Intrigued by what makes salesmen exercise influence and win over customers, Robert Cialdini embarked on an unlikely journey that put him on the path of remarkable discovery. He hasn’t sold a thing— barring more than three million copies of his book Influence: Science and Practice that came out of his research — but knows exactly how people can be influenced and is often regarded as the ‘Godfather of Influence.’ Among Cialdini’s clients are Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline and his latest book Pre-suasion has become a New York Times bestseller. His treasure trove of insights came from attending many, many sales training programmes across dozens of industries which revealed to him the nuances of different trades and gave him an opportunity to understand the winning ways under different circumstances and context of business. The six principles — reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus — that he inferred as universal have proved to be timeless. Based on those very principles, Cialdini mesmerises us with how a small change in messages can cause huge increase in the degree of influence. Listening to the cool deliberations from the soft-spoken, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University was especially refreshing, amidst the 100°F heat in Tempe.