Applying the “6 Principles of Persuasion” to Your Sales Process

Dr. Robert Cialdini, president of INFLUENCE AT WORK, identified there are six major factors, or principles, that when employed ethically, increase our ability to build and maintain stronger relationships.

#1 Reciprocity

People want to return favors. Be the first to give, make it sincere & unexpected 

A gift could be something small such as a bottle of water or coffee. Ask questions & listen. Find out what someone’s interests & hobbies are. Find a gift that aligns with those interests. 

#2 Scarcity

People want what they can’t have or there’s limited supply.  For example you research a specific TV you want to buy. You find out there is only 1 left and today is the final day of the sale. The price goes up tomorrow and it may be gone by this afternoon. Are you now more or less motivated to run down to BestBuy to buy that TV? 

What creates a greater sense of scarcity & urgency when someone calls for an appointment/service? 

  1. “Come down anytime we are WIDE OPEN”. 

  2. “Our schedule is pretty filled up today however I’ve got ONE slot left I will squeeze you in. When can you be here?” 

#3 Authority

People trust credible, knowledgeable experts. 

When going to make a presentation start by “pre-framing” the conversation by establishing the authority. On an in-bound call for a price on brakes: 

Customer: Can I get a price on brakes? 

You: “You called the right place! We are the nations leader in brakes. We offer a comprehensive 45-point brake evaluation in order to diagnose the issue and make recommendations to keep you safe. Can you bring the car down this morning or later this afternoon? 

#4 Consistency

People like to be consistent with things they have done or said in the past. 

Start off with a positive statement about previous buying history. The goal is to seed the future behavior

“It looks like you take really good care of your car” 

“I see you purchased a XZY mattress last time, how are you enjoying it? They have a new model that includes a ton of upgrades I’d love to tell you about” 

#5 Liking

people buy from people they like. How do you get people to like you? There’s many techniques, start by reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. 

The easiest thing to do is smile. If you are friendly and approaching people will naturally like you compared to looking like a grouch. 

One method is called mirroring. If someone is talkative about the weather, sports, the news, etc. you should also be talkative & very friendly. If someone is very direct they want you to respond in a direct matter. Don’t talk about the weather or politics — get right to the point. If someone is very detail-oriented, asking lots of questions then you should give them lots of detailed information. Tell them about the warranties, the features & benefits. Don’t try to speed through the conversation, take your time. 

Ask questions & listen carefully to answers. People like to talk about themselves, their interests & hobbies. Show sincere appreciation in learning about them. 

#6 Consensus

When people are uncertain they look towards others to help make decisions. 

Use the waiter method to tell someone what others have chosen “most people really enjoy our spinach dip”. 

Most of our Honda Accord owners go with the XYZ tire because it provides excellent traction, longevity & wet-weather handling.


How can you modify your scripts to add an element of authority or create an element of scarcity? When interacting with someone start asking more questions and be genuinely interested in what they’ve got to say. It will go along way. Good luck!\

YouTube video fully explaining the principles