Spiderman Reveals the Difference Between Manipulation and Persuasion

spiderman

I love the scene in the Spiderman movie (the first one with Tobey Maguire) when Uncle Ben tells Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility.” 

That’s true for super heroes. 

That’s also true for marketers. 

I’m working on a revised and expanded version of a free resource I created a few years back called “7 Ways to Make Your Marketing Messages More Persuasive.” I’ll share that with you soon. 

A client who read the previous version once told me, “I understand the power of these persuasion tips. But I don’t want to manipulate people.” 

That’s a common concern. 

Here’s my answer: The (big) difference between manipulation and persuasion is intent

That’s just another way of saying with great power comes great responsibility. 

If you are an ethical business person…

…if your intent is to provide products and services that help your prospects…

…if you’re willing to turn away a prospect who won’t benefit from your products and services…

…then you should persuade them to act

…because acting is in their best interest

I’ll repeat that last point: Persuade them to act in their best interest. 

If you are unethical…

…if you’re looking for the sale at all costs…

…if you don’t care whether your products and services will help the “sucker” who buys them…

…then the act of convincing and cajoling is manipulation. 

Summary: Don’t manipulate someone to act against their interests. 

When I share with you those tips, you’ll have great power to persuade prospects to act. 

With that power will come great responsibility…

…the responsibility to persuade those who will benefit from what you sell. 

There’s an old saying, “He can sell ice to an Eskimo.”

For some, that’s a compliment. I don’t see it that way.

I see it as a salesman who intends to use his power of manipulation to trick someone, to convince someone to buy unneeded ice. That’s unethical and irresponsible. 

The best way to know whether prospects truly will benefit from your products and services is to dive deeper to discover their aspirations and fears. 

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. 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) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

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 in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly 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.