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4.5 out of 5 stars86
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on 17 September 2008
Yes! is an entertaining book - to match the title, it's a blast! Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini provide, as the subtitle indicates, 50 distinct examples, explanations or techniques to help you become more persuasive. They present the general principles of persuasion and discuss an abundance of specific, detailed uses. The authors offer numerous studies (their own and others'), hypothetical situations, and elucidations of what to do and what not to do. They advocate the idea that you can and should test persuasive strategies. They are convincing, and they write wittily and breezily. getAbstract recommends this useful book to anyone engaged in persuasion, including executives, marketers, trainers and salespeople.
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Yes! could have been more appropriately titled as Influence 2 because the book is simply a series of brief examples that illustrate Professor Robert Cialdini's key principles described in his book, Influence (social proof, authority, commitment/consistency, scarcity, reciprocity, and personal liking). If you loved that book and want to dive deeper into its lessons, Yes! is a perfect choice.

If you haven't yet read Influence, I recommend that you read that book before this one. Without Professor's explanations of why these principles work, the case histories in Yes! don't seem so special and interesting. Otherwise, you will probably just see Yes! as a bunch of unrelated stories, many of which don't apply to your marketing challenges. I would expect most people who read Yes! who haven't read Influence to rate Yes! with three stars.

When you do read Influence, be sure to get the latest edition (the fifth edition came out in August 2008). Otherwise, you'll miss out on insights.

I hired Professor Cialdini to speak to one of my research organizations, Share Price Growth 100, a number of years ago and the members rated him very highly for being able to apply the lessons of his research to the financial markets. I was intrigued to see some financial market examples in Yes!

Be more persuasive in getting an ethical point across!
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"Researchers are often on the lookout for ways to apply their scientific knowledge to make existing policies and procedures even more effective." This book uses social science research to suggest fifty ways we can persuade more effectively. It draws on over half a century of the scientific study of persuasion. The authors recommend this research as a more reliable source of effective strategies that our individual experiences or intuitions.

Each of the book's fifty issues is presented in a brief, readable chapter that begins with a question. Here are five of the more interesting questions:

1. What common mistake causes messages to self-destruct? If you mention how many people are doing something bad, you may unintentionally provide "social proof" that this behavior is acceptable.

2. Does fear persuade or does it paralyze? Fear only motivates us to action if we have a clear and effective means of reducing the danger.

3. Start low or start high? Which will make people buy? Lower auction starting prices convince more people to start bidding and this increased participation convinces others to join in. Once someone bids, they keep bidding to avoid losing their investment of time and effort.

4. What can a box of crayons teach us about persuasion? Unusual names ("Kermit Green") that engage us in solving a puzzle make crayon color names easier to remember.

5. When does letting the call go to voicemail cause a hang-up in your influence? People from individualistic cultures value the informational aspect of communication while those from collectivistic cultures value the relationship-building aspect. An "individualist" might offend some of his colleagues by always letting voice mail answer the phone.

Readers interested in a more thorough, research-oriented treatment of persuasion may want to continue with Robert Cialdini's book Influence: Science and Practice. This much thicker book presents its research according to six universal principles of social influence: reciprocation, authority, commitment/consistency, scarcity, liking, and social proof.
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on 15 April 2008
'50 secrets from the science of persuasion'... Well, I'd never heard of `the science of persuasion' before and this is actually a series of short case studies based on social psychology academic papers published over the last decade or so. Each case study is presented as a problem, the experiment and results are described and then a `scientifically proven' solution is suggested. It's an appealing way of covering a broad subject and most of the results are thought-provoking and maybe genuinely useful. The only problem is that these snippets are not structured or ordered in any way so unfortunately fact fatigue sets in after about 30, and by the time you struggle to 50 the science of persuasion began to seem a rather disorganised discipline. An admirable book, but you might have thought `persuasion scientists' would have known a bit better how to determine exactly how much is a `good thing'.
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on 11 December 2007
I have read The Tipping Point and Freakonomics and enjoyed them immensely. Yes! is a similar type of book - really enjoyable and based on what appears to be pretty solid evidence and research. It's practical too. As enjoyable as The Tipping Point and Freakonomics were I was left wondering how I could use the information. Short of impressing people at dinner parties with my new found knowledge of why drug dealers live with their mothers the personal applications of both books are few and far between. Not so with Yes! It is a treasure trove not only of the theory of persuasion but also how to put the theory into practice and become more persuasive (and let's be honest who doesn't want to be more persuasive?). In my humble opinion I think Yes! is highly readable, highly practical and highly recommended.
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on 10 December 2008
Besides the valid criticism already voiced by some reviewers; that the presentation is messy and not-memorable, a substantial criticism of this book would be that the book is very much "just the basics", devoid of further reflection or introspection which makes for a poor reading experience.

Though the content in itself is valuable. I'd like a better structured version of this book. And one that would make the points easier to remember.
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on 25 November 2010
Yes! is an easy-to-read, brilliantly-written book about why people behave the way they do. It is made up of 50 very short chapters, each one backed up with research, and is one of the best business books I have ever read. Should you buy it? Yes!
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on 16 December 2008
I have read and reread this book and even as a hardened marketeer I still find useful ideas on how to improve the marketing of my business and that of my clients. I read it thinking I knew a fair bit about persuasion and it turns out I did, but there were also lots of other things that I wasn't aware of.

The book has been divided into small easy to read chapters, which is good for those who don't want to wade through scientific papers to get to the key points. There are those that may argue that the book has been simplified for the mass audience - to which I say great. It is an easy read full of really useful tips, especially if you want to market your business effectively. Some of which are referenced in The Brighter Marketing Bible for Small Businesses as I thought they would help small businesses understand how to market effectively to their customers.
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on 30 December 2007
I work in professional services where the difference between winning a new client and losing an existing client is very often down to the small things like being more memorable in the customer's eyes. Yes! brings all of the important, and sometimes just small, things to the surface and offers them in a concise, crisp and fun to read book. Anyone who is looking for an edge in business does not need to attend one of the myriad of 'Become a success overnight!' courses currently on offer from many different sources but just to start by investing in this very useful book and not lose the opportunity to get an insight into those things that work! Not just because the author's say so but because research and scientific rigour has proven the approach as being superior!

Great topic, useful timing and extremely useful material. Thank you author's for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us!
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on 8 June 2011
I haven't even completed reading the book yet but I can recommend it without hesitation. The examples/points are short and succinct which makes it perfect to pick up and read whenever you have a spare 5 minutes. Hands down it is the best value for money simple marketing book on the market at present.
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