You and I live in a very complex world. Every day we are inundated with a torrent of information and are required to make dozens of decisions about everything from what to eat for lunch to which investments to make for retirement.
If we had to research and analyze the details of each and every choice we make, our lives would be quickly overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.
But, human beings have developed a number of shortcuts for working through all of the decisions we are required to make. We all use these kinds of shortcuts to make choices, and fortunately, most of the time they work well.
How do you pick a dentist?
Do you set about researching certifications and licenses? Do you review Better Business Bureau listings? Do you contact the university where your prospective dentist graduated to verify their academic records and speak to their former teachers?
The truth is, we don’t really ‘know’ the answer to all of the important questions. We use our shortcuts to make the decision and hope that everything works out.
I chose my dentist 100% on the personal recommendation of a friend and assumed everything else was legitimate. When I arrived at the office it looked like a professional office. The many diplomas on the wall offered more reassurance that I was dealing with a legitimate dentist. They had all the right equipment too. But, I never verified one bit of the information I was given. I accepted it all because it appeared legitimate.
Fortunately for me, I chose a good dentist. Hundreds and hundreds of other choices I’ve made over the years have also worked out well. That’s why we use these shortcuts in the first place – they work (most of the time!)
Each of us has a bunch of our own decision making rules and guidelines that we develop from personal experience. But there are 6 fundamental decision making shortcuts that affect people all around the world – regardless of race, nationality, or gender.
Salespeople, advertisers, politicians, and other ‘professional persuaders’ know that by tapping into these shortcuts, they can trigger you to make a decision – one that favors them!
But, professionals aren’t the only people using these techniques. We all use these shortcuts and triggers already whenever we try to persuade other people. The pros are just very aware of what they are doing and intentional about how they use them.
Most of us are not conscious of exactly what we are doing when we try to persuade others and why our tactics work. We also don’t usually use more than one or two triggers, which limits our effectiveness.
But we are about to change all that.
You are about to be inducted into the society of ‘Power Persuaders’ where you will learn each of the 6 psychological triggers of persuasion.
You’ll learn how each trigger works, why it works, and how to put them to work for you.
The psychological principles of persuasion you are about to learn are the foundation for the tactics and techniques being taught by successful marketers like Mike Filsaime, Frank Kern, John Reese, Mark Joyner, Jeff Walker, and countless others.
They also work for con-artists and used car salesmen, so watch out for people trying to use these techniques to slip something past you!
It’s time to learn The 6 Secrets of Power Persuasion…
Secret 1: Authority
Experts Agree You Should Read This Section
Have you ever disobeyed a traffic signal because a police officer directed you to do so? Have you ever made an investment because a well known financial adviser recommended it? Do you buy Crest toothpaste because 4 out of 5 dentists recommend it? Do you know anyone who lost money investing with former NASDAQ chairman, Bernie Madoff?
Authority figures exert a powerful influence over people. To navigate our complex world we all look to experts to help us make important decisions on subjects where we have limited knowledge. We make the assumption that an expert has carefully analyzed all of the relevant information in the area of their expertise and used their knowledge and experience to determine the best recommendations. We are able to tap into their knowledge and experience in order to make better choices of our own.
But, the power of authority runs even deeper than that. In 1973 the infamous ‘Milgram Study‘ was conducted to determine how easily a common person could be persuaded to administer a lethal electric shock (or so they thought) to another person, strictly on the instructions of a perceived authority figure (in this case, a scientist in a lab coat.)
The results were horrifying…
65% of the participants in the Milgram Study were willing to administer a lethal electric shock to another person, just because the authority figure in the room instructed them to do so. These were ordinary people like you and me. Some of them apologized and cried as they sent the lethal shock – but they flipped the switch anyway.
That is how powerful an influence authority has over our actions and decisions. And it makes sense. Obedience to authority is very beneficial to an organized society and we have trained our children from birth to be obedient – to parents, teachers, police officers, and many others.
Being perceived as an authority by other people is not as hard as it might appear. Even if you are working in a marketplace where professionals are required to obtain certifications and advanced degrees, you can achieve authority without them (and I don’t mean by ‘faking’ having a degree, certification, or a license – that is illegal and unnecessary.)
Authority can be invoked in many ways. Our world is filled with symbols of authority like the White House or the Kremlin. We have official seals and other marks that ‘carry the weight’ of the office or people they represent.
We can tout the honors and degrees that have been conferred on us by respected institutions. I myself have won several Communicator Awards for my corporate communications work, a best film award from the Long Island Film Festival for an independent feature film I co-produced and served on as Director of Photography, I am a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, and have studied marketing under a master marketer – Frank Kern.
Uniforms are another method we use to convey authority. If you could see me right now, you would surely notice that I am dressed in the official uniform of the Information Product Creator (jeans, a t-shirt, and flip-flops.)
Finally, there is your reputation. When other important and respected people praise you, you are elevated to their status. The same happens when large numbers of ‘regular folks’ start praising you.
When you are first starting out as a marketer, you may not have much ‘authority’ in your marketplace to influence people. But, you don’t have to worry. Frank Kern put it best when he said that you can borrow other people’s authority just by quoting them. It’s not as good as having your own authority, but it can help get the process rolling.
Now it’s time for me to change out of my uniform into a 3-piece suit and go administer some electrical shocks!
You made a very wise decision when you chose to read this article. Now, scroll to the next section. You won’t be disappointed – I promise!
Secret 2: Commitment and Consistency
You’ve Already Read The First Two Chapters…
…Don’t stop reading now. You need to see this thing through to the end. Your commitment to your business education is commendable and is one of the character traits that separates you from the masses of people who will never reach their dreams.
Commitment and consistency is the second powerful decision making trigger in the power persuader’s tool kit.
People want to be consistent. It is a highly valued character trait. People who aren’t consistent are often seen as duplicitous, confused, or just plain nuts. But, a consistent person is reliable and good, right?
Because we want to be consistent, once we make a decision we tend to support that decision in our minds and come up with reasons why it was a good idea (even if it wasn’t.) When we make an active choice it provides us with the information that we use to build our own self-image.
Frank Kern is a big fan of leading people to make their own decision to buy his products rather than telling them to buy (he often says outright ‘I’m not telling you to buy my stuff, I just want to make sure you have all the facts so you can make up your own mind.’) In his Mass Control training course he states that when a customer makes the buying decision for themselves, they will defend that decision – even in the face of contradictory evidence.
A common application of commitment and consistency that gets used in the marketing world is membership programs and subscriptions. Marketers know that once they convince you to join up, you will continue to be a member for a long time because you’ve made a choice.
One powerful twist to this influential principle is that you can start the process with a very small commitment – like a free trial. Even though the next step might cost a significantly larger amount of money, it is still perceived as the next step in an existing commitment.
You made a choice to read this article – good thing, too! You’ve already gotten some very useful insights into effective marketing, wouldn’t you agree?
So, keep right on going. In the next section I’ve got another powerful persuasion tool to share that I know you’ll like.
Secret 3: Likability
I Love To Read Stories To My Daughter!
You’re pretty far into this article now, but you probably don’t know much about me. You may have gathered that I am a student of marketing and you may have skipped over to the ‘about the author’ page on the site or visited my personal blog. So, you know a little bit about me.
I’m married and have two daughters. As I write this, the oldest is 2 and a half and the youngest is 8 months (a few years have passed since I first wrote this.) I get to be much more involved with the daily lives of my kids than many people I know. One of my favorite things to do is read bedtime stories to my older daughter while sitting in the rocking chair in her bedroom. Then, I get to kiss her goodnight.
When my baby gets a little older, so I get to do it all over again.
Have you ever gotten an email like that from a marketer before? Or maybe you’ve seen a video where they show you a glimpse of their personal life and you get to know them a little better. It is not an arbitrary choice, this is a conscious and calculated effort to get you to like them.
Liking is a powerful psychological trigger. We all prefer to be around people we like and we also tend to listen to people we like and even prefer to buy things from people we like. And, that is why savvy marketers build into their promotions the opportunity to let you get to know and like them.
If you haven’t already met me in person or seen my photo, then let me tell you that I just so happen to be an extremely handsome man! (My mother tells me that all the time.) This works out really well for me because physical attractiveness is one factor in defining who we like.
We also tend to like people who are similar to us. Since I am also just like you in every way, I am sure that the bond that we share will grow very strong.
You are now deep into this article and absorbing all of the powerful guru level persuasion secrets I’ve been sharing with you. You’ve also developed some sense of who and how I am as a person because you are familiar with how I write (even more so if you have spent any time over at my blog.) It just so happens that familiarity is another key factor in how much you like someone – so you probably like me so much you can hardly stand it at this point. It’s one of the reasons why follow-up email marketing is so powerful.
Unfortunately, I don’t hang out with lots of famous cool people all the time. Who we associate with is another important factor in how much we like someone. In all honesty, I mostly spend time with my wife and daughters. I think they’re great, but that probably doesn’t mean much to you (I’m going to have to make an effort to meet some cool people – or at least get my picture taken with a few at seminars.)
To close out this section on being more persuasive by getting people to like you, I would just like to say that you are very smart and good looking and it is an honor to have you studying this article! Stop reading right now and give yourself a round of applause. You deserve it! (Compliments make people like you too – even if the praise feels disingenuous. Of course, I meant every word I typed!)
Brace yourself for the priceless information contained in the next section – it is my very special gift to you!
But now, I’m off to go tuck my daughters into bed.
Secret 4: Reciprocity
This Is The Most Valuable Chapter I’ve Ever Written…
Can you believe the amount of priceless guru-level persuasion secrets that I have shared with you in this massively valuable article? I have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars studying the psychology of persuasion and this article covers the core elements of what I learned.
Mass Control, Product Launch Formula, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Mind Control Marketing, Crowd Control, Butterfly Marketing, and the Renegades of Persuasion. This is just a partial list of the courses, books, and videos I have studied on this subject.
Wouldn’t you agree that The 6 Secrets of Power Persuasion is the kind of crash course in influence that others would charge you hundreds of dollars to learn? (Frank Kern’s Mass Control course alone cost me $1997 and these same principles are at the foundation of the Mass Control system.)
If you agree that I’ve provided you with some extremely valuable information worth far more than I’ve charged you for reading this article (and I hope that I have), then you probably feel some sense of obligation toward me for the ‘gift’ that I have given you. You are experiencing the rule of reciprocity.
Reciprocity is the psychological trigger that makes you want to repay a favor. It is one of the most powerful rules of behavior and it is deeply ingrained in all cultures. That is because human societies get great benefits from it. The lengths to which people will go to repay a favor is astonishing.
In the world of marketing and sales, the environment is carefully constructed by the marketers so that the only way to repay a favor is to buy something. Mike Filsaime (creator of Butterfly Marketing) is a proponent of using upsells and downsells in the buying process. This is a form of reciprocity in action. Let me explain how this works.
After Mike makes an initial sale, the buyer is presented with a ‘special offer’ that attempts to sell more related products or services to the customer. This is the upsell.
If the upsell is refused, Mike ‘gives’ them a concession and offers a less expensive version of the upsell called the downsell. Since he is giving a concession, the customer is much more likely to return the favor by buying the downsell offer.
One of the most common examples of the rule of reciprocity on the Internet is giving away a free e-course or e-book in exchange for signing up for a mailing list!
You really owe me for this chapter 😉 I’m sure you’ll insist on clicking one of the advertisements on this page.
WARNING: The next section is time sensitive. Read it immediately so you don’t miss out!
Secret 5: Scarcity
Read This Chapter Before It Disappears Forever…
“For a limited time only…”
“There are only 500 copies made and there won’t be any more…”
“The first 10 customers get a special ‘Fast Action Bonus’…”
What do all 3 of these phrases have in common? The answer: they all invoke a sense of scarcity to urge you to take action right now.
These phrases (and others like them) often trigger the SPAM filters in my email software. It’s challenging to create emails that have scarcity built into them that are also SPAM filter friendly.
The reason these types of phrases are on the ‘hot lists’ of all the email filtering programs is because of the way they have been abused by spammers. They use these scarcity invoking phrases because they work!
Researchers have traced the desire to get something that is restricted all the way back to the developmental age of 2 – that is when children first become aware of themselves as individuals. The desire to hoard scarce resources starts that early and never lets go.
Human beings are more powerfully motivated by the fear of loss than the desire to gain. So, when a marketer invokes the idea that we may ‘lose out’ on an opportunity, the urgency to purchase whatever they are selling rises – even if we don’t really want it!
We are conditioned to associate rareness with value. So, when the number of copies of a product is limited, suddenly we are more willing to pay top dollar. This is a strategy that is well utilized by many marketers who are selling expensive products. It is a key strategy in nearly every event-style marketing promotion you have ever seen.
One unique twist to invoking the power of scarcity is when an abundant item suddenly becomes scarce. This radically amplifies the urgency to buy a product.
One technique that is employed in many big product launches is to announce a sudden surge in the competition for the already limited product.
The marketer starts by limiting the quantity of their product that is available. Then, they announce how many people have joined their product announcement email list to demonstrate the competition for their limited product.
Later, as launch day approaches, they just so happen to mention how some other person sent out a promotion to their ‘mega-huge’ list of subscribers ‘completely by surprise’ radically increasing your competition (and making the product seem more scarce!)
That little ploy has generated millions of dollars by creating launch day feeding frenzies.
There are many ways to introduce scarcity into your marketing. If your product itself isn’t scarce, you can offer a special bonus that is. Coaching sessions are popular because the coach’s time is limited and that creates a very real reason for the scarcity. You can also offer something ‘licensed’ where the limitation is how many copies you could afford.
The only type of scarcity strategy to avoid is one where the scarcity is an outright lie. If there is no good reason why a product is limited, people will see through your attempts to make it scarce. Even worse, if they catch you selling more than the number of copies you said were available, your reputation will be trashed.
So, your challenge as a marketer is to identify real limitations you can place on your offers and then invoke the scarcity principle in your marketing to turn up the buying pressure.
Now, print this next section out immediately. It could disappear at a moment’s notice and you will never remember all of the brilliant advice I gave you unless you put it onto paper and hide it in a safe place – hard drives do crash and Amazon.com does erase books from Kindle Readers.
The next section is the most popular thing I have ever written. I am constantly getting compliments on it from the people who read it, so I know you’ll love it too! (Once you’ve read it, write a comment below and tell me which part you liked the best.)
Secret 6: Social Proof
All Of The Other Kids Are Reading This Chapter!
Do you remember the first time you went to a fancy restaurant, or visited a strange place where you didn’t know the local customs? Remember that awkward feeling when you weren’t quite sure which fork to use with your salad or where you should sit? Do you remember what you did?
The odds are that you looked around to see what everyone else was doing and you copied them. You took your cues from the group. Usually, when a lot of people are doing the same thing, it’s the right thing to do.
The persuasion principle behind this is called ‘Social Proof’. When the crowd starts to say something we disagree with or don’t understand, social proof is that little voice in our heads that starts asking the question “do they know something I don’t?”
You probably first learned to use this persuasion tool in grade school. When your mom wouldn’t let you go to to the movies with all the other kids you said, “Everyone else’s mom said it was okay to go” – the logic being, if they all said yes, your mom must be wrong!
Mom probably followed up by saying, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?”
The bad news for mom is that the odds are very high that you would, in fact, jump if every else did too.
A video showed up on YouTube that vividly demonstrates the power of social proof. In the space of 3 minutes, a young man at an outdoor music festival goes from dancing by himself (a very bizarre dance), to slowly being joined by a other dancers. Suddenly, new dancers start showing up in a mad rush and he becomes the center of a huge crowd of dancers. At the end, late-comers are literally racing across the field jumping over people to become part of the crowd. It’s amazing to watch.
Social proof finds its way into marketing in a number of ways. Some blunt and some subtle. Movie studios like to promote the box office numbers of their newest releases because they know that you will assume a movie is good if a lot of other people go and see it – even if the reviews are bad.
TV shopping networks employ social proof when they show the little counter on the screen that lets you watch how many other people are buying that cubic zirconium ring. They also take calls on the air from customers who go on to rave about how much they love the ring they bought.
Typical ways that you can include social proof in your online promotions are to show testimonials from happy customers and reviewers on your sales pages. These can be text, audios, videos, or any combination of the 3.
You can also include counters on your web pages that track how many subscribers you have, or allow visitors to rate your products. Many marketers will lead off an email during a launch by mentioning how many new subscribers they have since the last email.
A less obvious, but equally powerful tactic, is to create a massive launch campaign that is designed to saturate a marketplace with content and conversations about you and your product. This usually involves the efforts of affiliates promoting some kind of free report or video designed to stir up conversation.
When done well, the launch consumes the conversation on forums and blogs in the target market, and soon everyone seems to be talking about it – which means it must be important, right?
Social proof can be even more subtle than that. Every time a visitor bookmarks a page on your site, links to it from their blog, or mentions it to a friend, you gain a vote of social proof that you’ve created something of value. Search engines now measure a whole range of social signals when ranking content on the web.
Social proof is powerful and cumulative. Over time it will build your reputation and it should be a part of everything that you do.
Now You Know The Kung-Fu Secrets of Persuasion
Congratulations, now you know the 6 secrets of power persuasion that every big ticket marketing guru is using to line his or her pockets with your cash. You are now smarter than most marketers and miles ahead of regular people when it comes to understanding persuasion. Just knowing the 6 secrets of power persuasion taught in this article puts you into a different class.