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Letter sent on May 19

Stop Trying To Persuade. Be A Cheerleader Instead.

Instantly Make Yourself A Better Marketer

When someone asks me for a quick tip on persuasion, I give a surprising response.

“Avoid it if you can. It’s easier to be a cheerleader.”

They respond with a furrowed brow and demand an explanation.

What is a cheerleader? Of course, I don’t mean pom-poms and back flips.

A cheerleader sells a product, service or idea that the other person already desires or believes.

Here’s what I mean:

  1. It’s easy to sell steak to a meat eater looking for dinner. The same pitch to a vegetarian falls on deaf ears.
  2. It’s easy to sell the idea of a Trump impeachment to a liberal. Selling the idea to a Trump supporter invites their wrath.
  3. It’s easy to sell a weight loss diet to someone embarrassed by their weight. Try selling weight loss products to a guy who thinks he’s too scrawny. What kind of response will you get?

You get the idea, right?

Get A Giant Head Start

As a persuader, you face a difficult challenge. You need to change minds.

As a cheerleader, you face a lower hurdle.

Let’s pretend the cheerleader sells a weight loss product to someone who desires to lose weight. She only needs to convince her prospect on the value of her solution. A tough challenge in that market but attainable.

What about the guy who thinks he’s scrawny? The persuader first needs to convince him he needs to prevent a weight problem. She then needs to convince him that she’s the one to provide it.

See the difference? The cheerleader is already half way there.

Here’s an example from my own life.

Driving in my car yesterday, I listened to a podcast. The guest talked about pistachios. He raved about the benefits. He further stated:

“Eat as many as you want. Don’t worry about the calories.”

I’m a pistachio lover. That was all I needed to hear. I raced to the supermarket and bought two bags of pistachio kernels (without the shell).

That guest was my cheerleader. He told me what I wanted to hear and I jumped in with both feet.

Century Old Marketing Wisdom

If I believed nuts were harmful, I would question his wisdom. I would demand more proof. I would find my own proof to refute his.

He would need to work a lot harder and longer to first persuade me that pistachio’s are healthy. Only then would he have a shot at persuading me I can eat limitless amounts.

Smart marketers and copywriters follow this path. The great ones have known this for over a century.

It’s far easier to cheerlead than it is to persuade.

Marketers who buy lists of names look for people who have already bought products like theirs. It shows they already believe in the product idea.

Find people who already desire what you sell. It could be a product, idea or belief. Once you exhaust that market, only then should you tackle the non-believers. It’s challenging enough to be a cheerleader.

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