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Publisher's Summary

Small changes can make a big difference in your powers of persuasion.

Every day we face the challenge of persuading others to do what we want. But what makes people say yes to our requests? Persuasion is not only an art, it is also a science, and researchers who study it have uncovered a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction.

Based on more than 60 years of research into the psychology of persuasion, Yes! reveals 50 simple but remarkably effective strategies that will make you much more persuasive at work and in your personal life, too.

Cowritten by the world's most quoted expert on influence, Professor Robert Cialdini, Yes! presents dozens of surprising discoveries from the science of persuasion in short, enjoyable, and insightful chapters that you can apply immediately to become a more effective persuader.

Why did a sign pointing out the problem of vandalism in the Petrified Forest National Park actually increase the theft of pieces of petrified wood? Why did sales of jam multiply tenfold when consumers were offered many fewer flavors? Why did people prefer a Mercedes immediately after giving reasons why they prefer a BMW? What simple message on cards left in hotel rooms greatly increased the number of people who behaved in environmentally friendly ways?

Often counterintuitive, the findings presented in Yes! will steer you away from common pitfalls while empowering you with little known but proven wisdom.

Whether you are in advertising, marketing, management, on sales, or just curious about how to be more influential in everyday life, Yes! shows how making small, scientifically proven changes to your approach can have a dramatic effect on your persuasive powers.

©2008 Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

" Yes! is the Freakonomics of social psychology. This book changed my way of looking at the world. This thinking is the real deal. Don't miss out!" (Daniel Finkelstein, Comment Editor, The Times, London)

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  • Overall

Not What I Expected

This book is not what I initially thought it was. I was expecting a book about sales techniques that would act as a template for closing more sales. The approach is much more indirect. Few of the studies were directly related to sales and more about how subtle messages in environment and wording can influence decision-making. That being said, I still enjoyed it and recommend it to sales and marketing professionals.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I wasn't sure what to expect when I chose this book over some others in my wish list that were somewhat longer in length. I was very pleased.

This book isn't filled with any 'fluff' but every chapter presents something new and interesting, each having studies and experiments backing them up.

Each of the 50 points were pertinent, interesting and not always obvious. I would say this is a must have book for anyone who needs to sell, garner support, or even avoid being persuaded if they don't want to be.

I'm all thumbs and they're all up for this one.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting and useful.

The book is, as promised, a well referenced scientific discussion of ways that you can be more persuasive. The narrator is adequate but does not sound like a polished "pro", which in some ways gives it a more authentic feel. The authors try their best to introduce humor and keep it interesting but it is, after all, a review of scientific literature so it is understandable that some parts are a bit dry.

However, the chapters and the book as a whole, are straight to the point and packed with useful information making it much less of an investment in time than most of us have probably wasted elsewhere. The format lends itself well to skipping around and picking out just the points you wish to try to apply. Anyone who is interested in self improvement either personally or in business, as I am sure anyone bothering to read this review is, would do well to not miss out on these tips.

If you are wondering how easily they are applied I have used at least 7 of the techniques in this review. Seriously though, I am so glad that I listened to it that I plan to buy the hard copy in order to have it as a reference. Much of it qualifies as "pearls" that can easily be dolled out at staff meetings and similar venues.

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

No thanks

I purchased this, it came highly recommended. Basically I won't get my time back. If you listened to influence
Don't waste your time. If you haven't listened to Influence it's the same not as long and not as in depth

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Aaron
  • Glenwood, IL, United States
  • 12-05-10

Well Rounded!

This is truly a great piece of work. Well rounded and covers many different situations. One of the most profound materials I have come across & read in a long time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • D
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 10-26-10

Good Read

Being in sales, I found this book to be very helpful and provided real life examples of how to use these persuasive techniques, and I must say that most of them work quite well. I have read quite a few persuasive books, and this was up there with the best of them. You will be able to use these techniques almost immediately!!! I have already listened twice and taken notes so I can make these techniques habitual. Good Listen!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • Spokane Valley, WA, USA
  • 07-08-09

Authoritative and well researched

There is an old adage that half of your marketing budget is wasted. The problem is knowing which half. This book will help you solve that problem.

How? By reconciling perfectly rational decision making with the imperfect irrationality of being human. Beyond the implications of using this book in your career and personal life, it is a fascinating examination of human behavior.

It is easy to read this book as a cookbook: Follow the authors' recipe and voila! But, it is wiser to read this like a chef. Listen closely to explanations to understand the 'raw ingredients' and the 'cooking methods' practiced. Therein lies the key to replicating their results.

Persuasion is a subtle art. You could follow an example to a 'T' and fall short of your goal if you overlook a detail that undermines your intent. The authors hint at this by alluding to the impact of tone of voice, stress, mental fatigue, environment, and cultural perspective on decision making.

So, 1) focus on the cognitive and social psychology that underly the techniques, and 2) be wary of unrelated, situational factors in play that could offset your results.

For example, if a boss who wants to deter employee theft follows 'Yes!' like a cookbook with tepid results, s/he may wonder why. If employees think the boss playing games with their hours just to avoid promised benefits or overtime, workers may be acting out of spite or revenge; or perhaps they are modeling the boss' underhanded sales practices, reflecting his or her 'me first' value system. Such factors were not part of the controlled research studies in the book.

Cialdini's reputation precedes him. His involvement in this book carries weight. Every conclusion drawn is backed by peer-reviewed scientific studies. Alas, the narrator is a bit 'old school' for me, with a touch of that 1970s narration artifice. If that sort of thing may distract you, listen to the sample before you buy.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeb
  • CINCINNATI, OH, United States
  • 12-05-11


The book presents well researched behavioral responses. It is concise and a minimum of fluff - so I found it useful and interesting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I liked it so much I went and bought the book. Just get it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Useful and practical!

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Yes!?

In business meetings both formal and informal, I retold many of the stories from the book, and started applying many of the tips right away! I was entertaining most of all, but very practical and fun to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful