The other day I watched that Seinfeld episode where Jerry put himself in a situation where he had to take a lie detector test.
(he was dating this lady cop and she asked him if he watched the TV series “Melrose Place” which of course he lied and said he didn’t, but she didn’t believe him so he had to take test)
So he was talking to Elaine and he was telling her “what can I do? Maybe I’ll try to beat the machine”, and she said, “who do you think you are – Costanza?”
So he said “now wait a minute, you’re onto something – I got access to one of the most deceitful minds on the planet – George Costanza!”
So he goes to George and asks him “Teach me how to beat the machine”
To which George replied “sorry, I can’t do that – it’s like asking Pavarotti – teach me how to sing like you” so Jerry goes on his way to figure out by himself how to do it, and George parts from him with the wise words:
“Jerry – it’s not a lie if you believe it”
So you may have heard that phrase before but this reminds me of an interesting story –
I have a friend that had to take a lie detector test as part of a job application.
So this guy’s like so honest… like too honest, and something very interesting happened there –
Before the test the technician that operates the machine told him:
“OK now, if we ask you a question about whether you did or you didn’t do something… if you’re not %100 sure it’s better you say “I’m not sure” or “I may have done that… ” than to say something that the machine would interpret as a lie”
So like I said this guy’s totally nerdy-honest so he’s so freaked out because he keeps thinking about that… “well what if I’m saying something that’s a lie maybe I think that I did but I didn’t… “
Bottom line – after 2 or 3 times that he failed the test they declared him unfit for the job – even though he was honest (!) just because he freaked out about the whole situation.
And if you think about it from a persuasion and manipulation point of view – what actually happened was they planted that seed of fear and doubt in his mind.
So there’s a very valuable lesson here about persuasion and manipulation for you business owners that I learned from the great marketer Dan Kennedy, which is how you can better persuade your audience by understanding how our mind works –
See there are certain dark emotions in all of us OK?
I don’t care if you’re Mother Teresa – you have some kind of skeleton in your emotional closet (or at least a little bone in your shoe… )
And when you try to convince a person, you really want to tap into those deep dark emotions of his.
Look, for example, at the oldest and most sophisticated persuasion system there is in the world – I’m talking about religion –
Religion is based on planting seeds of fear in people to persuade them to convert (heaven and hell), otherwise – why be good people right?
So when you think about “how can I better persuade my audience?”
Think about what deep dark emotions does your market have regarding your product or service…
Think about how you can agitate them, how to poke at them and aggravate them, make them think about these things and get them all emotional about what you’re talking about.
Bottom line – that’s what’s going to persuade them.
The more emotional weight your prospect carries with him regarding your promotion – the more likely he is to be convinced he needs what you’re selling.