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Paperback The Power of Persuasion: How We're Bought and Sold Book

ISBN: 0471763179

ISBN13: 9780471763178

The Power of Persuasion: How We're Bought and Sold

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Book Overview

"An engaging, highly readable survey of the sophisticated methods of persuasion we encounter in various situations. From television to telemarketing and from self-deception to suicide cults, Levine takes a hard look at all the ways we attempt to persuade each other--and how and why they work (or don't). . . . The next time you wonder what possessed you to pay $50 for a medallion commemorating the series finale of Friends, you'll know where to turn."...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Powerful Book for Marketers or Consumers

Dr. Levine really did his homework and put together a great read for marketers and consumers. I enjoyed his findings on advertising, selling one on one and group influence. Mike D.

Academic and real-world insights

If you like books on influence that have a strong academic foundation and plenty of real world examples, you'll like this one. And I loved reading it. Just before starting to write this review, I saw something that illustrates how each of us often sees certain things differently. Another reviewer believed the book's example of a car dealer's sales process lacks the details a reader needs to design a sales process. That example is precisely the one I'd decided to mention to you. Levine uses ten pages to detail this nine-step process. It's a terrific, practical example of getting the customer to make a series of small commitments that greatly increase the likelihood of a sale. You'll get enough info about each step and the overall process to adapt to your sales system to the extent you want. Most of us will choose to borrow parts of this and other processes you read about. One reason is that this particular process included unsavory steps. Sure, it will take some work and thinking on your part to improve your sales process. That's part of customizing sales systems so they work best for you. Interestingly, the book gives the real name (Mike Gasio of Fresno, CA) of the super-slick salesman...and notes that he left the auto sales business and became a teacher and counselor for at-risk young people. Mike now uses the same process of gradually increasing commitments to help these troubled youngsters make healthy changes in their lives. What a great story. And illustration of how we can effectively adapt persuasion tools to create either sleazy or healthy results. Once we have the information...the choice is ours. One of my favorite books on persuasion.

I'm sold!

I found this book via a reference from Slashdot, and decided to read it for myself. It's a useful primer on persuasion. Levine's insight and explanation of the mechanics of manipulation can serve as either inoculation against hucksters, or inspiration to try these tricks yourself. It's an engaging read. Levine lays out principles which are simple and practical (e.g., the triangle of trustworthiness: authority, honesty, likability), and he avoids the dry, academic tone that saddles many Ph.D.'s writing. You don't need a GED to enjoy this book.I had two minor complaints, neither sufficient to reduce my rating from five to four stars. While the book is replete with fascinating anecdotes and synopses of various studies, Levine also peppers the text with tongue-in-cheek remarks. Most of them are funny, but he spends a few paragraphs too many chuckling at his own jokes (or his pal, Lenny). More significantly, Chapter Nine ("Jonestown") comes from left field. For 200 pages, Levine writes about sales and marketing -- and then suddenly he spends 20 pages pontificating about a religious cult. It's interesting, but misplaced. If I'd wanted to read a book about Jonestown, there are dozens. I wouldn't have picked Levine's.That said, I recommend this book. There are no surprises (apart from Jonestown): If you're intrigued by the teaser, you'll like the book. Aside from a general education about impressionability, I took away several specific notes. Levine's comments about Matisse struck a chord with me, and I'm currently reading Paco Underhill's "Why We Buy" based on Levine's reference. This is a worthwhile book. I'm glad I bought it, and I expect to pick it up again in a few years.

Superb!

I absolutely loved Power of Persuasion!Levine writes and gives due credit to everyone from his students (by name) to the many researchers who make the field more fascinating and understood year by year.I can't say enough about this book. When I wrote The Psychology of Persuasion in 1996, I knew that persuasion was a field that would become more fascinating and important as each year would come and go. This book is like a bible of persuasion,influence and contains an enormous amount of research about how you and I might not know each ourselves as well as we think. Get this book! You will get new ideas and tips that I had not seen prior to this book and that is rare indeed. Buy this book. It is one of the best in the field. www.kevinhogan.com Kevin Hogan

Outstanding, eye-opening, and un-nerving

The first chapter is this book made me sweat. I thought I would read this book to continue my study in persuasion just to make me a better marketer, that I was in fact immune against most persuasion. Not so, says the author. His opening chapter about the illusion of invulnerability, shook me. It made me realize I'm just as easily swayed by ads and marketing as the next person. And so are you. This book is a great warning, a powerful education, and a great research tool. I'll use it to improve the marketing I create, but I'll also remember it the next time someone trys to market anything to me. Great book. Get it. Read it. Use it. - Joe Vitale, author of way too many books to list here ...
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