Hey, hey rebels. Before we dive into this episode about the difference between persuasion and manipulation, I first wanted to say a big thank you to you. Last week the 3 Word Rebellion book came out and it was a phenomenal launch. The book was a number one new release on Amazon in the first three days.
Also, I received some amazing reviews. I really loved this one from Candace.
“The 3 Word Rebellion is not just another business book. At first, I was bummed to see that there wasn't a Kindle version of the book, but then I got my hands on a copy and understood. Why not? This isn't just another read it and forget it book. It's a process, a workbook, and an exploration. Don't just read it, write in it. Top that off with the fact that this is not another book about crafting an elevator pitch, but aimed at crafting a movement and you've got a five-star book.”
The really cool thing is my friend, Racheal Cook, who is a business strategist, told me that she's using the book as a resource in her Sweet Spot Strategy business program. Also, one of my clients, who is enrolled in Seth Godin‘s, the podcast fellowship, posted about the 3 Word Rebellion book in the group and the coach of the course was so intrigued by the concept that they added it to the resource list for that program.
How amazing is that? That's the power of the 3 Word Rebellion because once you nail that, you've got the name of your podcast, keynote speech signature offering and more.
If you haven't grabbed the book yet, you should go to my website and get yourself a copy. The book is amazing on its own, but you can still get the book bonuses till March 8th, 2019. These bonuses include the PDF version of the book because as you know, the book is paper backed only, but if you order it now, you can get a PDF version so you can still love it on your Kindle.
There is also a 60 minute live, ask me anything call on all things related to crafting your 3 Word Rebellion, stepping up into your leadership, marketing and launching your rebellion into the world. And I'll even be doing some live messaging audit so you don't want to miss that. Also, you'll get the complete 3 Word Rebellion toolkit. It's all the additional resources mentioned in the book in one place. So you can get that right here on my website.
So let's get down to it and talk about the difference between persuasion and manipulation.
Tune into the audio:
There is something that has been really bothering me lately. I see a lot of business coaches and brand strategists talk about how sales are manipulation. So we better just accept the fact that we're going to be manipulating people to give us money when we are selling. Yuck, that is so gross, right?
I don't want to be manipulating people into working with me. That just feels bad and wrong.
And frankly, I don't think that's what I do. And if you're doing sales in the right way, that's not what you're doing either.
So, Merriam Webster's dictionary says that manipulation is to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means, especially to one's own advantage. So that's a fairly dark definition. It reminds me of Internet Dude brode marketing that I talked about in episode 130. That dude would do anything to get you to buy his product because for him, it's about the short term win of getting your cash and he could care less if it's any good or if you get a result from that product.
So this is what manipulation looks like:
Step number one: you put together a crappy product or service that just vomits information on people and doesn't deliver real results.
Step number two: you put it out on the market and you use all the NLP tactics, you use the psychological triggers because that's what's going to get to buy.
So then step three: people feel the pressure. They see you everywhere. They see the ads, the marketing looks really good. You're getting in their brains. They feel like, oh my gosh, this is exactly what my business needs. And uh, I, I know I shouldn't be buying this but I need it, but I, maybe I don't need it, but I do need it. And they feel so pressured that they buy and then they get the product and realize it isn't that great.
And they feel duped.
The intent behind much of internet Dude Bro Marketing is to get you to part with your money no matter what it takes.
It is not about you. It's about your money.
So, for example, a friend of mine was telling me about a sales conversation she had that literally shook her to her core and she's not the type of person that is easily shaken, right? But she got off the call and she was seriously thinking about investing $20,000 to work with this mindset coach. $20,000 she's thinking about it and there was part of her, it was like, oh, I don't think I should do this. And so she talked to a friend about it and her friends were like, no, do not invest. And what happened during that call is that person dug so deep and poked so much at her pain points and her problems that she felt like there was something wrong with her.
She felt like she had no firm or she felt like she had no solid foundation and so she was willing to part with $20,000 to fix this problem.
And here's the deal, when I asked her what was included in the $20,000 package she had no idea. Like she didn't even know what she was buying.
So what is persuasion?
So the dictionary once again tells us that persuasion is to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding. So what's missing from that definition? Well, words like unfair and insidious, right? Or starting that line, her words like unfair or in an insidious, right? Let's try that one more time where it's like unfair and insidious. It's missing all the dark stuff.
Persuasion is about coming to a mutual understanding by making both a logical and emotional argument.
The intent behind persuading someone is that you have their best interest in mind. When we are persuading through our messaging, our marketing, and we're having these sales conversations at the heart of all of that is what is best for our potential clients and for our audience. And it looks like this.
Step one: you create a product or service that provides real value and delivers a transformation to people. And you 100% believe in your product. And what it does, you know it's good for people.
Step number two: you take your potential client on a journey. And yes, that journey may include some persuasive tactics along the way, but you are making an argument for why they should do business with you. And one note about those persuasive tactics when they're used ethically and with great care, it's fine to use them. It can actually help a person make a decision. I'll talk about that in a second.
Step number three: they make a decision based on what's best for them and not some random psychological trigger like the fear of missing out.
And finally, step number four: when they become your client, they are thrilled with your service because you are giving them a transformation. They're seeing real results. So the fact is that the way I sell and most likely the way you sell is not manipulation.
It's actually persuasion. And this all comes down to our intention.
Our intention is a good one. And frankly, who would want to work with someone that you've duped over? It's a horrible way to start a relationship with someone.
So what about ethics? What about psychological triggers? Is it okay to use that? So in the 3 Word Rebellion book, I have a whole section on ethics because communication is powerful. And in the book, I talk about how the 3 Word Rebellion can be used for good or evil and that I want to make sure that it is used for good.
So when we think about ethics, it's all about intention. It's about goodwill and it's never quite black and white.
But ask yourself the question, do I have the best interest in mind for my people or am I putting my interest first?
So for example, let's talk about fake scarcity.
Something that is not ethical. So when somebody says there's a PDF with so many downloads, that is fake scarcity. I've had colleagues of mine tell me stories of people lying about how many seats were booked in an event and they thought that they got the last seat and then showed up. And there were literally five people in a room that held 50 that's unethical because the intention here is to make you buy based on the fear of missing out.
So what does it look like when it's used ethically? There was a great example from my friend and someone I consider a mentor, Tara Newman, of the Bold Leadership Revolution and she was holding a workshop on human design and it sounded awesome to me and I was 100% planning to go and I hadn't purchased my ticket yet.
I hadn't pressed the buy button and taken that action. And then one day she sent an email saying she wanted to reward the action takers who bought their tickets now. So she was taking $50 off the price of it if you bought within a certain time period. And you know what? That got me off my butt to buy and stop procrastinating. It was the exact nudge I needed to make the decision and take action on the decision that I wanted to attend this workshop.
Her intention here wasn't about scarcity or fear of missing out. She wanted to reward people for taking action sooner rather than later.
And frankly, if she didn't do that, I would have waited to the last possible moment to purchase my ticket for that workshop. So the intention here in my mind was good. It wasn't pressured to buy something, it was to help move me off the fence and take action.
So that is not always black and white.
The line between persuasion and manipulation is a murky one.
So what I suggest for you is that you follow your gut. If someone is telling you that you must employ some persuasive tactic, whether that's manufacturing authority or fake scarcity or tit for tat reciprocity, check in with yourself.
How does it feel to you?
Is there a pit in your, is there a pit in your stomach or do you feel hesitant about taking action on that tactic? Then it may not be your mindset or an upper limit problem. It could be that your body is telling you it's unethical. Don't do it. It's putting you before your potential client and ask yourself, would you want to be treated that way? If you were on the receiving end of that marketing conversation, of that sales conversation, how would you feel?
Would you feel amazing?
Would you feel like that person is leading you to decide one way or the other? Or would it feel bad? Would it feel like pressure, high pressure? And when we feel high pressure, like we're missing out, it makes us anxious. That is on the borderline between persuasion and manipulation.
The bottom line is selling should feel good.
It should feel good to us and to our potential clients and customers when we are persuading instead of manipulating it because in our soul we know that we have our clients' best interest at heart and that is what matters.
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