In today's hyper growth business environment, most leaders are seeking out the "game changers", "paradigm shifts", and "strategic inflection points" that will put their companies on a more aggressive growth trajectory. Disruption is all but expected these days. That's why it was a huge relief to discover a wealth of scientifically proven techniques around the really small changes that cost very little and tend to have a big impact on our desired outcomes.

Every day you are negotiating and working to persuade your employees, your customers and your prospects, but chances are you're working a lot harder than you have to be. The biggest mistake most of us make is believing that presenting the right facts and information determines the outcome of the decision making process. It turns out that the context of how that information is presented has a much bigger impact on your ability to persuade people.

In their new book, The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence, Steve Martin, Noah Goldstein, and Robert Cialdini, present the latest neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology and behavioral economics that have led to a greater understanding of how influence, persuasion and behavior change impact our decision making process. In other words, what are the smallest changes we can make that have the biggest impact on our ability to successfully negotiate our desired outcomes?

The book illustrates 52 small changes you can make that have the biggest impact on your success. Did you know that medical centers whose receptionist "ask the patient to write down the time and date of the next appointment themselves" led to an 18% reduction in no-shows? Or that a shorter expiration period on gift certificates can lead to a five times increase in redemption, despite customers' requests for longer expiration periods. Or that you're far better off making the first offer in a negotiation because you "anchor" the other party to your price.

Each chapter of this book is a concise (about 3 to 5 page) presentation of a scientific research study with an incredibly small action that you can take that will have a big impact on your desired outcome. All 52 small changes are rooted in six universal principles of persuasion originally identified over thirty years ago by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

The 6 Principles of Persuasion are:

Reciprocity
Authority
Scarcity
Liking
Consistency
Social Proof

The Small Big demonstrates these principles in action and teaches you how to frame your message, build relationships, persuade people to keep their appointments with you, keep your customers engaged and ensure your influence attempts don't backfire (just to name a few). These 52 "Small Big" changes are the little things that will make a big difference. They cost very little (if anything) to implement and often are more about taking a deliberate approach to address a well-researched psychological issue that impacts your business.

If you are interested in learning about the small things that make the biggest impact on your business, I recommend that you read this book and make the recommended changes. And then please check back and share your stories as you reap these benefits.

Published on: Jan 2, 2015
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