One of our favorite questions to ask project creators is, “what your favorite business or life book?” We like this question because it can provide unique insight into the way they run their businesses and live their lives – it’s an easy way to learn more about a person and their values.

One book that comes up in our podcasts time and time again is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini. It’s for good reason, too; this book does an excellent job at looking at why people say “yes” and how you can apply that to your life and your business.

Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his career trying to understand the science of influence and why people comply with requests, earning him an international reputation as an expert on persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.

In this book, he pulls from decades of research to argue that persuasion is a science, not an art. He makes this argument by articulating the six principles of persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, likability, authority, social proof and commitment/consistency. By understanding these principles and how they relate to persuasion, you can use them to become an influencer, but also to defend yourself against being easily manipulated.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Read Influence

First, understanding the science behind persuasion will help you make better, more rational decisions for yourself and your business. By understanding how and why people are motivated to comply, you’ll learn how to recognize when someone or something is influencing you to comply for non-rational reasons. Good decision-making is a key part of starting and running a successful business, and reading this book is a great place to start.

However, Dr. Cialdini also discusses how to apply the six principles of persuasion in a wise, ethical manner. A large part of entrepreneurship is marketing, and the ideas outlined in this book can help you become a better marketer, because you’ll have a greater understanding into why people make the decisions they do.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a book that gives you greater insight into the psychology behind persuasion and marketing in a way that will help you grow personally and professionally, check out Influence.