2 Techniques of Persuasion in Writing: Belief Shifting Stories

When it comes to the psychology of persuasion, there are 2 persuasion techniques to use to approach people...

You can appeal to their intellect.
Or build an argument based on statistics and facts.

The second one will result in your audience arguing with each and every single point you make.

Why? ... Because their analytical mind will be fully engaged... And their amygdala will reject anything it does not immediately agree with.

This persuasion technique is hard but not impossible

The trouble is that even if you succeed, your audience will not put their heart and soul into the project. They will have no emotional skin in the game so when the going gets tough (which it will inevitably do so), they will be the first to flag and fall by the wayside.

The second is to unite a pre-wired idea with an emotion and, in the process, make what you say truly memorable.

Imagine being able to move an ideal prospect from being resistant to receptive to ready to buy from you just by recounting a series of belief-shifting stories which have been strategically chosen for the job.

Before we can do this, we should take a deep dive into what we're really doing when it comes to the psychology of persuasion.

Our goal is to awaken 'possibility' in others. If they don't believe that they can really do it, nothing we do or say really matters. 

Until they believe — deep inside — that they can create real value for an audience, we will not accomplish our primary objective (which is awakening possibility in them).

This persuasion technique is all about establishing a series of new beliefs in a logical way.

Let's unpack this a little more because the distinction is important:

Belief = Noun: an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

Facts = Noun: objectively verifiable.

I'm 6'1". Clearly defined. Specific. Easily verifiable. No grey area.

A Belief can't be objectively verified 

A Belief is based on education, experience, and context.

It’s based on a gut feeling.  
A level of faith is required.
There is no empirical data to support it. 

People believe what they want to believe.

Religion is the obvious example because truth is subjective in that context. It can't be held up in a court of law and defended with empirical data. It's an act of faith.

Conditioning.
And Perception.

A series of  Beliefs built up over time form our worldview. 

They form a bubble around us that new ideas have trouble penetrating. We are safe in our comfort zone.

If your potential customer is to buy from you, they must take on board and agree to new beliefs that move them towards an inevitable conclusion…

That you are the person they must do business with.

The version of marketing I do and teach requires a level of belief you need to accept that it'll work for you, in your unique context, for your audience, and for the product or service you provide.

I can't promise you this

I can't objectively guarantee that if you do the work to your best ability, the outcome you get will be an order of magnitude better than what you have now.

Many marketers will dole out guarantees left and right, like cotton candy at a fairground, that if you follow 'their system', you'll earn whatever promised riches.

But I’m not one of these marketers (again, shocker!).

I wholeheartedly believe in my version of marketing because it's what I do myself, and, for me, the results are undeniable and verifiably.

Black and white

I've seen businesses transform when they follow my lead, not just in the results they see, but in how they feel about the work they do.

Moving from a finite to an infinite mindset requires a belief that (future) downstream results will be desirable and (subjectively) inevitable.

A leap of faith, yes. But only because you're starting on a new journey that for you is still unproven…

And uncomfortable (at least to start with) like any journey.

Iterating away from the almost instant results of direct response with its default short time horizon to the longer time horizon when you choose — fortified with belief — to play a very different game and know you're on the right path to where you want to get.

I also have to believe in what I’m offering

(Notice I didn't say what I’m selling.)

That's certainly important, but it's much more than that.

I have to believe, without reservation, that:

  • Every idea I've shared in my free content (emails, articles, posts, manifestos, comments, etc.) is accurate and effective.
  • Every example I've given conveys the truth about the specific example, and is representative of a larger truth (not just a one off, lucky exception).
  • The principles I've built Story Inception around — like leading with value, playing the infinite game, thinking in probabilities, etc. — are the most effective way for you to get results.
  • My actions — how I do what I do — is 100% congruent with what I teach.

That brings us to the third example

What do we (you and me) need to believe to be successful together?

I need to agree that you're going to do the work - I can't do the push-ups for you.

I need to agree that when you have questions, I’m going to be there to help you work through them.

That doesn't mean I’m going to hold your hand and do the work for you, but it does mean that we're all on the same team, and I may need to clarify, expand, or better explain an idea occasionally.

I need to believe that the methods I teach are going to be effective for your specific needs. That means saying NO to potential customers occasionally when it's clear we're not a good fit (which further reinforces your belief when I say that our methods are a good fit).

When I place my attention on these beliefs...

I never have to think about objections. 

The right people self-select IN, and the people for whom I’m not a good fit self-select OUT.

And that's exactly the way it's supposed to be.

One more thing while I have your attention -  in upcoming essays, we will go deeper into beliefs - including how to create a ‘belief stack’ and  guide your potential customers on a journey by telling stories that shift your ideal customers' limiting beliefs.

In the meantime, I’d like to say thanks for your attention so far and offer you an invitation to join me to build a durable business. 

WORK TOGETHER

You don't need another secret tactic or hack that promises much but delivers little -- You need a clear people-focused digital marketing strategy which gives you the mindset and vision you need to succeed. Let's get started.

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Rory is currently helping build my Life Coaching business, and that includes identifying a target market that I connect with, learning how to speak their language, creating products and services catered to my target market, and creating a minimal viable funnel that will help me market.

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