Robert Cialdini’s principles of influence can be considered to be common sense.

The fifth principle of liking definitely has merit for common sense. We are far more likely to submit to a request to someone that we like rather than someone we do not like. And from a common sense perspective, this is a something that we would all understand. I think that one of the things that is extremely important is when you look at Robert’s research, at the extent that some businesses have built their whole business model around the idea of liking. They have leveraged that to increase their sales and develop billion-dollar companies with the primary influence factor of liking.

Tupperware is a good example of a business that has leveraged the idea of liking. Tere’s no doubt that they have a quality product and that they came out at a time when people were looking for ways to store their food and so that they would relieve themselves of the burden of constantly cooking new meals all the time when they could save the leftovers and perhaps not have to cook another meal. There’s a lot to do with timing and they came up with a lot of innovative marketing but at its fundamental core, Tupperware is based on the idea of liking. It’s the home party business model.


Tupperware is based on the idea of liking. Photo credit:

There are many businesses that are out there now and they run a similar business model and they leverage the idea of liking. So these companies will have someone host a party where a sales representative will come out and provide information about the products. But the idea is, the person that is hosting the party is getting a commission on the sales that are done. So when people are invited, friends are invited, family are invited to come to a friend’s house, they know that that friend is going to be receiving some kind of benefit from the purchase that they make. So in a sense, what they’re doing is they’re not buying it from the sales representative that is coming from the company, they’re buying it from their friend, their family member. By doing this, Tupperware Company and other home party business model companies are leveraging the idea of liking.

If the situation was that someone was being invited over to the Tupperware sales representatives’ house, first of all, they’re probably not even going to show up. They may not know this person. They’re thinking in terms of that this person is just going to be spending the whole time selling me things and I’m not convinced that I feel that there’s any kind of obligation to help out this individual or to buy anything. But if you take the idea of the home party business model where you have a host that is liked by their friends and family, then there is a feeling of a certain level of obligation to purchase the product that would be greater than if the request was just coming from the sales representative.

There’s no question that you still have to have a valid product, it still has to be quality, all those other factors are in there. But given a side-by-side comparison, you will definitely have a much higher sales response if you are buying from someone that you like, someone that you know, friends, family and it’s going to have an impact on your decision of whether or not you want to buy that product.

So from a marketing perspective, you don’t necessarily jump on the home party business model but if you are selling something, you are going to want to try to build up a relationship with your with your potential clients, your existing clients, so that you become someone that they like, trust, and potentially perceive as an authority figure. That is something that will increase the likelihood that they’re going to purchase from you rather than someone else.


Build up a relationship with your with your potential clients. Photo credit:

Sometimes it’s very hard to determine differences between different products or services. So given the opportunity to buy from someone they like and someone that they don’t like or that they just don’t know anything about with a comparable offering, they’re definitely going to buy from the person that they like.

So you need to be a likable person or a likeable salesperson, provide a likable company and build on that so that you can build a relationship with future clients or existing clients and help them be more comfortable making the purchase from you rather than someone else.

In terms of helping someone change their behavior, it’s definitely going to be better coming from someone that is as pleasant, is going to be well-liked, so then a big part of the message is the individual that’s delivering it and the approach that they take.


You need to be a likeable person so you can build a relationship with future clients. Photo credit:

Rather than commanding and being an authority figure and demanding that this is something that they must do which has a potential to help create feedback or that they are going to have resistance for doing something new, you want to present it in a manner that’s going to allow someone to like the presentation or like the idea of adopting this new behavior and the whole process is just going to be that much easier.