Pre-Suasion is the follow up book from Robert Cialdini expanding upon the ideas of Influence by looking at how the art of persuasion begins even before a word of appeal is made by way of a pitch.
Pre-Suasion builds upon the work of bestselling professional of influence Robert Cialdini.
Explaining how visual cues, geography, anchors, frameworks and openers can prime people to say ‘yes’ at a subconscious level Cialdini develops an effective toolkit for those seeking to draw support to a cause, sell a product or simply improve their ability to persuade and influence others.
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- Persuasion is about not just what to say but how, where and when to say it.
- A host of subtle factors create ‘Privileged moments’ where agreement is more forthcoming throughout the pitch process.
- People have a limited amount of attention making setting focus a hugely important factor in the persuasion process.
- The human mind tricks us to assume that “what is focal is causal” suggesting that someone can develop authority simply by being visible or ‘in focus’
- Specific appeals to sex, difference or safety only work when the context is set specifically to prime for this result.
- Consequently, social proof works for scary movies, appeals to uniqueness for romantic comedies and sexual appeals work exclusively for sex-contextual products.
- The human mind has a remarkable ability to seek completion making unfinished statements and mystery appeals a highly attractive sales technique.
- Language is always a signpost for someone else’s mental imagery and associations meaning that all sales work is conducted entirely within the prospect’s mental framework.
- Geographic cues can shift mental models with STEM exam scores higher for women asked to recall their ethnicity rather than gender for example.
- Pre-suasion works when pre-existing concepts are readied and activated in the mind of the prospect prior to the sales pitch.
- Influence is primarily composed of reciprocity, liking, authority, social proof, scarcity and consistency – as detailed in the book Influence.
- The concept of Unity is a further component of persuasive appeal with those prompted to be together and act together more likely to be persuaded of a specific goal (e.g. Japan viewing Jews as ‘Asians’ in WWII)
- Persuasive appeals can be used ethically or unethically in business but financial evidence continues to suggest that ill-gained profits are actually just losses in waiting with Volkswagen and Enron just two poster childs that represent this trend.