Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is the preeminent book on, well, the psychology of persuasion. It’s used as a textbook in marketing courses at universities all over the country. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “A textbook! Jeez!! I’m sure it’s full of good information, but it probably reads like the phone book or some kind of proposed legislation.”
If that’s what you’re thinking, then you’re right about the first part. The information is great and the points are well-supported by research. I discovered the book when I realized that a copywriter I worked with was constantly referring to it.
He liked the simple framework of Cialdini’s six “weapons of influence” and used it to plan his copy strategy. I love it, too, and I keep a reminder card on my work board so I consider all six when I’m writing sales copy or copy for a business web site.
But this book is also one of the best written business books you’ll ever read. The writing is crystal clear and the tone is conversational, not academic.
Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion is a must-have if you do any writing that involves persuasion.