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

Aug 5, 2022

A little over a year ago, in episode 157 of The Brainy Business, I was honored to have Dr. Robert Cialdini join me on the show to talk about the new and expanded version of his book Influence, which has sold many, many millions of copies around the world, and it is so impactful even nearly 40 years after its original publishing date. The new version added 220 (pure gold!) pages and a whole new seventh principle of persuasion – unity – which is of course the focus of today’s episode. 

The six original principles of persuasion include reciprocity, liking, authority, scarcity, social proof, and commitment/consistency. Most of those already have their own episodes of the podcast, which are linked for you in the show notes along with my interview with Bob when he was on the show. So, why unity? As I said, while I’ve dedicated episodes to several of the initial six principles, including scarcity, social proof, reciprocity, and precommitment…I haven’t done them all yet…so why jump to the end with Unity before “completing the set” so to speak? Listen in to find out why and learn more about the amazing principle of unity. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:07] Today’s behavioral economics foundations episode is all about Cialdini's new 7th principle of persuasion: unity.
  • [00:48] In episode 157 of The Brainy Business, I was honored to have Dr. Robert Cialdini join me on the show to talk about the new and expanded version of his book Influence, which has sold multi multi multi million copies and it is so impactful even nearly 40 years after its original publishing date.
  • [03:36] Unity is an underlying principle that runs through all the others. If you have unity, everything else can come easier, so understanding this technique can be impactful in most any approach. (A great reason to jump here first! It also has less info on it when you search since it is new, so I wanted to contribute there, and it has a big feature in my new book, What Your Employees Need and Can’t Tell You). 
  • [04:54] Melina shares an overview of the first six principles. Reciprocity: when given a gift, even something incredibly small, people feel compelled to give back to the gifter.
  • [05:51] People are more likely to do business with people they like. We are also influenced by people in authority even when they don’t have any expertise in the area we may be asking about.
  • [06:28] Because we are a herding species, we are very influenced by social proof. We also are very influenced by items that are scarce. We find them more valuable, our FOMO and loss aversion are triggered. 
  • [07:04] People like to be consistent and do what they have said they will do.  They also like to do business with people who do what they say they will do. Showing that you have done this is powerful.
  • [08:02] If people aren’t buying what you have to sell, whether it is an idea or a physical product or service or anything else, it doesn’t necessarily mean the idea is wrong or bad. You can often change the way you are presenting the information and enjoy a different result.
  • [08:35] Unity goes beyond liking or social proof and is in the space of how we are the same. It’s not just that I like you, but we are (as they say) cut from the same cloth. When you are part of my tribe, when we are a WE, I become more compelled toward whatever it is you are asking for or offering up.
  • [09:36] We all have a lot of identities that we flow between throughout the day; they don’t have to be weighty to create that connection. 
  • [10:54] It is pretty easy for people to come up with 20 self-defining things pretty quickly off the top of their head. 
  • [12:32] The way we identify with a group can shape the way we see the world around us and the decisions we make.
  • [14:31] A key to unity is finding what is central, core, or defining to both people.
  • [16:25] When you find something that you like about someone else, it creates a connection that makes them, in turn, like you more.
  • [18:03] Ask good questions and know there will be some commonality that will help you to find them more interesting and engaging, and give you something to talk about, and that it is possible they will think of you more fondly as well.
  • [18:22] Know that when you need to ask people for things, your own affinity groups or people who you would say are part of your “I am” group are a great place to start because they are the most likely to say yes to you.
  • [21:11] Bringing one particular aspect of your shared identity to the front of their mind at the right time – making that particular identity you share salient at the right moment – is key for using unity in your life and work communication.
  • [22:17] People are busy and their brains are even busier. Reminding someone of that important detail at the right moment can have a massive impact.
  • [23:32] We form an idea of who we are, what we are about, and the brain is really good at explaining why every action supports the way we see ourselves.
  • [26:30] The main point I want to make is that our busy brains have a lot going on and when you are asking or offering something to someone, the way you present that information matters because the brain will assume that whatever you bring up is being brought up for some reason and it has a lot of weight on the decision the person makes in that moment.
  • [28:46] Unity is an amazing concept that can help you relate better to those around you and have a higher likelihood that things will just flow better and be easier for you.
  • [29:05] Take Melina’s Unity Challenge. Do the 20 statement challenge Dominic talked about in the snip from his episode on The Power of Us. Next, pick three people whom you can practice on finding a new opportunity for unity with. Use your freebie worksheet in these notes to help!
  • [31:23] The second challenge you could take on would be to look at the short term, and if there is someone you need to ask for a favor from or to pitch something to.
  • [32:31] Try out one or both of these challenges and share it with Melina on social media.

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I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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