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How to Apply Robert Cialdini’s Teachings to Sales Calls

Last Updated on February 16, 2021

robert cialdini sales principles for cold callsWhen you get into sales, there are some must-read books you need to get your hands on.

One of those books is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

In it, you learn the universal principles of persuasion, and how to use them to become a skilled persuader.

If you aren’t using them on your sales calls right now, you could be missing out on some golden opportunities.

So today, we’ll look at some Robert Cialdini sales principles, and show you how to best apply them to cold calling.

1. Commitment and Consistency

“We will do A LOT to appear consistent in our words and actions – even if that means acting irrationally.”

My friend owns a windows and roofing company and they do much of their marketing door-to-door. For example, when their marketing reps walk by a damaged roof, they’ll knock on the door and give their pitch, offering a free estimate that is guaranteed for a year.

Often times, the homeowner will say, “I know it’s damaged, but I’m not looking to do the roof right now.”

That’s when the reps hit them with this question. “So, it’s more of a future project for you then, right?”

When the homeowner says “yes”, the salespeople reply, “A lot of people are in the same boat. That’s why our quotes are guaranteed for the future. So, when you get around to it in a year or two, you’ll have today’s price locked in.”

The homeowner has already made the “commitment” to do it in the future, and when the rep then explains the quote is guaranteed for the future, it makes it very difficult to say “no.” It would be inconsistent.

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Think about your prospects’ most common objections, and how you can use this principle to overcome them.

2. Social Proof

“We tend to like things just because other people like them as well.”

Your prospect might not know a thing about your company – but they might have heard of some of the businesses that use your product or service.

Sometimes that’s all you need to pique someone’s interest.

And so, it can be helpful to mention the names of those other companies. In fact, it just might give them that extra bit of trust in you to nudge them towards action.

Do you work with their competitors, or perhaps companies a little further up the food chain who they might aspire to? Weave this into your pitch!

3. Authority

“We are hard-wired to respond to authority.”

Here’s a tip for using this great principle to help you get past the gatekeepers and talk to decision makers.

Remember: One key for getting past the gatekeeper is to be someone they feel like they can’t quite say “no” to.

You can do this by saying something like, “I’m just following up on some issues I alerted [the decision maker] about the other day.”  

(Note: always be truthful, and don’t say something like this unless you actually did send an email.)

Putting yourself in a position of authority can help get you access to decision makers, steer a conversation, get micro-commitments and close sales.

4. Liking

“We are more likely to say ‘yes’ to a request when we feel a connection to the person making it.”

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If you can quickly get prospects to like you, you have a usable advantage. So in all of your communications – including live calls, voicemails, and pre-call or post-call emails – be likable and helpful.

This will pay serious dividends for you.

Here are a few things that will help you build this connection during your sales calls.

  • Smile while talking – a smile comes through even over the phone
  • Stand up – you’ll feel more comfortable and confident
  • Be genuine – show a real desire to help your prospect solve a problem
  • Use their name – it makes the conversation feel personal
  • Listen and relate – take the time to understand the position your prospect is in

Now that you know some of these principles, it’s time to start putting them in action on your sales calls!