One thing that we don’t appreciate is the psychology and science of the topic of ‘persuasion’.
But as I read and subsequently did a book review ‘Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion’, I realise that it’s something not many of us think about, yet it’s having an impact on our lives pretty much every single day.
Put together by the highly intellectual trio of Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini, this is a fantastic read because it contains 50 mini-chapters of insightful inputs which will open your eyes.
Some of you may be familiar with Cialdini, who has written the highly popular and national bestselling book ‘Influence’. Well, the book ‘Yes!’ kind of touches on this topic too, but in bite-size portions.
But as I have mentioned in the video below, it’s not about manipulating and taking advantage of people. The concept of “ethical persuasion” is so important that there is a chapter dedicated to this topic.
But in short, it’s a book that I highly recommend, and I would also suggest that you get the updated version which has ‘60 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion’ instead of 50 secrets.
And make sure you check out the video below to learn more about the book.
What’s up everyone, I am Ahmed Khalifa and today I’m going to be doing a book review about ‘Yes!’.
That’s right, ‘Yes!’.
And it is about 50 secrets from the science of persuasion. And it’s written by three people here: Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini.
Some of you may have heard of this guy before. Because he writes persuasion-related books, including this one called ‘Influence’, and this is a great book as well. I will be doing a book review about this one. But for now, we’re gonna talk about ‘Yes!’.
The book talks about how over a half a century, persuasion has been studied scientifically, but it’s never taken seriously by the academic journals. And it should be. It should be looked at as a science, not as an art, because it talks about human psychology, and everything related to that.
And it’s a boring subject for some people. But the book has made it very, very interesting and easy to read, because it is 50 secrets from the science of persuasion which have been broken into 50 easy-to-read chunks.
And you can kind of dip in and out or read from start to finish. And it makes it so easy. It is clever and makes you think about how you should approach a situation whether you’re in business or for something in your day-to-day life.
Whether you realise it or not, you may have been influenced to a small degree, and the book highlights several examples.
And one of them is about in a hotel. When you got to a hotel, you check in to your room, and in the bathroom you always see a sign these days talking about towels and how you should be encouraged to reuse them to save energy, to save costs, all those kinda things.
And it talks about how hotels have experimented with different messaging to encourage people to reuse towels. And one style works better than the other. Which means that the hotel saves money, but it also benefits the environment as well. And it makes you more mindful about what you’re doing.
Small, small things that you probably didn’t realise were having an effect on you.
So if you’re trying to sell, let’s just say, software to a local beauty salon, they are more interested in hearing experiences from other similar sized salons or those in a similar industry, rather than from a big corporate brand who have also used it.
It makes sense.
It’s a small thing, because they can relate to it. And that will make them think, “You know what, that could be useful for me,” and they may be benefiting from it because other similar companies are also benefiting from, for example, software as well.
One small example is how to be a show-off without being a show-off. And you know people don’t like you talking about yourself all the time, that I’m so great, I’m special, I’m good, blah, blah, blah.
But by allowing other people to, for example, do an intro for you and talk to you about who you are, and talk to the audience about who you are, they’re more likely sell it better than if you say I’ve done this, I’ve done that.
But if someone else has said that, it makes you look more credible, and you don’t look like an arrogant show-off. Again, it’s a small thing that could make a big, big difference in your case.
Some people might argue that this book would actually persuade or influence them, and that you’re kind of taking advantage of them. But it’s not about taking advantage. It’s about ethical influence, ethical persuasion. And there’s actually a dedicated chapter about ‘Ethical Influence’.
And it talks about how you should use it to help other people, not to benefit yourself. Because at the end of the day, you could lose out in the long-term if you don’t watch how you use your tactics and your influence on other people.
One really good example is the case study about ethical influence that they use. To make a long story short, back in 2000 in the UK, there was a shortage of petrol and people were panicking, motorists were queuing up at the petrol station just to get as much petrol as they could.
And there was a point when it was very hard to find a petrol station that still had petrol.
In one particular local community, one petrol station managed to get delivery. And people heard about it and they went to that place. But what they didn’t realise was that the petrol station had taken advantage of the panick and used the psychology of human behaviour.
Knowing that they would pay for it, they had increased their prices ten-fold. And at that time it was £6 (approximately $8) a litre, and that made people very angry. But, reluctantly, because things were desperate, they just accepted it and filled up their cars.
But after that shortage was over, what do you think happened to that business?
Because people were still angry, they told people not to go there for petrol. Even though the company had made almost more than two weeks profit in one day, after the petrol shortage ended, they lost business because of their reputation.
They exploited people’s behaviour and the panic just for themselves, without helping the local community.
Because of that, they closed down.
It kind of reminded me of what’s been happening just over the past few days here in UK. At the time of recording, March 2018, there has been heavy snow. And because of that, there’s a lot of panic about getting the shopping, getting food delivery, or anything.
And in particular, there was a shortage of milk, and people panicked. I saw on Facebook that a lot of shops have put up a sign saying they can only sell one bottle of milk per customer, because they can’t just take all of them by themselves.
That way, they try to spread out the load, and help as many people as possible, instead of just trying to profiteer from the whole thing. Like that petrol station.
So, as much as you can argue that this book is about persuading people to do things that they might not have thought about doing before, it’s also about being ethical as well.
Either way, I recommend this book. And just so you know, this book was published back in November 2007 I believe, and they have released one with 60 secrets from the science of persuasion. This one is 50. So they have one with 60 now, which was released 10 years later in April 2017.
Whichever one you get, whether it’s the 2007 version, or the 2017 version, they’re both relevant today and probably forever. Because it’s all about the human psychology thing.
Really good book, I recommend you check it out. And I put the link in the channel below so you can grab yourself a copy.
And let me know what you think about it as well. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video.
Let me know what you think. And of course, keep doing your thing, because it matters.
Latest posts by Ahmed Khalifa (see all)
- ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ Book Review [Video] – How You Could Look at the Obstacles in Your Life - 25th December 2019
- ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferris – Book Review [Video] - 26th November 2019
- ‘Atomic Habit’ – Book Review on How to Create Good Habits & Remove Bad Habits - 5th October 2019