is…But the genius of this show reached a new level when they decided to create a new version called Celebrity Apprentice.
Now even celebrities were sucking up to him and telling him how great he his. Take Gene Simmons for example. Gene is the man behing the band Kiss and a lot of people consider him a real genius when it comes to marketing. When is the last time Kiss released a song? Probably a long time ago….But when is the last time you saw someone wearing a Kiss shirt? Chances are high that you probably saw someone wearing one this week…The bottom line is this: Gene Simmons was able to create a sustainable brand with Kiss a LONG TIME after they were supposed to be relevant. This is why a lot of people consider Gene Simmons to be a really smart marketer.
Now back to Donald Trump…Gene Simmons at some point was on the show and guess what: He was trying to gain Donald’s Trump approval! By doing so, all of the people that like Gene Simmons and find him smart HAVE TO think that Donald Trump is a smarter businessman than he is. If Gene was smarter, he wouldn’t want to gain his approval…Follow me? Donald Trump positionned himself as a true business expert to everybody in the world with this TV show. This is what Pre-framing is all about. It is about making sure people will accept your request. Donald Trump made sure that people would accept his request to be seen as a successful businessman when he would make it in the future (in his case, it was to become the president of the United States).
Anyways, let’s get to the book (all of the above can’t be found in the book…this is just my analysis).
“What we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next.”
”Trust is one of those qualities that leads to compliance with requests, provided that it has been planted before the request is made.”
These two quotes represents what the book is all about.
Influence is the act of influence other people whereas pre-suasion is the act of PREPARING people to be influenced.
Cialdini gives a really good example of pre-suasion in his book…He tells a story about Jim, a smoke alarm salesman who is consistently in the op 1% of the salesman in his company. Dr Cialdini wanted to know how he pulled that off so he followed him around for a while while he was making his sales pitch. Cialdini noticed that EVERY SINGLE TIME, as Jim would be giving his presentation to the families, he would slap his head, apologize and tell them that he had forgotten something in his car…He would then ask permission to the family to go out to his car then come back in.
Jim used forgetting in his car as a strategy to build trust. Few people would willingly allow complete strangers to walk through their home; this level of trust ir reserved only to friends and family members…This was Jim’s strategy; each time he was granted permission to do the same, he was intentionally associating himself with these trustworthy types of people in his customer’s minds…
By doing this simple strategy, he would position himself as trustworthy and this is why he would sell more than his co-workers. This is what pre-suasion is all about.
Dr Cialdini tells a story about Robert, a guy who has the reputation of being a mind reader at parties…
His talent to pinpointing each person’s personality accurately always suprised everyone at parties…At some point, he even gave a woman two oppositve readings within a few hours of each other and she agreed with everything that he said…How come? If he gave two opposite readings, then one of them is ibviously bullshit right? The answer is yes…But how come she agreed with both? This is what Dr Cialdini wanted to discover…
What Dr Cialdini came up with is called privileged moments. These are moments when an individual becomes highly receptive to the message being told. Here is an example: The palm reader tells you that your lifeline shows you are creative, then you think back through your recent experiences and focus your attention to EACH ONE where you were creative…Now that you remembered all of these moments, you have to agree with the palm reader…
This brings us to focus.
As I just explained above, you can control the other person by controlling their focus. By asking them a question, you literaly control their experience….Isn’t amazing?
Dr Cialdini gives us an example of a sales representative asking his clients if they are adventurous before giving them a new product to try. By asking them if they are adventurous, the customer is more likely to both try it and buy it because it puts them in an adventurous state of mind.
Using the same strategy, if you own a business and you want to survey your customer’s satisfaction, it is WAY BETTER to ask them if they are ¨happy with their experience¨ versus ¨dissatisfied with their experience¨…By asking if they are happy with their experience, you will draw out their happy feelings to the forefront of their minds.
As I said before, I think his other book Influence is much better than this one, but I still recommend you guys to read it because you will definitely learn a few things in the book.
Click HERE to get it.
Please leave a comment below or let me know any questions you have. I’d love to hear what you think!