The little girl who could: A story about two powerful forms of influence

There was once a little Girl Scout that was having trouble selling enough cookies to get her next badge :(.

Not wanting to give up, she approached her father and asked whether he could help her to sell enough cookies.

Luckily, for this particular little girl, she has a devious father – evil even >:).

Asking his little girl to trust him, he goes out to the shops and brings back a very large bunch of flowers.

He then takes his girl to a local shopping strip, gives her a bit of training and tells her to hand out a flower to anyone she’d like to sell cookies to.

True to her fathers advice (and with him keeping a close eye on her!), she goes ahead and starts handing out flowers.

You enter the scene…

Bags in hand, you are walking down the very same shopping strip.

It’s halfway through the day and you are thinking about finding a place to sit down and have a coffee break.

Then all of a sudden, a little blond-haired girl with pony-tails enters your line of sight.

She is walking up to you… with an outstretched hand that contains a lovely flower… and to make things worse, she’s got a very cute pleading smile on her face.

Bemused, you take the flower and say “Thank you”.

The little girl then reaches into her backpack and pulls out a box of cookies.

Holding them up for you to see, she asks in a decidedly cute 8-year-old voice, “Would you like to buy a box of cookies for $20?  It’s for chawity.”

You almost automatically say yes but are stopped by the realization that you don’t have that much money on you.

So you say, “I’m sorry, I’d love to buy your cookies, but I don’t have that much money on me.”

Not perturbed, the little girl smiles cutely and says, “That’s ok.  I can just sell you one cookie instead for twee dollars”.

A short time later…

You are standing at the side of the kerb with a cookie in one hand, a flower in the other and a wallet that is 3 dollars lighter.

You do a double take and wonder why you bought the cookie when you don’t even like cookies…

“What just happened???”

You just witnessed the devious use of two forms of influence.

Reciprocity and Contrast.

Something to think about :).


Your exercise is to think about how you can apply these to your own app business ;).

“But Cliff!  I don’t understand!”

Hmm… you have two choices then.

1) You can truly integrate the lesson by going out there yourself to sell cookies using these forms of influence…

2) OR, if dressing up in Girl Scout clothing isn’t your cup of tea…

Then, you can wait until I explain them in more detail and give you the science behind them in a future post :P.


To your App Success!



PS: If you don’t want to accidentally miss out on the gory details of these two forms of influence, then please accept my free gift to you – a report that explains the 8 biggest mistakes app developers make.

Just fill in the little web form on the top right of the page and you’ll also be on the mailing list that emails you whenever I have something awesome to share :).

PPS: I eat spam,  I don’t send it. 😉

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