It is a question that keeps chief executives, marketing directors, shop owners and market traders awake at night: how do you persuade people to buy your business’s products and services?
The thousands of answers to that question include holding a sale, giving away free samples and creating a memorable television advert.
Yet one business thinker, Dr Robert Cialdini, author of the bestselling 1984 book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, says that these thousands of methods can be distilled down into just six principles: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consensus, commitment and liking.
Because these principles can be recreated, they can be used like a recipe. Although influence and persuasion have been around for over 4,000 years since Ancient Greece and Cialdini’s book is nearly 30 years old, its ideas are still valid today and are used by businesses and organisations around the world