Copywriting, Cults, Storytelling, Hypnosis, NLP

11 replies
I'm sure many of you have studied storytelling, hypnosis and NLP. I find it all pretty interesting -not in a 'magic' or voodoo type of way. Many of the underlying principles blends together.

While watching or listening to professional salespeople that are a lot more experienced than I, I've noticed many of them speak in a sing-song cadence. They soften their voices a little and have a rhythm to their words. I don't know if it's deliberate or not.

I was watching a show on HBO called "The Vow". It's about the NXIVM cult. The 2nd in command, Nancy Salzman, was a trained hypnotist and NLP practitioner. The way she spoke in her training videos was slightly hypnotic.

I know storytelling is an excellent tool in copywriting as it creates an emotional connection for the reader or listener...
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Do any of you purposely use hypnosis or NLP? What do you think about all of it?
#copywriting #cults #hypnosis #nlp #storytelling
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

    Do any of you purposely use hypnosis or NLP? What do you think about all of it?
    I've read a lot about NLP. I've read the books by Bandler and Grinder, have several sales training programs and books based on NLP. It's effective, but not nearly as effective as the practitioners believe...at least in selling.

    Hypnosis? Hypnosis is the act of causing someone to absolutely trust and believe what you say. It bypasses the critical thinking process. It's real and it works.

    It's done by creating a certainty that what you say is true and real. And yes, it's the backbone of persuasion. Selling is clear communication and a transfer of certainty.

    A lot of it involves the tone of voice, the position of authority taken, body language, and subtle commands.

    Although I've never seen a sale made using just hypnosis....you really can't make someone do something they don't want to do.....elements of hypnosis weave their way through any great sales interaction.

    Story telling works for the reason you stated. It sticks in the mind, creates rapport (assuming the story is relatable), and is effective in copy or personal selling.



    I know nothing about "The Vow". But a soft tone can still be commanding. In fact a raised tone conveys uncertainty....or nervousness.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

    I'm sure many of you have studied storytelling, hypnosis and NLP. I find it all pretty interesting -not in a 'magic' or voodoo type of way. Many of the underlying principles blends together.

    While watching or listening to professional salespeople that are a lot more experienced than I, I've noticed many of them speak in a sing-song cadence. They soften their voices a little and have a rhythm to their words. I don't know if it's deliberate or not.

    I was watching a show on HBO called "The Vow". It's about the NXIVM cult. The 2nd in command, Nancy Salzman, was a trained hypnotist and NLP practitioner. The way she spoke in her training videos was slightly hypnotic.

    I know storytelling is an excellent tool in copywriting as it creates an emotional connection for the reader or listener...
    [link removed by moderator]
    Do any of you purposely use hypnosis or NLP? What do you think about all of it?
    This from Claude:

    It's done by creating a certainty that what you say is true and real. And yes, it's the backbone of persuasion. Selling is clear communication and a transfer of certainty.


    Well then...You ask about the PURPOSEFUL use of "it all", right?

    NLP, hypnosis, suggestion are on a continuum of persuasion and influence techniques. Techniques are what people use on purpose. If certainty is the backbone of persuasion, (and I don't argue with that point), then UNDERSTANDING is the heart and soul.

    What to understand? Several things, since we marketers like lists:

    A- We're animals. Subject to animal behavior, and forefront is survival, including fight or flight, awareness of danger, and observation of our world (through very bias and filtered glasses).

    B- We're PREOCCUPIED. With survival, and our selves. SELF first in all but the most dire life and death situations. Selling rarely is about this, but SELF should be front and center in the seller's awareness.

    C- Our preoccupations change, throughout the day, a week, or years. We have daily mundane or routine preoccupations and we have our LIFE and its meaning preoccupations.

    D- Animals respond naturally to different sounds. When I call the local blue jay to come get a peanut, I use a different "call" than with the squirrels. We are aware of sound (tone and intonation) and even those way in the background.

    E- We take the path of least resistance, opt for the easier choices. avoid as much pain and seek as much pleasure as we can. Each, pain and pleasure are self defined.

    Persuasion and influence begin with INTENT. Cults have many attractions built in, as seen in Cialdini's work on INFLUENCE.

    If SELLING is the INTENT, then there are several considerations, but at the top of this list is.

    1) WHO are you selling to?
    2) WHY them?

    3,4) WHERE and WHEN?

    5) HOW?

    A skilled salesman tries very hard to control the narrative, with a brick and mortar store, easy enough to do to control the environment. Getting the right people into the store is hard part of retail.

    A skilled marketer (and/or copywriter) does the same thing, to take control.

    ALL techniques are used, and if one has NLP, hypnosis, or sales training in their tool box, they will get considered against the INTENT of the Intersection.

    With cults, the initial meeting, the first intersection is where about 90% is decided. No matter the technique or tool, could be an audit, or a spellbinding lecture...the INTENT is to sort out the audience and provide top of group (or low hanging fruit) to then continue on with the indoctrination.

    NOW, my O P I N I O N regarding the use of NLP, hypnosis, etc. in marketing and selling is; it has minimal impact. A good deal, a better offer will probably outperform any and all TECHNIQUE used to garner a sale.

    It comes in handy with herds, groups, cults, believers...and the committed.

    Not so much with an INDIVIDUAL, which is why in direct response, a little 3 or 4 % return to a cold list could produce fortunes. You don't have to influence the masses, just the select few.

    I haven't yet found a UNIVERSAL technique which works on everyone all the time, which is why knowing your prospect as best you can goes a long way in choosing which of the many techniques (tools) to use to get the result you want, based on your intent.

    But, that is what my cult leader told me, he could be full of IT!!

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      NOW, my O P I N I O N regarding the use of NLP, hypnosis, etc. in marketing and selling is; it has minimal impact. A good deal, a better offer will probably outperform any and all TECHNIQUE used to garner a sale.

      It comes in handy with herds, groups, cults, believers...and the committed.

      Not so much with an INDIVIDUAL, which is why in direct response, a little 3 or 4 % return to a cold list could produce fortunes. You don't have to influence the masses, just the select few.

      I haven't yet found a UNIVERSAL technique which works on everyone all the time, which is why knowing your prospect as best you can goes a long way in choosing which of the many techniques (tools) to use to get the result you want, based on your intent.
      Techniques of hypnosis (I don't know as much about NLP) do work better in groups, but only because there are less options available when talking to groups. Asking questions, and an interplay between seller and buyer is harder, for example.


      The vast majority of my sales were to individuals (until the last few years). And I can tell you that using the toolbox that hypnosis gives us is useful one on one.

      But it makes little difference in closing percentages. For example, my closing average with these techniques may give me a 10% boost. (For example, from 45% to 50% closing) But in direct mail, a 10% boost from 2% is almost nothing.

      I know you already know this, but audience or sales prospect selection is far more important, and will increase your income far more....than any selling technique that persuades. I know of no customer I could have ever sold using NLP or hypnosis alone. They are not the primary drivers. Listening, matching offer to customer, value building, showing empathy, and seeing the right prospects are far more important.

      For example, when I started only seeing referrals from my buyers....and people who bought from an in home salesperson before...my closing average almost exactly doubled. No additional strategy, no "bear trap" techniques...just seeing people who are far more likely to buy.


      By the way, my in depth conversations with a stage hypnotist friend of mine...and watching his stage act.....it was obvious that only a small percentage of people were "qualified" to be called to come on stage (after several susceptibility tests), and maybe 2% of the room stayed on stage, for most of the performance. Marketing parallels there, I think.
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  • Coolest thing 'bout the hooman voice?

    It got dual-purpose smarts intertwinin' so sweet the outcome always gonna be BLAMMO.

    Sound you got floatin' up offa your chops is bcs VOCAL CORDS deep down in your throat area.

    As air passes ovah them babies on your out breath, you can waggle your tongue around accordin' to what's in your head an' make all kindsa stoopid sense.

    Try makin' a T sound now. 5 times.

    It's like your tongue tryin' to tease out a gnarly raspberry seed from behind your front teeth aftah you jus' ate no exquisite yogurt.

    For B (gowan -- scream BABOON!), now your tongue can take a rest behind your lower teeth while your lips shape the sound of the out breath -- an' swat nearby gnats from the areah.

    Sounds gaht shape an' rhythm before we evah wrote 'em down.

    In the history of stuff creachaz like us could kinda do, the gruntin' came before the journal -- which is why Kiss & Tell trash mag schwango is always so poploore, I guess.

    Anyways ..

    Try readin' this next line aloud ...

    It seems like all I do when I read aloud
    is to follow the words on the page --
    but when I listen close up to my mouth as it speaks,
    I witness an exotic dance of sound and thought,
    irrefutably alive in the moment.

    (how's the raspberry seed when you reached the not-even-a-darn-letter period? See -- tongue wagglin' precedes even punc-cherwayshaahn).

    Point is, nuthin' happens here in them ole vocal cords without breath kinda rhythm of life firin' the show on up.

    That's the important part.

    All talk is dependent on breath, an' breath got real essential rhythm.

    It is so hypnotic it keeps coma people alive.

    In.

    Out.

    In.

    Out.

    In

    Out.

    (repeat until death)


    Rhythm is fundamental to all comms -- kinda like a dance of meanin' dictated by air, via tongues.

    Prolly there is more to say here, but I gotta go manhandle sum kumquats ...
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author 1 Self
    Banned
    hi, I have an offer for you. This is "The 77 Copywriting Secrets Official Guide"
    to help you make the perfect topic.

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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    What a wonderful topic. I wish I could give you all multiple thanks just for allowing me to read your thoughts here today.

    And as long as I'm here I'd be happy to share a couple of my thoughts with you.

    But fair warning - if you don't want to see what oozes out when I split open my psyche, then you might want to stop reading right now (before it splatters all over the place you get it on your clothes)...


    ... Still here?
    Fantastic. (But don't say I didn't warn you about the dry cleaning bill )


    As always I'll try to keep my post short but, if my post history is any indication, sometimes I do ramble on a bit. Depending on the day, the topic, and the drink in my cup (today is Saturday and my cup is full of anejo).


    Honestly, like many good marketers I've spent most of my life fascinated with what makes people do the things they do.

    I mean what makes us choose one path, one product, or one service over another? Especially when they're basically all the same?
    And when it comes to selling, what makes some words and phrases register as accepted truths, while others fall flat and are quickly forgotten?


    Of course as sales professionals I think we can all agree when we do face-to-face sales, tonality, body language, and even props can play as big a role as the words themselves, probably bigger.

    And we all know that getting our offer in front of the right people, at the right time increases our odds of a sale.

    But when selling with the written word my question is always, "When our competition drops an offer in front of our same prospects, what can we do to tip the scales in our favor"?

    As a result of my obsessions (OCD, ADHD, and a few other choice letters of the alphabet), like some other members here I've invested many thousands of dollars and many years of my life in the study of Psychology, Hypnosis, NLP, Propaganda. And basically anything that had to do with understanding why people make the choices they make.

    And I guess I've learned a thing or two over the years?

    Of course I'd never pretend to know everything about why people behave the way they do, because let's face it, we could spend the rest of our lives studying this stuff and barely scratch the surface.

    Partly because the field is constantly expanding and evolving. But also because if the human mind was simple enough for us to understand, then as humans we'd be too simple to ever understand it. (whoa, let that one soak in for a minute...)

    But back to the topic at hand...



    When it comes to embedding NLP and hypnotic techniques in sales copy, so far the closest I've been able to come is to use pre-suppositions, pre-framing, and basic pacing and leading principles.

    It's had nothing but positive effect on the long copy numbers, so I don't see a down side yet.

    We just need to keep in mind, when it comes to writing, using hypnotic principles is only a tool. Like formulas, templates, swipe files and all the other tools in our kit.

    And like any tool, just because we know how it works doesn't mean it'll work everytime for everybody. Hypnosis isn't some magical voodoo. And we're not going to skyrocket our sales overnight by embedding a few hidden commands in our writing.

    But, if we can increase your conversion rates a few percentage points, by using a few subtle techniques - then there's nothing wrong with wanting to know how it works, right?


    Hey, I have an idea. Instead of me just rambling on, how about we try a little experiment?

    I'm going to try and get you to respond to my words. What I'll do is embed a dozen or so NLP / hypnotic principles in this post, and when you finish reading this post you can let me know what you think.

    I wonder how many you'll be able to spot?
    If you can spot them all that's fantastic because chances are most people won't. (and that's kinda the point)


    First, let me start with an agreement. I accept that at least one or two people reading this post will disagree with everything I say. Some closed minded folks might think this stuff is all bullshit because they tried it once or twice and it didn't work for them, or because they found a different way of doing things.

    And that's OK, because there's more than one path that leads to the same destination. (The destination of higher conversion rates).

    But if you're willing to keep an open mind for next few minutes, let's see if we can have some fun. And who knows, some of this stuff might help you boost your conversion rates like it does for me. Isn't it worth a few minutes of reading to find out?


    And when you finish reading this post I'd love to know what you think. (Do you agree? Disagree? Think I should be locked up in a rubber room for preaching this stuff?) I haven't seen my Ego for a few weeks so feel free to give it to me straight... I can take it.


    And let's never forget, none of this stuff can make you do anything you don't already want to do. Real hypnosis isn't about that anyway (that's more along the lines of coercion and brainwashing).

    But for the sake of this post think of a hypnotic trance as when your attention is completely focused on what's directly in front of you, and you allow the outside world to safely fade into the background for a few minutes.

    This focused concentration can be the beginning of a trance.


    One curious thing you may notice when you begin to pay attention, is most people seem to walk around in a mild hypnotic trance everyday, much of the time.

    you... me... everybody

    Of course I don't mean we're waiting for a bell to ring so we can bark like a chicken. I mean we live in a focused pre-occupation with our own lives and what's going on at the moment.

    And it doesn't always need to be something important that zones us out.

    An example might be if you can remember a time you were caught up in a good book, or a movie, or a great conversation, and before you knew it an hour or more had passed? Where did the time go?

    It didn't go anywhere, but you're in a focused state of mind and basically hypnotized by what you're doing at the moment.

    This focus is the trance you're in... Now, when it comes to advertising and selling through the written word, certain words can potentially induce a buying trance, of sorts.

    Of course I don't mean magic words like "abracadabra" or "presto-chango". And I'd never insult your intelligence by suggesting a list of "Power Words" that are supposed to work in every situation.

    I mean words that meet you in the trance you're already in, right now. Words like "you" and "yours" are pretty universal, right? Because most people's daily focus is with their own personal lives.


    If you or a loved one is sick, you become pre-occupied with finding a cure. If I offer you a cure you'll at least pay attention to me for the next few minutes.

    When we're hungry, we focus on finding something to eat. And an advertisement for pizza (or a tofu burger for our vegan friends) can be pretty damn hypnotizing at that moment.

    Even right now you're reading these words, yes?

    5 minutes ago you were thinking about something else. And after you leave here you might start thinking about a friend, an upcoming appointment, or any number of things.

    But right now you're focused on what's in front of you.

    I guess we could say you've been in a mild trance for the past few minutes, focused on reading this post. Not too scary was it? Because you know you're always in complete control (just don't go near any ringing bells for a few days and you should be fine )

    When you think about it, allowing yourself to be in a mild trance isn't scary or mystical once we understand it's a natural thing and you're always in complete control. If an emergency happens you can still respond. And right now you can choose to read what I'm saying because you want to. Not because of any mind control or hypnotic tricks.


    And as experienced marketers I think we all understand how situation specifics are where some of the real magic happens.

    When we tap into where people are already at hypnotic suggestions can be as straight forward as giving people what they already want.

    I offer you entertainment or promise to show you a secret when you're bored, and who can resist taking a peek behind the curtain?

    If I offer you security when you're afraid, without hesitation you'll pay attention to everything I say.

    Because when the hook I use resonates, and you allow me to enter your world, it's only natural for you to follow me and respond to my message, right?


    And we know this stuff only works because nearly every single person is preoccupied with their own lives, and how their lives fit into the bigger picture.

    Once we understand this it becomes much easier to connect with people and lead them where we want them to go.

    But it's not about controlling or manipulating anyone (at least not for me). In sales it's about getting my message heard by the people most likely to act on it. When they're most likely to act on it.

    Throw in a few pre-framing suggestions and a couple pre-suppositions, and it becomes far easier and more natural for you to follow along.

    Especially with the written word where we have limited sensory input, it's more about meeting people in the trance they're already in, and guiding them with the flow of words, so they'll positively respond to our message.

    Sounds a bit like direct response copywriting in general, doesn't it?

    And pulling someone into our message is not much different from putting them in a mild hypnotic trance.

    In essence, the beginning of a buying trance is meeting people where they're already at before we take them where we want them to go.

    In NLP we might call it pacing and leading. And I believe it was Robert Collier who first coined the idea of connecting with people where their mind is already at, in the story they're already telling themselves about their own lives.

    And figuring out where they're at is where our customer research, market research, and qualitative data analysis comes into play.


    Of course it should go without saying (but I'm on a roll so I'll say it anyway) once we have someone's attention, everything that follows is built around trust.

    You trust that I have something you want,

    You trust that it will do the job, and

    You trust that I won't cheat you.

    Because getting people's attention is easy, but ultimately if people don't trust us then they won't buy from us, right?

    In other words "trust is a must, or we go bust".


    OK, I said I would keep this post short, and it looks like we've already passed up the 5 minute reading mark (short for a book... long for a forum post)

    So as the bottom of my cup comes into view, I want to thank you for allowing me to share these past few minutes with you...

    To be continued?

    That's up to you. I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights. And I can share my thoughts with you on this topic for hours because I think it's all incredibly fascinating. I'd even be happy to exchange a few specific techniques with you.

    But I would only continue because you choose to continue...

    So if you like me are interested in this topic, you can email me directly, or you can choose to leave a reply right here on this forum, and the next time I'm in town I'll be sure to respond.

    Either way the choice is yours.

    Until then, here's to using all the tools in our toolkit for bigger winners, more often...

    All the best,
    Steve


    Oh yeah, as long as you're here... Go back and read this entire post again from the beginning. And as you read everything I said see how many embedded commands or hypnotic principles you can spot.

    How many did you find?
    (Some of them are obvious, but a few are a bit sneakier (hehehe))
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    • Profile picture of the author StevenTylerPjs
      SARubin,

      There's a lot here, but here are a few things that stood out to me.

      - pacing: "And when you finish reading this post I'd love to know what you think."

      - negation: " I accept that at least one or two people reading this post will disagree with everything I say."

      - you offered to make an agreement: "first, let's start with an agreement". This builds trust.

      -multiple embedded commands:" You trust that I have something you want, "

      - you used tie downs: "right?"

      - you used implications by calling these tactics secrets or tools or a 'peak behind the curtain'. When you imply the existence of something it tends to cut through any conscious analysis and just gets accepted.

      There's more I'm missing but these are some of the bigger ones that stuck out, to me.
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      • Profile picture of the author SARubin
        Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

        SARubin,

        There's a lot here, but here are a few things that stood out to me.

        - pacing: "And when you finish reading this post I'd love to know what you think."
        Good catch man. This one reads like a casual statement but it's really a "future pacing invitation" for you to respond to the post. I guess we could also says it's an embedded command for you to "finish reading the post"

        Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

        - negation: " I accept that at least one or two people reading this post will disagree with everything I say."

        - you offered to make an agreement: "first, let's start with an agreement". This builds trust.
        Yes, that's true. And I also put that paragraph in to short circuit the trolls who only come here to criticize everybody for everything. They're still welcome to criticize me, but only if they want to admit to being closed minded.

        Of course now that I let the secret out I just destroyed it's power...

        Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

        -multiple embedded commands:" You trust that I have something you want, "

        - you used tie downs: "right?"
        Right, and right

        Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

        - you used implications by calling these tactics secrets or tools or a 'peak behind the curtain'. When you imply the existence of something it tends to cut through any conscious analysis and just gets accepted.
        Yes, a lot of the post was built around subtle implications. I find it's often easier to compare something to an already common understanding, and let people agree to the connection on their own terms.

        It's less about persuading anyone to believe me, and more about allowing them to foster their own conclusions.

        It just seems to me that the story people tell themselves is always more powerful than any story I can ever tell them.

        So if I can help them tell their own story, and it leads them to the right conclusion (a sale), then everybody wins.
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      I truly thank you for sharing.

      And it isn't you, but, I just couldn't read that wall of text. I skimmed it, speared out some ideas...but then, I do that with all long copy too. And I am as old school as it gets. Love salesmanship, persuasion, influence, NLP, psychology, etc., etc.

      But today, 1 Corinthians 14:19 is more my speed as I choose the MINIMUM amount of words to get a result. If Buy It Now works, my copy is done.

      GordonJ




      Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

      What a wonderful topic. I wish I could give you all multiple thanks just for allowing me to read your thoughts here today.

      And as long as I'm here I'd be happy to share a couple of my thoughts with you.

      But fair warning - if you don't want to see what oozes out when I split open my psyche, then you might want to stop reading right now (before it splatters all over the place you get it on your clothes)...


      ... Still here?
      Fantastic. (But don't say I didn't warn you about the dry cleaning bill )


      As always I'll try to keep my post short but, if my post history is any indication, sometimes I do ramble on a bit. Depending on the day, the topic, and the drink in my cup (today is Saturday and my cup is full of anejo).


      Honestly, like many good marketers I've spent most of my life fascinated with what makes people do the things they do.

      I mean what makes us choose one path, one product, or one service over another? Especially when they're basically all the same?
      And when it comes to selling, what makes some words and phrases register as accepted truths, while others fall flat and are quickly forgotten?


      Of course as sales professionals I think we can all agree when we do face-to-face sales, tonality, body language, and even props can play as big a role as the words themselves, probably bigger.

      And we all know that getting our offer in front of the right people, at the right time increases our odds of a sale.

      But when selling with the written word my question is always, "When our competition drops an offer in front of our same prospects, what can we do to tip the scales in our favor"?

      As a result of my obsessions (OCD, ADHD, and a few other choice letters of the alphabet), like some other members here I've invested many thousands of dollars and many years of my life in the study of Psychology, Hypnosis, NLP, Propaganda. And basically anything that had to do with understanding why people make the choices they make.

      And I guess I've learned a thing or two over the years?

      Of course I'd never pretend to know everything about why people behave the way they do, because let's face it, we could spend the rest of our lives studying this stuff and barely scratch the surface.

      Partly because the field is constantly expanding and evolving. But also because if the human mind was simple enough for us to understand, then as humans we'd be too simple to ever understand it. (whoa, let that one soak in for a minute...)

      But back to the topic at hand...



      When it comes to embedding NLP and hypnotic techniques in sales copy, so far the closest I've been able to come is to use pre-suppositions, pre-framing, and basic pacing and leading principles.

      It's had nothing but positive effect on the long copy numbers, so I don't see a down side yet.

      We just need to keep in mind, when it comes to writing, using hypnotic principles is only a tool. Like formulas, templates, swipe files and all the other tools in our kit.

      And like any tool, just because we know how it works doesn't mean it'll work everytime for everybody. Hypnosis isn't some magical voodoo. And we're not going to skyrocket our sales overnight by embedding a few hidden commands in our writing.

      But, if we can increase your conversion rates a few percentage points, by using a few subtle techniques - then there's nothing wrong with wanting to know how it works, right?


      Hey, I have an idea. Instead of me just rambling on, how about we try a little experiment?

      I'm going to try and get you to respond to my words. What I'll do is embed a dozen or so NLP / hypnotic principles in this post, and when you finish reading this post you can let me know what you think.

      I wonder how many you'll be able to spot?
      If you can spot them all that's fantastic because chances are most people won't. (and that's kinda the point)


      First, let me start with an agreement. I accept that at least one or two people reading this post will disagree with everything I say. Some closed minded folks might think this stuff is all bullshit because they tried it once or twice and it didn't work for them, or because they found a different way of doing things.

      And that's OK, because there's more than one path that leads to the same destination. (The destination of higher conversion rates).

      But if you're willing to keep an open mind for next few minutes, let's see if we can have some fun. And who knows, some of this stuff might help you boost your conversion rates like it does for me. Isn't it worth a few minutes of reading to find out?


      And when you finish reading this post I'd love to know what you think. (Do you agree? Disagree? Think I should be locked up in a rubber room for preaching this stuff?) I haven't seen my Ego for a few weeks so feel free to give it to me straight... I can take it.


      And let's never forget, none of this stuff can make you do anything you don't already want to do. Real hypnosis isn't about that anyway (that's more along the lines of coercion and brainwashing).

      But for the sake of this post think of a hypnotic trance as when your attention is completely focused on what's directly in front of you, and you allow the outside world to safely fade into the background for a few minutes.

      This focused concentration can be the beginning of a trance.


      One curious thing you may notice when you begin to pay attention, is most people seem to walk around in a mild hypnotic trance everyday, much of the time.

      you... me... everybody

      Of course I don't mean we're waiting for a bell to ring so we can bark like a chicken. I mean we live in a focused pre-occupation with our own lives and what's going on at the moment.

      And it doesn't always need to be something important that zones us out.

      An example might be if you can remember a time you were caught up in a good book, or a movie, or a great conversation, and before you knew it an hour or more had passed? Where did the time go?

      It didn't go anywhere, but you're in a focused state of mind and basically hypnotized by what you're doing at the moment.

      This focus is the trance you're in... Now, when it comes to advertising and selling through the written word, certain words can potentially induce a buying trance, of sorts.

      Of course I don't mean magic words like "abracadabra" or "presto-chango". And I'd never insult your intelligence by suggesting a list of "Power Words" that are supposed to work in every situation.

      I mean words that meet you in the trance you're already in, right now. Words like "you" and "yours" are pretty universal, right? Because most people's daily focus is with their own personal lives.


      If you or a loved one is sick, you become pre-occupied with finding a cure. If I offer you a cure you'll at least pay attention to me for the next few minutes.

      When we're hungry, we focus on finding something to eat. And an advertisement for pizza (or a tofu burger for our vegan friends) can be pretty damn hypnotizing at that moment.

      Even right now you're reading these words, yes?

      5 minutes ago you were thinking about something else. And after you leave here you might start thinking about a friend, an upcoming appointment, or any number of things.

      But right now you're focused on what's in front of you.

      I guess we could say you've been in a mild trance for the past few minutes, focused on reading this post. Not too scary was it? Because you know you're always in complete control (just don't go near any ringing bells for a few days and you should be fine )

      When you think about it, allowing yourself to be in a mild trance isn't scary or mystical once we understand it's a natural thing and you're always in complete control. If an emergency happens you can still respond. And right now you can choose to read what I'm saying because you want to. Not because of any mind control or hypnotic tricks.


      And as experienced marketers I think we all understand how situation specifics are where some of the real magic happens.

      When we tap into where people are already at hypnotic suggestions can be as straight forward as giving people what they already want.

      I offer you entertainment or promise to show you a secret when you're bored, and who can resist taking a peek behind the curtain?

      If I offer you security when you're afraid, without hesitation you'll pay attention to everything I say.

      Because when the hook I use resonates, and you allow me to enter your world, it's only natural for you to follow me and respond to my message, right?


      And we know this stuff only works because nearly every single person is preoccupied with their own lives, and how their lives fit into the bigger picture.

      Once we understand this it becomes much easier to connect with people and lead them where we want them to go.

      But it's not about controlling or manipulating anyone (at least not for me). In sales it's about getting my message heard by the people most likely to act on it. When they're most likely to act on it.

      Throw in a few pre-framing suggestions and a couple pre-suppositions, and it becomes far easier and more natural for you to follow along.

      Especially with the written word where we have limited sensory input, it's more about meeting people in the trance they're already in, and guiding them with the flow of words, so they'll positively respond to our message.

      Sounds a bit like direct response copywriting in general, doesn't it?

      And pulling someone into our message is not much different from putting them in a mild hypnotic trance.

      In essence, the beginning of a buying trance is meeting people where they're already at before we take them where we want them to go.

      In NLP we might call it pacing and leading. And I believe it was Robert Collier who first coined the idea of connecting with people where their mind is already at, in the story they're already telling themselves about their own lives.

      And figuring out where they're at is where our customer research, market research, and qualitative data analysis comes into play.


      Of course it should go without saying (but I'm on a roll so I'll say it anyway) once we have someone's attention, everything that follows is built around trust.

      You trust that I have something you want,

      You trust that it will do the job, and

      You trust that I won't cheat you.

      Because getting people's attention is easy, but ultimately if people don't trust us then they won't buy from us, right?

      In other words "trust is a must, or we go bust".


      OK, I said I would keep this post short, and it looks like we've already passed up the 5 minute reading mark (short for a book... long for a forum post)

      So as the bottom of my cup comes into view, I want to thank you for allowing me to share these past few minutes with you...

      To be continued?

      That's up to you. I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights. And I can share my thoughts with you on this topic for hours because I think it's all incredibly fascinating. I'd even be happy to exchange a few specific techniques with you.

      But I would only continue because you choose to continue...

      So if you like me are interested in this topic, you can email me directly, or you can choose to leave a reply right here on this forum, and the next time I'm in town I'll be sure to respond.

      Either way the choice is yours.

      Until then, here's to using all the tools in our toolkit for bigger winners, more often...

      All the best,
      Steve


      Oh yeah, as long as you're here... Go back and read this entire post again from the beginning. And as you read everything I said see how many embedded commands or hypnotic principles you can spot.

      How many did you find?
      (Some of them are obvious, but a few are a bit sneakier (hehehe))
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