The key ways people can be influenced by “Compliance Professionals”.

The book’s findings are backed up by numerous empirical studies conducted in the fields of psychology, marketing, economics, anthropology, and social science.

Influence concludes that you can also adopt the approaches adopted by compliance professionals. Specifically, you can utilize the lessons provided in Influence to persuade others.


A well-known principle of human behavior is that you will be more successful in seeking favors if you provide a reason. Harvard social psychologist, Ellen Langer, demonstrated this phenomenon by asking a minor favor of people waiting in line to use a library copying machine. She altered her request across contexts. Firstly, she said, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” In this instance, she was highly successful. 94% of people who were asked in this way allowed her to skip ahead of them. Comparatively, only 60% did so when she said, “Excuse me. I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

The key difference between these statements was not the use of the word “rush”, though. Langer consolidated this finding when 93% of people let her skip when she said, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” The key feature across the two successful contexts was using the word “because.”


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  Influence Intro
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Compliance Experts Who Utilize ‘Because’

There is a group of people who know very well where the weapons of automatic influence lie. Subsequently, they employ them regularly and expertly to get what they want. They go from social encounters to social encounters requesting others to comply with their wishes. Their frequency of success is remarkable. The secret of their effectiveness lies in the way they structure their requests and how they arm themselves with one or another of the weapons of influence that exist within the social environment. Their success may require no more than one correctly chosen word that engages a strong psychological principle and sets an automatic behavior in motion.