I’m writing this post based on a book that I recently came across “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini. The book talks about 6 psychological triggers or what it calls as 6 Weapons Of Influence that are the driving forces for people to take the decision of performing an action.

Now being an internet marketer you should know how to use these weapons to influence your prospect customers to buy your stuff. And I can tell you that unless you know these you’ll have a hard time selling and making money online, or even offline. If you can learn to apply them to your online business there no limit how far you can go.

But before I start talking about these weapons I have a duty to warn you.  Some of you may be uncomfortable with what you read.  Some of you may think it’s manipulative or may even think it’s just plain evil. But I don’t think the the same.

Sure if you wanted to, then you could easily do evil things. But if this is the case with you don’t read further.  This is only for people who want to sell or promote products that are good and that help people. When you possess these skills, you have the ability to get others to buy the products that you offer.

If the product you’re promoting/selling is truly good, then you have a moral duty to not only sell as much of it as humanly possible, but to make a ton of money in the process. As in this way you’ll be helping the most people achieve their goals.

Weapon #1 – Reciprocation

The “Law of Reciprocation” states that: When someone does something for you, you feel obligated to return a favor.

There was an experiment carried out a couple of years ago to test this law of reciprocation. Two strangers were made to sit in a room. One of them, who was a part of the experiment, goes out for some time and brings with him two bottles of Coca-Cola. He then offers one bottle to the stranger(does him a favor). After some time he asks the stranger if he would mind buying some tickets to a charity event that’s going to take place next week.

The same experiment was carried out without offering Coca-Cola.

When the experiment was completed, it was found that the strangers that were offered a Coca-Cola were 60% more likely to buy the tickets to the event than those who were not offered the bottle. Even when the price of the ticket was 3-4 times more than the cost of the bottle. This is how reciprocation works.

This law is highly used by internet marketers in their online businesses. You may have seen bloggers providing valuable eBooks, podcasts or videos for free in return of your email address. This way they ensure they provide value to their subscribers. Hence the subscribers are more inclined to buy a product from them instead of any other marketer.

I personally use this law of reciprocation. I provide a lot of value to my email subscribers with the content I send them. The information that I send is of so much value that they are more inclined to buy products that I promote than any other internet marketers out there. This is why I make sure I offer only high value products/services to them so that they feel even more obliged to return a favor.

This does not mean that I’m tricking them. I’m just providing them what they really want and helping them make more money. And because of this I get a lot of emails from my subscribers telling me how thankful they are with all the information and insights I provide to them.

Weapon #2 – Commitment and Consistency

The “Law of Commitment and Consistency” states that: If a person makes a commitment, to an idea or a goal, they are more likely to be consistent with what they committed to comply with the decisions and actions they made earlier.

I’m not a huge fan of this law but some internet marketers use this as their prime tool to make millions online.

You may have seen products online that are offered for $1 for the first month and then $97 in the recurring months. What they try to do is make you commit to the service they are offering at a very low fee. So after the first month most people remain in the program at full price so as to remain consistent with the decision they made.

Other marketers use this law in this way: They’ll first offer you a simple product of very low price say $27. Once you buy it you unconsciously commit to buying more products from this marketer in future. After some days this marketer offers another product of $497 and most often people buy that product as their brain wants the consistency in their behavior. Soon after that they’ll poke you with a $2000-$5000 seminar or something like that and most likely you’ll pay for this also.

You see the magic here!

Weapon #3 – Social Proof

The “Law of Social Proof” states that : People tend to do things that they see others doing.

Let’s imagine a situation. If you are walking down the road and see 10 people staring at the sky – you’d too naturally look at the sky. Or you have two hot dogg vans in front of you. The first van is surrounded by 8 people and the second by only 1 . Where would you prefer to go? Obviously the 1st one. Why? Because it has shown social proof. It’s clear that if everyone is going to that van it must be the best of the two.

Social proof in internet marketing is very crucial. People will buy your products from you if you can show them that you’ve already sold it to a lot of people. People will be more inclined to join your list if they see that there are already a lot of people in your list (for eg. showing a subscriber counter). People will be more inclined to follow on twitter if you already have thousands of followers.

The common human psychology is “if everyone else is listening to this person, he must be good“.

So starting building your own followers and show your new leads that a lot of people have already benefited from suggestions and so will they.

Weapon #4 – Authority

The “Law of Authority” states that: People will tend to comply with authority figures.

If a local music composer asks you to buy his set of audio CDs and on the other hand Akon asks you to buy his new audio album. Whom do you think you’ll comply to: The local Music Composer or Akon?

Being an expert in any field is a very powerful thing when it comes to marketing products online. If people can recognize you as an authority figure in your niche, they’ll naturally comply with you and listen to what you have to say.

You may not be an authority figure when you’re just starting out. But the fastest way of being an authority figure is by starting to call yourself an expert in your niche right away. Don’t wait for someone to come and brand you as the expert. The most common mistake people do is they are scared of calling themselves as experts, or putting themselves out when there is no need to do so. As after you can present yourself as an expert, anytime you succeed you will begin to gain respect and attention as an authority.

Now this does not mean to make things up and fake anything. If you have basic knowledge of your niche and are willing to learn further then you should not be worrying about calling yourself an expert. Once other people start recognizing you as an authority figure you’ll naturally start to develop yourself and try to learn more and more to reach up to the level that match your reputation.

Weapon #5 – Likeability

The “Law of Likeability” states that: People are easily persuaded by the people they like.

Being a likeable person can get to a long way in your internet marketing business. Did you ever go for buying a car and you had two cars to choose from two different dealers. And you ended up buying from the dealer where their sales person was more likeable.

A lot of people have built their large empires online just by being more likeable. For example, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income now earns $50,000 per month from his blog and his other businesses. He has 50,000+ RSS subscribers and 25,00 people on his list and everyone likes him. Now you can imagine if you are liked by so many people where your business will reach.

More likeability = More sales

The fastest way to be liked by people is by videos. Video marketing is a lot more personal than any other media of marketing. Just show yourself as a pleasing and happy go lucky type of person and people will start following you and listen to what you have to offer. And don’t forget to keep that beautiful smile on your face.

Weapon #6 – Scarcity

The “Law of Scarcity” says that: People will always pay higher for something that is in limited quantity or for a limited time period.

Scarcity is a marketer’s best friend. If you have an offer that you’re promoting, people are more likely to buy that product if you say you’ll be taking it down after 48 hours. Now make sure you really put it down after 48 hours otherwise people will know it and will unsubscribe from your list or stop following you. You don’t have to cheat anybody, just make sure you do what you promise.

This method is highly used by marketers like Johnathan Budd when they launch a high priced product. They generally open the offer for a week or less and do extensive promotion before hand. This forces the people who are interested to act faster and buy the product. JB has made millions using scarcity in under a week duration.

You see how powerful this is.

Scarcity works the best if you have a lot of people already subscribed to your emails. You can literally make thousands of dollars within a short duration of time.

But the most important thing to keep in mind when using scarcity is to use it in the right way. Forcing your subscribers can also turn out to be a downfall. So when using scarcity don’t force your subscribers or followers to buy the product. Instead aware them of the loss they may have if they don’t act fast.

For beginner internet marketers…

Before you can go out there and buy any of the informational products on internet marketing I would strongly recommend you go buy this book – “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini. It will cost you around $15. But the value you get out of it is far more and will be helpful in every internet marketing campaign that you start in the future.

Now before you leave please share your mind of what you think of these weapons. And/or click here to tweet about this to your friends.