These days there are a lot of guys who have read several books on hard sales and are ready to break the will of the customer. We stand for the protection from such people. Therefore, in this article, we will share with you the techniques of manipulation. Learn to defend yourself and do not let your friends get caught on the hook.

Test yourself

In this article, we present the techniques of manipulation described by Robert Cialdini in his book “The Psychology of influence”. But let’s do an experiment: read the description of the technique without reading the section “Protection”. Try to guess how to protect yourself in such situations. And then check the answer.

Mutual exchange

When we give something, we feel obligated to give something in return. For example, immediately, without hesitation, make a purchase from a friendly seller. The task of a giver is to create the feeling that you, as an honest man should answer the favor.

Trick: You will be provided with a service which seems not to be provided by this company. “Break away from the heart” as they say.

Do you like our coffee? Me too, I drink it in our kitchen. Let me give you a little and you will drink it at home.

The next time you will feel yourself obligated and buy something.

Now think about how would you protect from manipulation. And only after that read the next section.


The effectiveness of this manipulation is that we decide that we are obligated ourselves. And since this is our own conclusion, we stand for it.

Protection is in recognition of tricks and changing your own perception. You are bound only when you are given something sincerely, from the heart. If it is a tricky business strategy – you do not have to give anything to anybody in return.

Thank you, you are very kind. It is a pity that such a good seller should sell such poor quality and expensive furniture.

Mutual concession

It is an embodiment of mutual exchange. You are offered to do something that does not really suit you. You refuse to do it. Then the opponent makes a concession. You do not want to offend the person and agree.

– Honey, let’s buy me this fur coat for $10,000.
– No, it’s expensive and unnecessary.
– Oh, I like it so much. Oh, I have been dreaming about it so long… well, okay. Then let’s buy at least this vest.
– Well, okay, wrap it please.

This works because we tend to feel uncomfortable when someone makes us a concession, changes his position for us.

Protection is the same as in the mutual exchange. Identify manipulation and understand that you are not obligated.

Commitment and consistency

We aim to be consistent and look good in the eyes of others. This hook catches us.

– Short opinion poll. Three questions literally. Give me a minute?
– Ok (a small commitment).
– So, your age is up to fifty years?
– Yes, up to fifty.
– Thank you. How would you rate your level of income: low, middle, upper-middle, high?
– Upper-middle.
– This is great. And how do you feel about helping children? Good or bad?
– Hmm… Good.
– Do you know that many businesses in your industry take patronage over orphanages and help children? (The trap has slammed). I represent a children’s fund…


When we realize that we’ve been outsmarted, it seems that we have only two options:

  1. To abandon everything previously said and show that we are inconsistent and unfair. We do not want that.
  2. To agree with the opponent and get out of an unpleasant situation. This is exactly what the opponent wants.

But there is a third option – to uncover the manipulation:

You see, your opinion poll is not an opinion poll at all. By asking questions you are trying to do so that I was embarrassed to refuse you. We both know it. Would you like to be manipulated?

Social proof

It’s extremely difficult to go against society. Conversely, when we do not know what to do, we look at the others and sincerely accept their behavior as the correct one. This is an inconvenient truth, and the sellers always use it.

– A man bought this vacuum cleaner yesterday. And he called today to ask to postpone another one for his friend. Isn’t for you, by chance?
– You can find it in every third house in America.


If you feel that someone pushes you to buy something based on social proof, expose question on the proof:

– Why did men buy it? Did his friend came to buy it?
– Where did you get such data for America? I read that a company is fifteenth in its category in the United States. (Never mind that it’s not true. Let the seller justify himself).


We underestimate the power of sympathy. No matter whether a person attracts us with his appearance, voice, smell or some special features or we just like a person because he likes us – we are already trapped by sympathy. We are helpless when we are flattered or praised. And we are often willing to do everything not to disappoint the person who is pretty for us.


Sympathy is good exactly as long as you are not being manipulated. Therefore, at the moment when a beautiful smart dealer (or a stunning maiden) looks in your eyes and offers to make a decision as soon as possible, take a break. The seller will not go anywhere, but you need to think. Exclude the impact of the seller and think about the product.

Obedience and trust to the authorities

The authority of another person changes our behavior more often than we think.  If we do not understand computers, computer consultant is the authority for us. The new restaurant waiter can be an authority in the field of good and bad food.


People can be really well-versed in their field. And sometimes they are really on your side. But if your heart tells you that you are being cheated by the authority, check it:

Ask an expert to write his recommendations on paper. As if you do not understand anything, but your son (friend, colleague) understands this better, and you want to ask him for advice. Look at the reaction: if your opponent starts to play up and tries to push you into buying right now, it means that he is afraid of exposure. Sly dog.

The principle of deficit

Sometimes the seller begins to simulate deficit to push the customer to buy something.

Look, yesterday we had forty items of goods, today only two left. Most likely, this item won’t be included into the next importation, but there will be a more expensive model. So, think it twice…


When someone simulates deficit, he plays on your need to buy something or the fear of losing something. Confuse the manipulator:

I’m sure this is not the last item in the city.

Thousands of techniques

There are thousands of techniques and this is only the beginning. Every day the new sellers are taught in the secret trainings and seminars to break our will with new, more sophisticated ways. It’s a fact of life, and all that we can do is to be ready to protect ourselves.