When you were a kid, you’ll remember that some things were
for adults only. Your mom or dad would say, “This Vodka,
Whisky, Beer is for adults, not for you.” Then as kids we
would either sneakily try it out when their backs were
turned, try pleading with them for a “little where to buy pappy van winkle” or
eagerly await the day we were old enough to try it. When we
did finally try it we’d nearly choke and then pretend to
ourselves that the putrid tasting liquid burning our throat
actually tasted good! This little fib will then follow a
good proportion of us into our adulthood.
Simply telling someone that “this is not for you” will
appeal to the rebellious child in them and make them want it
all the more. Bonkers but true!
Here’s the closing part (slightly modified) of a sales
presentation (dressed up as a cosmic health seminar) I
remember hearing. Although this particular example is
blatantly obvious when you know what you’re looking for, it
created a massive rush of people paying over £2000 each at
the back of the room…
“Right, so you’ve heard me speak for 20 minutes now, about
how I cured my own halitosis through the power of positive
thinking. Now I’d just like to tell you about a 3 day
workshop I’m running called ‘The Smell Journey’ but before I
tell you any more, I should just make a few things clear.
This workshop is not for everyone! Only people who are
smart, decisive, intelligent, wise, open minded and ready
for a better future should come and sign up today at the
desks that you’ll find right next to all the exits.”
While I’ve obviously amended the message for our amusement,
this pattern really worked for the presenter and will work
for you too.
- Don’t Doesn’t Work…
Why is it that when people tell us
not to do something it seems to happen as if by magic? How
many times has someone said, “watch you don’t fall” just
before someone goes crashing to the floor? Could it be that
by saying don’t do something you could cause that thing to
happen. Yes! Absolutely!
Here’s an experiment…
Right, I don’t want you to think of a pink monkey…Now
don’t think of that pink monkey dancing and playing a purple
And whatever you do, please don’t imagine that the pink
monkey is dancing on the back of a green elephant riding a
While I can’t actually prove you weren’t thinking those
thoughts, I’m 100% certain that you were.
“Not” is just a word – but as humans we usually have to
experience something in order to understand what “not” to do
something would be like.
I actually tried a headline out that simply said…
“Do Not Read This Ad…”
The response rate went up by almost 500% from the previous
headline I used!
What would you do if you received an envelope that had these
words written on it…
“Do Not Open This Envelope”
I know what I’d do!
- I Want It, I Want It, I Want It!
If something is not readily available it increases in
desirability and value. Just think about diamonds or
precious metals. They’re little more than pretty stones
or shiny metals. We can create equally attractive jewellery
without them yet people will put their life at risk, commit
crimes and even kill people to acquire them.
If you are selective about who you choose to work with,
people will attach much more value and pride to working with
you. Harvard Business School understands this, DeVeers
understand this, Ferrari understands this.
Harley Davidson actually turned its business around by
creating an 18 month waiting list.
So tell people they can’t have you and give them a positive
(or aspirational) reason why and many will go out of their
way to find a way of getting to the top of your waiting
- Polarity Responders
Some people are habitual polarity responders. If you tell
them to do something, they’ll resist. If you tell them not
to do it they’ll go ahead and do it. In the right
circumstances we all do this polarity response. When you
recognise it you can use it to devastating effect.
For instance if you get a prospect who’s being really testy
- saying things like “XYZ Co’s prices are lower than yours!
Why is that?” or “Why should I trust you?” the worst thing
you can do is try and give them a convincing answer. They’ll
just create a new objection. Here’s what I’d do instead…
CUSTOMER: “XYZ Co are cheaper than you. Why shouldn’t I just
go with them?”
YOU: “You’re right XYZ Co are cheaper than me. I believe you
only get what you pay for but if price is an issue for you
then maybe you should just use them instead.”
CUSTOMER: “Why should I just trust what you say?”
YOU: “I don’t want you trust what I’ve just said. I want
you to consider the facts and make up your own mind about
which solution is right for you.”
I’d urge you to practice these approaches in a safe
environment first – ie where you’re not too bothered whether
you get a sale or not. Once you see how it works first hand
then have some fun with it and trust yourself to use it
tactic only when appropriate.