3 Secrets to Influence in Sales

close more deals with influence, part 1

Happy National Creativity Day! Try out a new cold call or email opener today. Get creative with it.


In today’s Follow Up:

  • 3 levers of influence 🧠

  • Sales in the news 🗞️

  • Sales weapons of the week 🔫

  • Cool jobs at cool companies 💰

Sales Fact of The Day

When leaving a voicemail for a prospect, the optimal length is between 8 and 14 seconds.

The 6 3 Levers of Influence

Robert Cialdini is the guru of influence.

He’s a psychologist and expert in influence and persuasion.

He’s spent years undercover studying persuasion in real-life situations and even advised presidential campaigns.

His first lever of influence?


Cialdini says it’s the best way to change someone’s belief and close a deal. As a rule of thumb, if the US military uses it, you should use it.

*just kidding*

Waterboarding is not the first lever of influence. And just to clear the air, The Follow-Up does not support nor condone waterboarding.

Let’s get into the first lever…

1. Reciprocation

The reciprocity principle is a basic law in social psychology that says we pay back what we received from others.

Humans are hardwired to want to return favors, pay back debts and treat others as they have been treated. We prefer to say yes, especially when that person has already done something nice for us~. According to Cialdini, every human society practices reciprocity.

Example from Cauldini: A waiter increased their tips by 3% after diners were given a free mint. They were increased by 14% when given two mints. If the waiter left one mint with the bill and returned quickly to offer a second mint, the tips increased by 23%.

We are hardwired to return favors.

Example in Sales: Send your prospect a gift for the holidays or take them out to a nice dinner on the company card. By doing something for the other person, it increases the likelihood they will do something kind in return, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge their motivations.

2. Authority

According to Cialdini, the authority principle is the idea that “people will follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.” The psychologist, Mark van Vugt, Ph.D., states that authority principles start while we’re still in diapers and are used as a survival technique.

Cialdini’s advice? Brag.

"The lesson of authority for the influence process is that any communicator who wishes to move people in his or her direction would be well-advised, before actually trying to influence those people, to first reveal or uncover the credentials that he or she has.”

Cialdini observed a physical therapy office that was struggling to get patients to comply with their at-home exercise instructions.

Cialdini instructed the therapy office to post all of their degrees, awards, and certifications on the walls of the physical therapy rooms.

The patients began complying with the exercise routines at much higher rates and decreasing recovery times.

Example in Sales: Tell the prospect about the success stories you and your company have with other clients. Don’t be afraid to speak on your experiences and why you’re uniquely qualified to help. If all else fails, dust off that 2011 intramural volleyball trophy sitting in your closet and make it the centerpiece of your Zoom calls. “Oh, this old thing….

3. Commitment through consistency and congruence

“Once people make a decision, take a stand or perform an action, they will face an interpersonal pressure to behave in a consistent manner with what they have said or done previously”.

It may seem sneaky, but you can use this to influence your prospects.

Example in Life: During the Korean War, China used commitment to persuade US Prisoners of War. First, they would get the POWs to write something like, “The United States is not perfect”.

Little by little the POWs began to become more consistent with their own small admissions. They started to change their self-image and see themselves as “collaborators” with the Chinese Government. The POWs betrayed themselves with small incremental steps and their own need to be consistent with themselves.

Example in Sales: Get your prospect to verbally commit to a contract or start a small trial. We call this the “foot in the door,” method. Once your prospect commits to one thing they will begin to act more congruent as a partner rather than someone you’re selling to.

Sales Tip of The Day

Cold emails need to focus on the reader, not yourself.

Remove as many “I’s”, “We’s” and “Me’s” as possible.

Sales in the News

Sales Weapons of The Day

  • Omni.us: Create and implement an Omni Channel outreach system that generates more sales from hard-to-reach prospects.

  • Less Annoying CRM: The easiest-to-use CRM in the industry. Built to be brighter, cleaner, with less visual clutter than traditional CRMs.

Cool Jobs at Cool Companies:

Checking in on our LinkedIn Influencers: Drool-worthy subject lines

Meme of the Day

And that’s a wrap!

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