Dr. Robert B. Cialdini wrote his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” with two simple questions in mind: why do people say ‘yes’ and how do we get them to say ‘yes’ more often?

It’s a question that salespeople and marketers wrestle with every day. But Cialdini’s research condensed the art of persuasion down to 6 separate factors.

This blog will dissect each one, and give some actionable examples of how they can be put into practice in sales and marketing teams.


Simply put, reciprocity is the act of giving back to others in the form of a behaviour, gift, or service.

Therefore, in order to generate leads and turn them into sales, salespeople and marketers need to develop content that their audience will be happy to exchange their personal information for.

Creating content that is engaging, useful, and solves a pain point for the target audience is essential to fill the sales pipeline. It’s also a large reason why, as seen below, 3 of the top priorities for marketers in 2018 are all content-related.

Likewise, if your company’s salespeople use this content to deliver added value without expectation, you’ll have warmer, more engaged sales prospects as a result.


Scarcity is used all the time in B2C marketing. There’s no doubt that we get our act together and stop procrastinating when the flights say ‘2 available at this price.’

But B2B marketers can also use scarcity to their advantage. One example is promoting deals or running campaigns based on seasonality, such as the end of the financial year.

Salespeople can also run free assessments or guidance for a limited time. But for this to work, you will also need to demonstrate why your proposition is unique, and what they will lose out on if they do not consider your proposal.


For best practices, people always follow the lead of the experts.

Marketers should look to invest time and effort into distributing their own blog content, with consistent quality. Aside from thought-leadership, there’s also a tangible benefit to producing high-quality blog content. Hubspot found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month received almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.

Not only that, but salespeople can utilise this very same blog content, and send it to leads whose pain points have been made obvious. This not only builds trust, but also establishes your position as an expert in your field.


As a brand, it’s essential that your content and messaging come with a consistent tone and direction. That’s why both sales and marketing teams need to collaborate on, and use, a buyer persona document.

For marketers, this will keep your blog content, social media posts, and paid ads consistent with the pain points of the persona, which will lead them back to your company as the solution.

Likewise, salespeople should follow suit. For example, your MD persona may not like emails with large banners and colourful pictures. It may be better to keep it simple and include a link to a useful piece of content. Everyone’s short on time, so give them what they want and give it to them consistently.


Persuasion science tells us that we like:

  • People who are similar to us
  • People who pay us compliments
  • People who cooperate with us towards mutual goals.

Of course, all three can play a part to turn a stranger into a customer. Smart salespeople establish common ground with their leads and prospects, and will already be familiar with this tactic to build rapport.

But marketers, in their own way, are salespeople too. They, therefore, need to find ways that help prospects reach their goals, used personalized automation to deliver this content, while also making sure their message is delivered in a way that makes them feel included and safe.


When people are unsure, they look to others to see if they’re on the right track. You’re more likely to visit a popular restaurant that has rave reviews than one that doesn’t.

This is why we often see blog subscribe call-to-actions that start with how many subscribers have already signed up, such as the example below. Other examples that can be used throughout the sales process are case studies, reviews, or customer references.


To sell better and faster, you need the right information from your leads to make informed decisions and personalize their journey towards a sale.

My company, Yellowstep, has put together an ebook on selling better and faster, which will give you practical tips and CRM insights to fill your sales pipeline. Get your free copy today.