How to Persuade — Without Being a Manipulative Scumbag

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I’m about to board a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida to spend a few days at a small-group mastermind meeting run by Dave Dee.

Dave is an A+ marketer who recently hosted a workshop called “Present, Persuade, & Profit.”

He likes to teach by doing. Dave told us he would break down the workshop we were attending so we can build and present one just like it (he even promised to share the Powerpoint template he used for the workshop). He also promised he’d offer something for sale at the end of the workshop.

That something he sold was a new mastermind where he’ll teach advanced persuasion strategies and tactics. The mastermind has just 10 seats, and he emphasized those seats would sell fast.

Marketers call that “scarcity,” and it can work wonders to motivate prospects to act.

During the Q&A session, one workshop attendee asked Dave to clarify where the “false scarcity” part should go.

That’s when things got a little spicy.

“False scarcity” is when you claim to have a deadline, seat limit, or some other restriction, but it’s not really the case. You’re just saying that to accelerate sales.

Dave didn’t yell, but he was a jalapeño-hot.

“I didn’t suggest you use FALSE scarcity,” Dave said. “This is important…”

And then he repeated, “I’m not suggesting you use FALSE scarcity. When I say the mastermind will have 10 seats, I mean it.”

Dave then he told us all…

You don’t have to lie to be persuasive.

Speaking of lying to be persuasive, I once caught Southwest red-handed…

…and it made me habanero-hot. 🌶️🌶️🌶️

A few years back, I was booking a flight for my Melissa and me.

I entered the locations, dates and number of passengers. Then I pressed “Enter.”

Southwest listed the available flights.

I spotted the flight I wanted (perfect times, decent price)…

…but, dagnabbit it, there was only “1 left,” Southwest told me.

I needed two tickets so “1 left” wouldn’t cut it.

Hey, wait a minute! I had entered the wrong number of passengers in the search form. I said “1” passenger, not “2.”

So I revised and resubmitted the search.

Lo and behold, the “1 left” label disappeared from the flight I preferred.

As a test, I resubmitted the search, this time for “4” passengers. No problem. Plenty of seats available on my preferred flight.

More tests. I searched again for just “1” passenger. No more “1 left” label. Then I cleared my browser history (no more cookies on my computer to let Southwest know I had previously visited and searched). Now the “1 left” label was back.

False scarcity slapping me in the face. I was steamed 😡 I decided to book a flight on American Airlines instead.

What does this mean for you and your business?

If you want to build your business, you have to know how to persuade prospects to buy. But you don’t have to mislead and lie to do it.

No need for false scarcity.

I know lots of business people who worry that ANY persuasion tactics will turn them from a trusted service provider to a manipulative scumbag. They need to get over that.

Dave puts it this way: “The difference between unethical manipulation and ethical persuasion is intent.”

You intend to serve your clients. You intend to treat them with respect. You intend to build an honest relationship with them. When you persuade them to act, you are leading them to a valuable solution.

One last thing…

I share all of the above because you — and anyone who markets and sells — could use a mindset boost. So many hesitate to market and sell because they don’t want to come off as the pitchy pest or the manipulative scumbag.

When they pitch, they feel apologetic, not persuasive.

That’s a mindset issue.

I’ve developed routines and habits to work on my mindset. I’ve collected great resources to help me.

And I’ve constructed a place in my upcoming app where you can get some of those resources. It’s called Mindset Manor. The doors will open when I launch the app.

In case you missed yesterday’s email, I asked you and the rest of my online family to suggest names for the app.

My buddy Tim replied: “Twitter is available.” 😂

If you have any ideas, please reply to this email and share ’em.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.