I actually like learning from all the top online salesman gurus out there. And I don’t mean buying their crappy educational products that only educate you on damage control when you’re forced to fight for your refund. No, I like to learn by looking at what they’re really doing, not what they say they’re doing.
So today let’s focus on some of the cool Jedi mind tricks used in sales copy, sales videos, ads and so on.
Disclaimer. This post has been written for entertainment purposes only. I don’t advise using any of the techniques mentioned here. Actually, you’re a thinking human being so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth it or not.
This is the first thing that always raised my eyebrow when examining some selling materials in the guru space. I’ve noticed that in every 300 words or so, or every 2-3 minutes of a sales video, the person repeats the benefits of their product, or even repeats the core sales call to action (“call us,” “click the button,” or so on).
Then I stumbled upon this text on the repetition principle. As it turns out, if you say something often enough, after a while, the visitor will not only be familiarized with the message, but will also treat it as being true.
In other words, the best way of making people believe your product’s benefits is to mention them whenever you have the chance…over and over again.
Swear a little
Swearing makes every message more personal, more emotion-driven, and more interesting in general. Damn straight, right?!
This all has to do with the fact that we don’t consider swearing as part of the traditional marketing/business talk. So whenever someone uses a little profanity, our guard goes down a bit because their message sounds less business-y. And therefore, we are more prone to the actual marketing contents that are still in it.
Swearing makes people seem more real and more natural. And being regarded as someone natural (and therefore truthful) is among the main goals of every salesperson.
Drive a car
This is a real, genuine mind trick.
It’s used in all kinds of sales videos. The idea is that the person speaking is driving a car while recording the video. Some of the reasons why this works involve the fact that the video seems more natural (like it’s being shot as a “by the way” thing), and the fact that it’s easier for the person talking to stay natural because they still have to focus on driving the car itself, so it does take some camera-stress away.
But the absolute main reason why this works is a subconscious message of going from point A to B, and arriving at a destination (the videos always end when the person talking reaches the place where they were driving to).
To break it down, here’s what happens. You see the person driving (moving from A to B) and talking about a product/solution at the same time. The product too promises some kind of destination. At the end, the fact that the person talking reaches their destination creates a good impression about the product’s credibility itself, by association.
I saw this explanation somewhere a while ago. I’m sorry but I can’t find the original source. This is not my own original interpretation.
This is a pretty simple trick but people still continue to use it. It’s most popular for all kinds of biz-op or internet money products.
The idea is that the person talking is at the beach while recording the video. They don’t have to mention the beach in any way, the sole fact of them being there has its effects.
The message is simple: “Hey, this is my lifestyle. Buy my crap and you’ll join me.”
Exact sums of money
I’m sure you’ve seen this hundreds of times…
“Here’s how I made $142,300.56 in a month with [technique x]“
“Here’s how you can make $53,987.34 in just a week with this simple [product x]“
…and myriads other promises just like the above.
I mean, come on! Quoting an exact sum of money is just so 2006. Nevertheless, I guess it still works since people are doing it.
Presenting fake flaws
Every product has its pros and cons. Good products have a lot more of the former than they have of the latter, though. But in the end, there is quite a bit of both.
And we don’t have to look far for examples. Everything Apple does have a number of flaws. Real flaws that are quite frustrating during everyday use.
Yet…some online marketers tend to take a different approach and list a number of fake flaws that are not actually that serious at all, or are obvious as hell.
The idea is that since people know very well that everything has flaws, a marketing message should point out at least a couple of them or the product doesn’t look real. In other words, it’s shown as too good to be true.
Verbally opting out of the guru camp
What’s the easiest way of not being affiliated with other internet gurus? Just say that “they” are bad but you are just fine and dandy.
Here’s a nice phrase that gurus like to use:
“If you’ve ever been scammed by an internet guru then you know how deceptive those products can be. This is why I will show you exactly why this thing is different … blah blah etc.”
This is all it takes. What this means in plain English is indeed: “they are bad, I am not.”
Talk/write with confidence
Confidence tends to win over facts and other traditional values.
As it turns out, humans prefer cockiness to expertise. In other words, people who can convey their message in a confident and energetic tone win over audiences and get sales.
It’s our lizard brain that’s to blame here. Our most primal subconscious instinct tells us to listen to the most confident specimen in the pack. No matter if it’s at the office, at the church, or during a sales webinar for a crappy online biz product.
Getting people to agree with you
Every professional salesman working in the traditional manner (door to door or direct marketing) will tell you that getting any kind of “yes” means the world in the sales process.
And the best thing about it is that the “yes” doesn’t even have to be directly related to the thing on sale. All expressions beginning with “have you ever” follow this exact principle – to get people to agree with you early on so you can sell to them afterwards.
This closes my list but I’m sure there are way more examples just like the above that I failed to notice. Feel free to let me know in the comments or even shoot me an email.
And finally, let me disclose this again that I’m not encouraging anyone to use these techniques in their sales materials. I’m just reporting on what’s out there. It’s up to you to decide what to do with it.