Every therapist, Hypnotist or coach should read (or re read) Dr. Robert Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade,” takes us on a journey into the world of pre-suasion, a concept that strategically primes individuals to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. In this article, we will explore 30 top pre-suasion principles from Cialdini’s book, complete with examples, to illustrate the incredible power of this approach in shaping human behavior and decision-making.

1. The Power of Pre-Suasion

Example: Imagine you’re about to present a new product. Hosting an engaging launch event filled with anticipation creates pre-suasion by building excitement and readiness among your audience.

2. Attention Management

Example: An effective ad campaign for a luxury car captures the viewer’s attention by displaying the vehicle in a breathtaking mountain landscape, directing their focus toward the product.

3. Priming

Example: A restaurant uses warm lighting, soft music, and aromatic scents to prime diners before they even look at the menu, setting the stage for an enjoyable dining experience.

4. Framing

Example: A charitable organization might frame a donation request as “saving lives” rather than “making a contribution,” invoking a more emotional response from potential donors.

5. Association

Example: In the world of branding, Coca-Cola associates its product with happiness and togetherness in its advertisements, making consumers associate their soda with positive emotions.

6. Unity and Shared Identity

Example: A political leader addressing a diverse crowd might emphasize shared values and goals, fostering a sense of unity among the audience before delivering their message.

7. The Principle of Authority

Example: A medical expert in a white lab coat endorsing a health supplement lends credibility and authority to the product, making it more persuasive to consumers.

8. Timing Matters

Example: A jewelry store promotes engagement rings leading up to Valentine’s Day, capitalizing on the timing when individuals are more receptive to proposals and romantic gestures.

9. Ethical Considerations

Example: An insurance company provides clear and honest policy information, ensuring customers make informed decisions without feeling manipulated.

10. The Halo Effect

Example: A company known for its eco-friendly practices enjoys a positive halo effect that extends to all its products, as consumers assume they are all environmentally responsible.

11. The Contrast Principle

Example: A retailer places an expensive item next to a slightly less expensive one, making the latter seem like a better deal, thanks to the contrast in price.

12. Subtly Highlight Benefits

Example: A smartphone manufacturer subtly highlights the longer battery life of its new model, making it a more attractive choice for users on the go.

13. Creating Familiarity

Example: A new restaurant designs its menu with familiar dishes alongside unique offerings, making customers feel comfortable while encouraging them to try something new.

14. Suggestive Questions

Example: A marketing survey asks, “How much do you value your family’s safety?” priming respondents to consider family safety as a top priority.

15. The Persuasive Power of Names

Example: An upscale restaurant names its dishes with enticing descriptors like “succulent” or “artisan,” making the menu items more appealing to diners.

16. Authority Figures

Example: A skincare brand features endorsements from dermatologists, utilizing experts’ authority to persuade consumers of product effectiveness.

17. Storytelling

Example: A nonprofit organization shares stories of individuals whose lives were transformed by their work, emotionally engaging donors and making their message more persuasive.

18. Visual Imagery

Example: An advertisement for a spa resort features serene images of tranquil landscapes and relaxation, setting the stage for a peaceful getaway.

19. Language and Tone

Example: A car rental company uses friendly and reassuring language in its customer service communications, creating a positive perception of the brand.

20. Exclusivity and Scarcity

Example: A fashion brand launches a limited edition collection, emphasizing the exclusivity and scarcity of these unique items to drive demand.

21. Social Proof

Example: An e-commerce website displays customer reviews and ratings, providing social proof that influences potential buyers’ decisions.

22. Personalization

Example: An online streaming platform recommends movies and shows based on individual viewing history, making the user experience more personalized and appealing.

23. Reciprocity

Example: A software company offers a free trial of their premium product, encouraging users to reciprocate by subscribing after experiencing its value.

24. Consistency and Commitment

Example: An environmental organization encourages small commitments, like signing a petition, before asking for larger commitments, such as volunteering or donating.

25. Use of Stories and Metaphors

Example: A financial advisor uses the metaphor of “planting seeds for future wealth” to help clients visualize and understand long-term investments.

26. Emotional Appeal

Example: A charity organization’s advertisement highlights the emotional journey of a child in need, evoking empathy and encouraging donations.

27. Harnessing Cognitive Biases

Example: An online retailer uses the scarcity bias, displaying “Only 3 items left” under a product, prompting shoppers to make quick purchases.

28. Contrast and Anchoring

Example: A real estate agent shows clients a higher-priced home before showing them their desired property, making the latter seem more affordable by comparison.

29. The Power of Empathy

Example: A customer service representative empathizes with a frustrated customer’s situation, establishing a deeper connection and enhancing receptivity to a solution.

30. Building Trust and Rapport

Example: A financial advisor takes the time to understand a client’s financial goals and builds trust by offering personalized, trustworthy advice.


The principles of pre-suasion outlined in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade” provide powerful tools for influencing human behavior and decision-making. These 30 principles, each illustrated with examples, reveal how strategically preparing minds for your message can lead to more effective persuasion. Remember that ethical considerations should always guide the application of these principles, fostering positive change and meaningful connections in your interactions with others.

I can’t wait to hear how you use this information!