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Menlo Book Club: Influence

Influence by Robert Cialdini has become a must-read for marketers and sales professionals. Our team recently finished the book and hopes to be able to better utilize his tactics to generate leads, sell buildings and build relationships with clients. Here are a few of our discussion highlights based on his principles:

Reciprocity

Influence can be achieved through reciprocity. We often offer a broker’s opinion of value, lease analysis or similar service to demonstrate our value to potential clients with the hope that they later sign a listing agreement or engagement letter. After a deal is successfully closed, we also invite clients to provide feedback. When they share their experience, we are able to use that information to make improvements to our process and offer evidence of our high client satisfaction.  

Reciprocity also applies to our relationships with other professionals in the industry. We strive to provide market data, lease comparables, etc. to appraisers and other brokers. Building these relationships enables us to better help our clients.

Commitment

The book also discusses how written and published commitments have power to influence behavior. Cialdini gives the example of a group of college students who were asked to estimate the length of lines they were shown. Some students were asked to keep their estimates in their minds, while others wrote their guesses down and then erased them. The third group of students wrote down their answers, signed their names and turned in their papers to the professor. When asked to guess again, the third group remained much more committed to their initial answers than the other students.

At Menlo Group, our team writes down our goals and publicizes them throughout the company. By doing so, we increase our commitment and likelihood of accomplishing our objectives.

We enjoyed this book and hope to continue to apply its principles. To see what else we’ve been reading, please check out our other book reviews

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