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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Jun 12, 2020

Today, I am very excited to introduce you to Brian Ahearn, one of only 20 trainers certified by Robert Cialdini to teach on his behalf in his methods of influence. There are episodes of the podcast on reciprocity and social proof which are concepts featuring some famous studies by Cialdini, which have changed the way we communicate and persuade.

In our conversation today, Brian will tell you about his book Influence PEOPLE (for which PEOPLE Is an important acronym). We also discussed a serendipitous moment from about 30 minutes into our pre-call conversation...

Brian is a wealth of knowledge and a fantastic guy. There are links to connect with him in the show notes and to check out his book Influence PEOPLE, which is definitely worth the read. Listen up for the Post-It Note study - it will blow your mind!

Show Notes:

  • [02:04] In our conversation today, Brian will tell you about his book Influence PEOPLE (for which PEOPLE Is an important acronym).
  • [03:34] Brian’s main focus over the last two decades has been working with salespeople, but he also works with business leaders, business coaches, and attorneys. 
  • [03:47] Brian’s strength is the application of the psychology of persuasion.  
  • [04:18] There are only 20 people (including Brian) who are certified around the world to teach the Cialdini method. 
  • [07:34] Cialdini was so excited as they shared how they were taking his life’s work and using it to better their organization, selves, and relationships.
  • [09:20] The book Influence PEOPLE was created to help people apply this research. 
  • [10:16] The book offers very practical examples in short chapters to help readers put the research into action. 
  • [11:48] Brian shares a story from the book about a friend named Jim.
  • [12:48] In an email if you reply to the entire group you can often put enough pressure on the members to encourage them to complete a task quickly.  
  • [14:48] When using this example you can be general without specifically naming the person you are waiting on.  
  • [17:14] Brian really works with people to get them to a point where they feel like they can totally run on their own.  
  • [18:08] “There is nothing high or low, but comparing makes it so.”
  • [20:01] The PEOPLE acronym stands for Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade, that are Lasting and Ethical. 
  • [20:23] It is powerful because it is backed up by research and it is an everyday skill.  
  • [21:17] When Briain talks about persuasion he doesn’t mean only changing hearts and minds, he also means changing behavior.  
  • [22:15] If it is done right, sometimes it can lead to lasting change.  
  • [22:21] It all has to be done with an ethical framework. 
  • [22:51] Brian shares about the Post-It Note Nudge. 
  • [24:10] Using a sticky note will probably get a lot more people to do what you are asking them to do and has many other benefits. 
  • [26:56] Brian shares a story about a community that added a sticky note on an info flyer about a bond issue.  
  • [28:46] The moment when we need to use these tools most is when our brains are most likely to be overwhelmed. Our subconscious is likely to take over and we are going to revert to what has worked or we have done in the past.  
  • [29:25] Always stop and re-read an email before you send it.  Ask yourself, “Is there anywhere I could be more persuasive?” 
  • [31:01] Ending on a question is so important and it increases response rates. 
  • [32:06] Brian learned that if he asked one question at the end of the email, people would often come back with longer, more thorough responses and it increased his personal brand.  
  • [34:21] People do business with people they like and want to be associated with.
  • [36:45] Melina always ends really important emails with a question and she has seen it boost response rates.  
  • [39:39] Brian shares the story about the photocopy shop and how we are so conditioned by the word “because” as we grow up.
  • [40:41] If you need someone to do something, ask them, say “because” and give them a reason.  Also, don’t ask on the drop-dead date. 
  • [44:52] The Post-it note is able to cut through the subconscious filter and draws attention to something being different
  • [46:05] Next week, in episode 105 we are going to be talking about subscription models, different businesses that apply them, and how to be thinking about them in your business.  

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

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