Revisiting Cialdini’s Six Principles of Persuasion: Authority

We defer to experts. Whether you’re a scientist, a medical doctor, a Ph.D., or a professor, if you have a level of expertise — and your target is aware of that expertise — you automatically become more persuasive.

This ties in well with Robert Cialdini’s fifth primary principle of persuasion: authority. (In other recent posts, I’ve covered Cialdini’s first four principles: reciprocity, scarcity, consistency and liking.)

If you have a title, credential or significant certification, make it known in subtle yet powerful ways. Put that distinguishing credential in your email signature or post your diploma in your office.

I know a professional who once attended a prestigious executive education program, but rather than tell everyone he attended, he simply showed up at meetings with a coffee cup from that university! Subtle … yet effective.

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