The penultimate blog post in this series guiding you on the implementation in your business of Professor Robert Cialdini’s ‘Principle of Influence’ covers Authority.
We are minded to do as those in authority tell us to do. If you are in the middle of a party, having a good time, and a shabbily dressed, unkempt and hesitant person tells you that everyone must leave the room, you are likely to think twice. If the person telling you to leave is a large, confident and commanding police officer, you will probably be far more compliant, eager to depart immediately. We listen to those whom we perceive to have authority.
How do we apply this principle to our businesses? I’m not suggesting everyone should dress up in uniform to ask, or tell, people to buy from us. There are many other ways to demonstrate authority. Being recognised as an expert and an authority in your field will influence others who recognise that expertise. Expertise and niche marketing go hand in hand. It is an oxymoron to be an expert in everything, and stretches credibility to try to obtain expert status in a wide range of unrelated matters. Investing time in attaining expert status in your chosen field will yield benefits when done skilfully. Remember that expertise is claimed rather than awarded. You have to make the decision to be an expert, you have to establish the knowledge and credibility in your target area, and you have to claim expert status because no one will give it to you spontaneously. Once you have expert status you must implant that status within your marketing activities. You are free to choose whether this is done using subtle means, whether you emblazon it audaciously or whether you deploy your message judiciously.
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