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The Post-Suasion Imperative

Cialdini-1In the final chapter of his latest book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, Robert Cialdini suggests that — when members of an audience favor the given action or idea proposed, when they have become temporarily convinced — there’s a very important question to be confronted:

“When rival communicators or even every day events divert their attention to some other concept, what can be done to prevent the favorability from evaporating?” As the Brothers Heath (Chip and Dan) would phrase it, “How to make your message stick?”

Cialdini’s response to the question is to provide follow-up reminders or “cues.” He cites several examples of how this has been done, how commitments have been obtained, usually in the form of related behavior. Details are best revealed in the narrative, in context. However, it would not be providing a “spoiler” to say that a presentation can be temporarily persuasive — as is usually the case, for example, when presidential candidates accept their party’s nomination — but only follow-up initiatives can sustain its appeal.

In this book and in its predecessor, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition, Robert Cialdini explains HOW.

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