But Daddy, pleaded the son, all my classmates’ parents have agreed to the trip. The father who had been hesitating till then, couldn’t hold out any more. He signed the permission slip.
And here now, you see the second principle in action – Social Proof.
Cialdini’s principle of social proof states that when people are unsure about a course of action, they rely on collective opinions. They look around at others, especially peers, and base their own decisions on what the general group has decided.
Among the most obvious ways for marketers to leverage this, is through testimonials. Testimonials serve as proof to prospects that other “people like them” had found the service or product worthwhile. This endorsement provides social proof of the utility of the offering. It provides a justifiable base for the undecided buyer/prospect to make a decision.
Potential buyers often depend on feedback from others to guide their decisions and actions. Online review sites are a stark example. These reviews wield immense power over the prospect’s buying behavior because of the “social proof” reviews it offers to the undecided populace.