Use Influence to Sell More

3 levers of influence pt. 2

Happy June 1st! For some of you, today is a new quarter. If you missed your quota last quarter, this is your fresh start. And if you crushed your quota, today means you’re also back at zero. Welcome to sales. 🤷‍♂️


In today’s Follow Up:

  • 3 principles of persuasion pt.2 🧠 

  • Sales in the news 🗞️

  • Sales tools 🛠️

  • Sales jobs for closers 💰

Sales Fact of The Day

In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions.

The last 3 Levers of Influence

On Tuesday we listed Robert Cialdini’s first 3 principles of persuasion. Today we’re going to break down the final 3. Let’s get into it.

4. Liking

Shocker: We like buying things from people we like.

But, being likable is easier said than done. So, is it possible to become more likable?

Cialdini says there are 5 elements to being likeable we can all learn from:

  1. Physical attractiveness - We trust good-looking people. It’s an evolutionary survival trait. Maybe there is a reason offices have dress codes.

  2. Similarities - We like people with similar interests, backgrounds, personalities, etc.

  3. Compliments - We love to receive praise and like the people who give it to us.

  4. Contact and cooperation - We like the people we work with. That’s why it’s easy to build bonds with teammates.

  5. Conditioning and association - We associate good thoughts and feelings with things that make us feel good. Example - Santa Clause in commercials.

Example in the real world: The company, PetRelocation, added an “About Us” page to their website and saw a boost in likability and conversation rates. Website visitors connected with the PetreLocation team, and opened up their wallets.

Growing up, Carls Jr. released commercials of Kate Upton eating their burgers. Carls was trying to associate the good feelings of watching Kate Upton, with their burger. (Probably wasn’t a hit strategy with women)

Example in Sales: There’s a reason people skills are important in sales. Likable salespeople are personable and easier to relate to. Prospects want to work with people they like, so use Cialdini’s 5 elements to appear more likable.

Takeaway: Wear nice clothes and smile to appear more attractive. Find similarities with your prospects (same school, hometown, hobbies, etc.). Use compliments, but don’t come off as desperate. Stay in contact with your prospects and treat them like a friend.

5. Scarcity

“Opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited.”

How many times have you been uninterested in something until you realize a friend or colleague has it?

Ex: The person you ghosted, posts a picture of their partner. Now you regret not responding to their text, because A.) they look higher status and B.) you want what you can’t have.

Example from Cialdini: A study gave half of the participants a jar with 10 cookies and the other half a jar with 2 cookies. The participants were asked to rate the value of their cookies and the participants with fewer cookies rated the cookies higher.


Fewer cookies = more valuable.

Scarcity also explains why we put more value on avoiding pain vs gaining something. We call this, the framing effect.

We see this in meat packaging. Studies show that 75% lean meat is preferred over 25% fat meat. It’s the same product, but the higher number feels superior.

Example in Sales: Booking websites use scarcity to increase sales by using offers like “offer limited” or “only 10 seats still available”.

You can use scarcity by setting deadlines with your prospects and “limited-time” offers to speed up a prospect’s decision timeline.

6. Social Proof

Just as parents say they love all children equal, but still have a favorite, this one’s mine.

That principle is social proof.

The term was first coined by Cialdini, in his 1986 book, Influence: Science and Practice.

“The principle of social proof says so: The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct…We will use the actions of others to decide on proper behavior for ourselves, especially when we view those others as similar to ourselves…”

Social proof is the reason companies add logos to their websites, promote 3rd party opinions, posts media articles on their social media, and seek celebrity endorsements.

Example of social proof: Visitors at the Arizona Petrified Forest were stealing petrified wood from the forest and it became a serious issue. Staff put up a sign stating: “Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, destroying the natural state of the Petrified Forest.”

What happened?

The stealing of petrified wood tripled. Stealing became normalized because other people were doing it. The model behavior = “stealing wood is okay.”

Example in Sales: One of the easiest ways to use social proof is to showcase your current customers, specifically competitors, who utilize your product. Even better if you can get a current customer to speak about the efficacy of your product.

Even though you can use social proof in sales, you see it in almost every marketing strategy:

  • Using influencers and famous people. We see a product/service as more desirable if it is associated with someone we like. We call it the ‘halo and horns effect’

  • Implying popularity. Nightclubs and bars often make people wait outside, even when the venues are not full.

  • Reviews & ratings. 70% of people look at these before making a purchase to see what others think about a product or service.

Sales Tip of The Day

Instead of asking “What’s your budget?”

Be more subtle.

“Have you thought about how much you would invest to solve this problem?”

Sales in the News

Sales Weapons of The Day

  • Kendo Mail Finder: Easily find emails and phone numbers for prospects in one click with this Chrome Extension.

  • Storylane: Build personalized demos that will wow your prospects and close deals faster.

Cool Jobs at Cool Companies:

A word from our LinkedIn Influencers:

“If you want to be great in sales, stop trying to be great…” 🤔

Meme of the Day

And that’s a wrap!

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