Yes 50 secrets from the science of persuasion

Interested in what science tells us about how to be persuasive? Then invest in Yes! 50 Secrets from the science of persuasion, a wonderful little book by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini.

The authors say that everyone’s ability to persuade others can be enhanced by learning persuasion strategies that have been scientifically proved to be successful. Small, easy changes to our messages can make them vastly more persuasive.

They reveal a number of insights into how the influence process works from a scientific perspective including only the influence strategies that have been shown, through rigorously controlled studies and research, to be effective.

While they’ve used scientific evidence, the book itself is easy to follow, entertaining and full of fascinating information and case studies. You can pick it up and delve into one case study at a time, though you will find it hard not to continue with another and another. I’ve extracted one example in the reusing hotel towels article at the commencement of this newsletter.

Each section of the book will help build your understanding of the psychological processes underlying how we can influence others to move their attitudes or behaviour in a direction that results in positive outcomes for both parties.

It builds on Robert Cialdini’s six universal principles of social influence: reciprocation (we feel obligated to return favours performed for us), authority (we look to experts to show us the way), commitment/consistency (we want to act consistently with our commitments and values), scarcity (the less available the resource, the more we want it), liking (the more we like people, the more we want to say yes to them) and social proof (we look to what others do to guide our behaviour). But the authors haven’t limited themselves to these. There is much, much more.

Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter at Alternatively, email

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email