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Marketing Your Biz: 6 Principles  And One Basic Truth

February 23, 2021

humorous illustration for Partner Channel magazine about salesmanship and making sales and marketing skills and six essential traits needed for getting inside customer's head, showing salesman with briefcase opening trapdoor on man's head and about to descend ladder down into man's cranium to access his brain

blank vertical space, 24 pixels highMost marketers know the name Robert Cialdini.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

He wrote a bestseller titled Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion. In it, he discusses 6 principles that drive sales.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The psychology reflects a basic truth about human nature. More on that in a minute.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Let’s look at the six principles. Sadly, they all have buzzword names.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Here’s a plain English summary:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

1. Reciprocationblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Give to get. I give you something, you feel obliged to give me something.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Cialdini cites a study done in restaurants: if the waiter gives you a mint with your bill, tips go up by 3%.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

If he gives you two mints, tips go up by 14%.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

And if he gives you a mint, starts to walk away, then comes back and gives you a second mint “because you’ve been so nice,” tips rocket up by 23%.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Lesson: Be the first to give and make sure what you give is personalized and unexpected.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Under-promise, over-deliver. It will always set you apart from the competition.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

2. Commitmentblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

If we commit to something, say yes to even a small thing, it’s hard to renege. We want to be consistent, true to our word.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

A health center reduced missed appointments by 18% by asking patients (not the staff) to fill out their own next appointment cards.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Lesson: Think long-term. Small sales can lead to bigger sales. It takes time to establish trust.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

3. Social Proofblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Nobody wants to go first. We look to others to determine our behavior. It makes us feel safe.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Cialdini mentions sitcom laugh tracks. Everyone hates them, but they make us more inclined to laugh. I’ve seen the same thing in theaters: if enough people start laughing, others will join in.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Lesson: Show prospects how you’ve helped past clients succeed. Write up case studies. Ask for testimonials and feature them prominently on your site.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

People distrust statistics, but they love stories. If others are happy with your work, prospects will be more inclined to
take a chance on you.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

4. Likingblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

People buy from people they know and like. It pays to be likable. So where do we go wrong?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

We go wrong when we pressure people. Try to butter them up. The old glad-hand routine, done for the sake of a sale.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

People see through it. Plus it’s ill-advised because it fails to build the trust needed for repeat business.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Cialdini tells of a psychology experiment involving business school students. Groups had to negotiate with one another.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Some groups were told: “Time is money. Get down to business.” They were able to negotiate an agreement about 55% of the time.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Other groups were told to exchange some personal information before negotiating. They reached an agreement 90% of the time.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Lesson: It pays to establish rapport. You have to take a genuine interest in your clients.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

5. Authorityblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

We listen to people who project authority. We’re more inclined to trust them.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Look through an old magazine from the 40’s or 50’s and you’ll see ads with “doctors” pitching cigarettes. At least they look like doctors with their lab coats and stethoscopes.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Many of us are authorities. We have the knowledge and experience. We need to demonstrate that authority.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

People used to do it by posting diplomas on their wall. Now we write blogs and post client testimonials on our site.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Why are testimonials so effective? Because it’s someone else testifying to your expertise– not you.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Cialdini mentions a very simple (and ethical) technique used by a real estate company to establish authority.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

When someone called about selling their home, the receptionist would say, “I’ll connect you with Ms. Smith who has over 20 years experience selling homes.”blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Lesson: Just stating a simple fact can establish authority. It’s always better if someone else does it for you.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

6. Scarcityblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

The ol’ limited time offer: people will buy it today if they’re afraid it might not be available tomorrow.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

A limited time offer jibes nicely with Principle #2 above: it induces prospects to take that necessary first step. Having done so (and hopefully been happy with the result), they’re more apt to become repeat customers.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Scarcity is also about missing out in a larger sense.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It’s not enough to stress the benefits of your product or service. You need to communicate to prospects what they
will lose if they fail to hire you.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

One Basic Truthblank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Those are the 6 Principles– what’s the One Basic Truth?blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The truth at the heart of the six principles is this: decision making is hard. It requires effort.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Most of us prefer to avoid that effort. So we use shortcuts to decide what to do and how to behave.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

One of my favorite quotes comes from psychologist Daniel Kahneman:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Thinking is to humans as swimming is to cats; they can do
it but they’d prefer not to.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

In his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman writes that our minds have two systems of thought.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The first is instinctive, emotional– we can’t really control it. The second requires logic and analysis, and takes sustained effort. It’s painful.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Behavioral scientist Richard Shotton puts it this way:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Even when we think we’re making reasoned conscious decisions, often the conscious mind is merely post-rationalizing decisions that have already been made.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

We make emotional brand choices. To justify those choices, we tell ourselves we like the brand.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Cialdini’s six principles are about the shortcuts we take to make decisions.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

No matter what you’re selling, people buy based on emotion. They justify their decisions with logic after the fact.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Emotion trumps logic.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

So be likable, be generous, be different.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

And get others to toot your horn.
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*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       * blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, editorial, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Daniel Reed, Creative Director, Square 2 Marketing

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. spookster01 permalink
    February 24, 2021 12:07 AM

    Hi Mark… we should be hip deep in commissions the way we “toot” each others horns! Good article and to the point. It all makes sense in today’s business. Thanks.
    John

    Like

    • February 24, 2021 10:25 AM

      Ha! Hey, you’re right– we should start a band! I guess Tijuana Brass is already taken– maybe we could call ourselves the Tijuana Gas!! 😂

      Glad you enjoyed it, John, and let’s keep tootin’ them horns until it’s SRO and they hafta call the fire marshall!! 🎺 🎺 🔥 🚒 🚒 🚒 💨

      Like

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