Books You Gotta Read

Where Buddha Meets Business

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Sitting in the audience at a direct response marketing conference, I was engaged by the speaker’s talk on how you can market using some pretty interesting and what seemed to me like ninja tactics.

One of the resources he mentioned that he highly recommended is getting a copy of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini [chal-dini]. I wrote it down and thought to myself, maybe I will get it.

So, of course, being the bookaholic I am, I got a copy pretty quickly. Then I put the book on my shelf, which sat there for a while.

This sometimes happens to me. I ended up getting so many books I put them on the shelf and then, of course, forgot about them. Or, I start reading several at once. I do this because sometimes I need the info in one. They want to switch because I get bored or need a break.

This book by Cialdini stayed on my shelf for a few years. It wasn’t until I started attending more conferences that, I swear to you, SO MANY people started recommending it. So, of course, it was at the top of my reading list.

This is a must-read book, especially if you’re in marketing or an entrepreneur because it’s a classic on persuasion. It explains the psychology of how people buy. Cialdini, a psychology and marketing professor, is an expert in the field of persuasion and influence.

I do have one caveat. If you choose to read this book and implement these principles in your business, you need to adhere to the code – to only use these principles for good, not evil. This is no joke.

In the book, he gives you his six core principles and describes them in great detail, and shares with you all of his experiments and research – proof of these principles and how they work.

It’s like a map of what everyone who wants to sell something needs to use to be successful.

Cialdini’s six core widely known principles of how you can influence and persuade others:

  1. Reciprocation or Reciprocity: If someone does you a favor, you must act in kind and do them a favor.
  2. Commitment/consistency: If I can get you to make a small commitment, you will be more likely to be consistent and make another.
  3. Social proof: If we are unsure of making a decision, we will look to others who’ve made the same or similar decision and what they have to say about it.
  4. Liking: If you like me, you will be more likely to be influenced by me and do what I ask.
  5. Authority: If you look and act the part of someone who has authority, others will obey you.
  6. Scarcity: If there’s a limited number, waitlist, or hard to get into, I want in and don’t want to be left out.

One of the many things I also love about this book is that it was published in 1984 and started as an academic textbook for Cialdini’s class. And now it’s basically an entrepreneurial cult classic to have on your must-read and must-have on your shelf book. (Also, it’s sold over 1 million copies.)

Some Inspiration and Quick Book Review to Entice You to Get and Read it!

Quick Summary: This book is a how-to guide to influence and get your ideal dream clients/customers to invest in your courses, products, services, and events.

WHO Ought to Read this Book: If you’re struggling with sales and want to learn about the six principles you need to use to influence and persuade – you guys got to get a copy.

Why Read this Book? Reading in detail about the core principles and the examples will give you a roadmap of which principles to use and how to implement them in your business. It’s a must for any entrepreneur/business owner. And these principles really do work.

A Couple of Things You Will Discover: In Chapter 20 – Additional Rational Approaches To A Good Life, he gives you a really cool REBT Self-Help Form to fill out, which is a terrific summation of what he taught you and helps you put it into action. Plus, he walks you through a specific exercise and encourages you to record it – very cool.


The Higher the Price – The Higher the Perceived Value:
“Thus the vacationers, who wanted “good” jewelry, saw the turquoise pieces as decidedly more valuable and desirable when nothing about them was enhanced but the price.”

Always Lead With the Most Expensive and Upsell With Less Expensive:
“When a man enters a clothing store with the express purpose of purchasing a suit, he will almost always pay more for whatever accessories he buys if he buys them after the suit purchase than before.” 

Always Tell Someone WHY When You’re Asking for a Favor:
“A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor, we will be more successful if we provide a reason.”

When Making Commitments:
“Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.”

Looking to Others for Guidance:
“In general, when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look and to accept the actions of others as correct.”

When Something is Scarce:
“When our freedom to have something is limited, the item becomes less available, and we experience an increased desire for it… We need to make sense of our desire for the item, so we begin to assign it positive qualities to justify the desire.”

About the Author – Dr. Robert Cialdini:

Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career conducting scientific research on what leads people to say “Yes” to requests.  The results of his research, his ensuing articles, and New York Times bestselling books have earned him an acclaimed reputation as a respected scientist and engaging storyteller.

His books, including Influence and Pre-Suasion, have sold more than five million copies in 41 different languages. Dr. Cialdini is known globally as the foundational expert in the science of influence and how to apply it ethically in business.  His Six Principles of Persuasion have become a cornerstone for any organization serious about effectively increasing its influence.

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

Previous Book Review

Robert Cialdini

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

Book Themes

Subscribe to New Posts

© 2023 /
Powered by McCaffery Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.