Home Wine Business Editorial E Column How Persuasive Are You?

How Persuasive Are You?


E Column

I have been reading Robert Cialdini’s six influence tactics again. The 6 principles remind me of how important the science of persuasion is.

Cialdini is best known for his book The Psychology of Persuasion, published in 1984. He is a Professor Emeritus in Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and was a visiting professor of marketing, business and psychology at Stanford. He knows his stuff.

The six principles that Cialdini outlined can be of great help in all parts of our life. In this blog we are focused on helping our customers make decision to purchase. We do this by using tactics that tap into common behaviors that work on us, not only consciously but subconsciously as well.

We think we know what’s going on in our brain, but mostly we are clueless. Our brain has a life of it’s own. Plus we don’t have the bandwidth to take in everything that is going on around us consciously, so a lot of it goes directly to our subconscious and many of our actions are performed without much conscious thought. Have you ever been walking along and suddenly realized you have no idea how you got there? Well, your subconscious has been busy keeping you on the right path.

The six principles that Cialdini coalesced are:

Reciprocity • Consistency • Social Proof • Authority • Liking • Scarcity.

In today’s blog I am going to discuss the first two, finishing up next week with the last three.


If someone does something nice for you, you are going to want to do something for them in return. When we offer something extra to someone, something they weren’t expecting but something they will appreciate for any number of reasons, they usually feel obliged to do something for you. For example in a winery tasting room you give your visitors a taste of something they don’t expect or treat them to a walk around the cellar or a small piece of chocolate with a wine.

You have done something extra for them and they will do something for you, i.e. buy Something.

Consistency or commitment

Most of us in the sales world know that if you can get people to say yes, you can keep them in a consistent frame of mind. In winery tasting rooms you can try the wines before you buy them and therefore up the odds of making a sale.

A tip of the glass from me to you

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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