Professor Robert Cialdini identified six universal principles of influence: Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Consensus and Liking. This time, we're looking at #5: Consensus.
We follow the lead of people like us. We like to do what people like us are doing --- especially when faced with uncertainty. We look for social proof. The many influence the few.
We can say things like "Our most popular choice for individuals in you circumstances is"
Small changes can improve results. Here's an example from the world of informercials
- original: Operators are waiting. Please call now.
- improved: If operators are busy, please call again.
Peer pressure has a dark side too. Here are factors which make a teen more likely to smoke.
|Parent smokes||+ 26%|
|2 friends smoke||+ 1,000%|
|3+ friends smoke||+ 2,400%|
You may set a good example, but that has little effect. What can you do? Surround your children by the children you'd like them to emulate.
"The best communicators realize when they're not the best communicators and get the person who is: use testimonials. --- Robert CialdiniThe more similar the prospect to the satisfied customer, the better the outcome. We like to do like people like us like to do.