How to Influence: The insane power of simply giving a reason

I’d like you to imagine that you are living in the latter part of the last century and you are queuing to use a photocopier. 

A man (probably with a perm) barges in and says:

1)   “May I use the photocopier?”

According to a study by Robert Cialdini, on average 60% of you would say “yes” and allow him to push in front of you.

You kind creatures. 

In the next scenario the man barges in, but this time says to you,

2)   “May I use the photocopier because I am in a rush”

This is a barely passable reason. After all, we are all busy people. Still, just by providing a reason, on average 94% of you would say yes and step aside.

Finally, and most bizarrely, in the final scenario the man says:

3)   “May I use the photocopier because I have to make copies?”

Think about it; this is absolutely no reason at all. 

It is not like you are all queuing for a buffet. You are ALL there to make copies.

Still... 93% of you would say “yes” and let the man in.

Looking at the figures, there is only a 1% drop from scenario 2, yet a 33% increase from scenario 1. 

This shows that it doesn’t really matter what the reason is… the mere fact of giving one will drastically impact whether or not someone does the favour you are asking them.

But why does this work?


As humans, we seek reason and gain comfort when we find it. 

We simply like to have a reason, and when we do it just makes more sense. 

So how can this impact our influence?

When talking to your contacts, make sure that when you ask them to do something, you are giving them a reason

(Preferably because it will help the client in some way. Not “because I want your money”.)

For example:

“Let’s arrange a meeting… so that I can share some great referrals with you”

“Sign up to my blog … because it will help you get more clients”

“Become a client… so that you can finally hit those big goals you’ve been dreaming of”

Have a smashing week,


CreativeMind Sales Training

Because you’re worth it