Built In Social Proof

by Jade Handy on August 12, 2010

We’re talking about Robert Cialdini’s principle of social proof.  Of course, it’s not his, per say.  Social proof, in my mind, is the need one has to be in alignment with what one values from outside of oneself.

For example, if you value American Idol, you might be persuaded to purchase products from a company using Sanjaya, Simon Cowell, or even the mildly successful Carrie Underwood.

Another example, if people are “overborrowing” plastic utentsils from your cafeteria, talking about the majority of people who are honest is likely to have more impact than advertising how many employees are stealing just like you.

OK, now that I have set the frame for this, lets talk about one way you can apply this, immediately, if you are not already.  Sell something door to door, even if it’s just a fundraiser.  B2B, residential or whatever.  Preferably a small ticket item.   

OK, now let me tie these two concepts together.  Social proof and small ticket door-to-door, to be more specific.  If you are someone who buys things and someone comes in your door to sell you something, don’t you want to know you’re not the guinea pig?  For most of you, the answer is “yes.”

Let me explain, if it’s a small ticket item, 1. people assume you’re not going to get rich off of (A.) this one sale and (B.) off of them, 2. which presupposes others have purchased.

This is where the built-in social proof comes in and makes sense, finally.

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A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.  -Vernon Howard < wow, Vernon.  Something tells me we all qualify for this.

I took anatomy classes. I went to medical libraries and talked to doctors and nutritionists. I did the whole thing before using myself as a human guinea pig.  -Marilu Henner

I was a guinea pig for some hoodlums who thought they could hurt me and frighten me and keep other Negro entertainers from the South.  -Nat King Cole < not really sure this is a perfect fit, but I like Nat King Cole.  Who doesn’t?

What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen.  -Alice B. Toklas  #metaphor  #analogy

“Mikey likes it.”  -Life cereal commercial < from my childhood, and possibly yours, as well.

Photo Credit:  By erintongay Erin Tongay on Flickr

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