Influencing Skills – Social Proof

Posted November 9th, 2009

The principle of social proof states that one important method people use to decide what to believe or how to act in a situation is to look at what other people are believing or doing.

Our need to revert to this behaviour usually happens in two instances. These are:


  • Similarity – people are more likely to follow the lead of others that are similar
  • Uncertainty – when people are unsure and the situation is ambiguous they are more likely to follow actions of others to determine what is correct

Social proof is inherent in many aspects of our life and is certainly growing with the advent of the internet and other technical advances. The use of reviews by many websites, including Amazon is an example of social proof in action. More recently, Blogs have become a method of creating a following of like-minded people.

Social proof can be an extremely powerful tool in the marketing of a company’s products and services. After all, if your current customers (who happen to be a lot like me) are so happy with your products, then surely I will be too?

Social proof and it’s application for influencing skills is discussed in some depth in our training materials,‘The Power of Influence’, which you can purchase from our website Trainer Bubble.


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