Contrast: A Very Powerful and Persuasive Selling Technique

by Steve B 10 replies
Let me ask you . . . What do these marketing approaches all have in common?
  • Before and after images of dieters
  • Lifeless, straight, dull hair compared to vibrant "bouncy" glistening curls
  • Smokers that have kicked the habit that now enjoy a new "lease on life"
  • You driving your old jalopy and you sitting behind the wheel of your brand new car
  • Blurry vision before vs crystal clear vision now
  • Stuck with a boss and job you hate and the relaxing new Internet six-figure lifestyle
The technical marketing term is perceptual contrast. But let's not make this simple principle harder to understand than it needs to be.

The results of a buyer making a purchase are never perceived in a vacuum - the buyer first contrasts current actual circumstances with a new perception of how things will be different (and better) after the purchase . . . perceptual contrast. In all reality, things may not change at all after a purchase - but it is the perception of change that often motivates buyers. (IMers, does "shiney object syndrome" ring a bell?)

We are all bombarded with such messages every day. Why? Because we want to believe that we can change something about ourselves or our circumstances that we don't particularly like right now. And sly marketers are happy to patronize us.

Successful marketers know that by painting a mental picture of contrast, even perceived contrast, (before and after the purchase . . . or . . . "now" as you are today vs. "then" as you would like to be) they can motivate or persuade you to purchase a product or service based on nothing more than your perception of how that product will change everything.

Perception is often not reality; but to someone that "wants desperately to believe" it can be a very powerful persuader.

If you are having difficulty selling a product or service you might check to see how strongly you have incorporated perceptual contrast into your sales message. Have you made it abundantly clear how your product will change the prospect once he/she has made the purchase? Perceptual contrast can be applied to any message in the form of images, headlines, sales copy, even your CTA (call-to-action). It can be a game changer!

The very best to all of you,

#main internet marketing discussion forum #contrast #persuasive #powerful #selling #technique
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  • Profile picture of the author robinaraoz
    Thanks Steve

    I have given a lot of talks and one of the things I usually use to prove my point is exactly what you mentioned on your post: Contrast

    It really works and I've tested it time after time.

    Thank you for illustrating the concept

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  • Profile picture of the author Nurkholis Hidayat
    Yes almost every day we receive such a message. Thank you Steve for explaining it briefly, this is one of the great marketing weapons
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMentorGuy
    Fantastic post Steve.
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  • Profile picture of the author Risktaker89
    Great tip. I first learnt of this when I watched a video by Derek Halpern from Social triggers. He described this technique as B.A.B approach, the Before After Bridge technique and its the same as you described!

    Thanks for such a useful post
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  • Profile picture of the author ampeloi13
    I guess I always see this marketing approach as instilling value into peoples/buyers brains. The images are powerful and usually last longer than the ad words themselves.

    The true reality is when they buy and then become branded for repeat business!
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  • Profile picture of the author PedGrob7
    Thanks Steve for the share.

    I used to work with an amazing Creative Director that talked about this a lot.

    To add to this conversation let me share one thing that he used to say a lot and that I loved.

    He used to talk a lot about how people tended to focus in telling other people what to do instead of providing the right stimulus to have people mentally decide to do what we wanted them to do.

    In marketing and advertising this is huge.

    Thanks again Steve.
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  • Profile picture of the author greenowl123
    Excellent post Steve.

    The potential buyer is interested in the results the product will give him after he buys it. How the product will improve his life and give him something of value or enjoyment. It is our task as marketers to paint that picture for him with our words and convince him to buy.

    I learned a lot about this very topic by reading books by Joseph Sugarman.

    Thanks again for sharing this insight Steve.
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  • Profile picture of the author taxpreservice
    Tremendous! Thanks for your great marketing thought. I learned some of good part from here. Hope this tip help those person who are really want to learn about best internet marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author ggsmarket
    Advertising and marketing are very different things. There are many ways to market your business, and advertising is only one way to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ValueTown
    Yes... I do like your style. Interesting read.
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