Pre-suasion: Principles of Social Influence in the Workplace

By: Gary Tubridy Chief Sales Executive Events, Sales Leadership

kingmanink_alexandergroup_cialdini-250x169At the 2016 Chief Sales Executive Forum, Dr. Robert Cialdini, president of Influence at Work and author of “Pre-suasion,” shared his principles of social influence. In particular, Dr. Cialdini stressed the importance of increasing collaboration, understanding the customer and putting pre-suasion to work to increase motivation and drive in the workplace.

Key principles include the following:

  • Reciprocation–Share what you want customers to receive first, but match customer concerns with value and insight.
  • Scarcity–People will always want something more if there is less of it. Create a message that shares what customers will miss out on if they don’t act now.
  • Liking–Give genuine compliments to customers through messaging and interactions. People like others more when others like them first.
  • Consistency–People tend to live up to the written word. Be consistent with your messaging and your public commitment to your customers.
  • Authority–Customers want to hear from experts in the industry. Share company knowledge and expertise by being specific and sharing past work.
  • Consensus–People want to be around others who are like them. Understand the customer and reduce uncertainty in messaging.

The illustration below from graphic recorder Kelly Kingman illustrates Dr. Cialdini’s presentation in a most innovative way. Enjoy!

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Gary Tubridy

Gary Tubridy is a senior vice president of the Alexander Group and the general manager in charge of the firm’s management consulting business. Gary’s consulting work is focused on increasing marketing and sales effectiveness with particular emphasis in technology and medical products industries. Gary has deep expertise in diagnosing sales management issues and helping clients execute action plans to improve results. His research is focused on best practices of leading sales organizations in North America with particular emphasis on sales force transformation and the role of sales leadership. He leads the Alexander Group executive events series and hosts the Operations and Executive Forums. He is one of three founding stockholders of the Alexander Group.


Gary has been with the Alexander Group for over 35 years. Prior to that, Gary was in sales with the IBM Corporation. Gary holds a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.


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