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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade


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Slides from the "Advanced Consumer Marketing" course at Linköping University, Sweden.
Robert Cialdini wrote "Pre-Suasion" this 2016. I have already used his previous book "Influence" in a Marketing course on Consumer Behavior for Master's students (, and this is a series of slides on his new book.
This concept of Pre-Suasion is to create opportunities to persuade. By introducing a sympathetic a concept or idea, before recipients encounter the actual message, in that created Privileged Moment, they already associate positively what comes next.

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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

  1. 1. Pre-Suasion 
 A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade Robert Cialdini (2016)
  2. 2. “The process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it.” It's about timing! ~ privileged moments Pre-suasive practices create opportunities to persuade. But it's not a permanent association.
  3. 3. By guiding preliminary attention strategically, it's possible for a communicator to move recipients into agreement with a message before they experience it. They key is to focus them initially on concepts that are aligned associatively with the yet-to-be-encountered information.
  4. 4. Openers frames, anchors, primes, mindsets, impressions • Pre-suasive openers that renders individuals vulnerable to aligned requests. • Attention is focused on one aspect of the situation, and suppressed from competing aspects. "Do you consider yourself a helpful person?" ✓ When people respond Yes, they are in a privileged moment of influence to be consistent with that public statement and help out (i.e. fill-in survey). "Well, if you're unhappy, you'd want to make a change that, right?" ✓ One aspect has been elevated to attention, which makes us think differently Bolkan & Andersen 2009
  5. 5. Attention Importance of: 1. Managing the background 2. Inviting favorable evaluations 3. Shifting the task at hand Commanders: A. The Attractors: 
 Sex & Violence B. The Magnetizers: • Self-relevant • Unfinished • Mysterious Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.
  6. 6. Associations I Link, Therefore I Think • Language & Vocabulary - Metaphors - "Success" words - I, We, Me, - Easy
  7. 7. Associated concepts stay at the forefront of our sub- conscious while non-linked concepts are suppressed (temporarily). • How soon? • How far? • How manufacturable? If/When... Then... + 15~30% compliance ➡ On high alert for a particular time/circumstance 
 when a productive action can be preformed.
  8. 8. Influence Not only using the principles of influence in the message delivered, but also before the message. For instance, successful communicators not only use the principle of authority inside their message, but also by highlighting associated concepts in just the moment before it's delivered. an update…
  9. 9. Influence 1. Cultivate a positive association
 Reciprocity & Liking 2. Reduce uncertainty
 Social proof & Authority 3. Motivate action
 Consistency & Scarcity
  10. 10. Reciprocity People say yes to those they owe. So be first. To optimise return, 
 favours must be: 1. Meaningful 2. Unexpected 3. Customised
  11. 11. Liking Similarities: We like those who are like us. Compliments: We like those who compliment us. The number one rule for salesperson is to get the customers to like you, is to show them you genuinely like them.
  12. 12. Social Proof Validity: We follow the lead of those who are like us and their response (by their increased frequency) seems the correct one. Feasibility: If others are doing it, that means it's achievable. Their actions become more realistic and implementable.
  13. 13. Authority ‣ Not necessarily someone who is in authority, but someone who is an authority. 
 A “credible and recognised” 
 Trustworthiness: We want to trust that a communicator is presenting information in an honest and impartial fashion.
  14. 14. Scarcity We want more of what we can have less of. Our aversion to lose something is a key factor.
 Loss is the ultimate form of scarcity, rendering the valued item or opportunity unavailable. ‣ Purchase limits (ie "Only X per customer") doubled sales for 7 grocery products (Inman et al. 1997). Because rare items are associated with a higher economic value (Dai et al. 2008).
  15. 15. Consistency We want to be (or be seen) as consistent with our existing commitments, statements, actions, etc. Practitioners leverage existing commitments, or install new commitments ‣ i.e. referral programs affect attitude and loyalty towards the recommended service provider (Kuester and Benkenstein 2014).
  16. 16. Unity ❖ There is a certain type of identity that best characterises a We relationship. If pre-suasively raised to consciousness, it leads to more acceptance, cooperation, liking, help, trust, and assent. ➡ Being Together ➡ Acting Together
  17. 17. Unity: Being Together we is the shared me Shared personal relationships (e.g. ethnicity, nationality, family, political or religion affiliations) • Kinship (bro!, sisterhood, motherland, heritage, …) • Place (“home”, locality)
  18. 18. Warren Buffett's letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: “A number of good things happened at Berkshire last year, but let's first get the bad news out of the way.” (2012) “I will tell you what I would say to my family today if they asked me about Berkshire’s future.” (2015)
  19. 19. Unity: Acting Together All for one & One for all All human societies have developed ways to respond together, in unison or synchrony inside songs, marches, rituals, or dances. When people act in unitary ways, they become unitised. ๏ Enhanced liking ๏ Greater support
  20. 20. Anything too stupid to be spoken, is sung. Music possesses a rare synchronising power! • 87% TV ads contain music - Best for familiar, feelings-based products (snacks, body scents) in an emotional context Voltaire
  21. 21. 
 Bolkan & Andersen (2009). “Image Induction and Social Influence: Explication and Initial Tests”. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 31(4), 317-324. Cialdini (2016). Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary way to Influence and Persuade. Simon & Schuster. Dai, Wertenboch, & Brebel (2008). “The value heuristic in judgments of relative frequency”. Psychological Science, 19(1), 18-19. Inman, Peter, & Raghubir (1997). “Framing the Deal: The Role of Restrictions in Accentuating Deal Value”. Journal of Consumer Research, 24(1), 68-79. Kuester & Benkenstein (2014). “Turning dissatisfied customers into satisfied customers: How referral reward programs affect the referrer's attitude and loyalty toward the recommended service provider”. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(6), 897-904. Graphics:
  22. 22. Hugo Guyader — 722G86 Lecture 3 Hugo Guyader ๏ PhD student in Marketing since 2013. ๏ Multi-method approach to research: experiments, surveys, interviews, (n)etnography, etc. ๏ Research focus on collaborative consumption and P2P exchanges through online platforms. ๏ Teaching in Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Service Marketing, Advanced Consumer Marketing, Leadership & Strategy. @experienceetc