Do you want the ultimate secret to persuasion, in just 27 words?
It’s Monday, which means it’s time for me to open the old inbox, and answer your most pressing questions.
Today, a question from a network marketer who may get a little more than he bargained for. But, as always, I’m delivering the best possible advice I could hope for if our roles were reversed. Which may not always be the easy or most liked advice.
To have your most pressing question answered, even if it’s not the answer you are most hoping for, remember you can always email at Roy@RoyFurr.com.
And now on to today’s question…
I have a question for you. I’m a network marketer and learning copywriting skills after attending a Mike Dillard course and getting his book on attraction marketing. Also had an opportunity to go through on Dan Kennedy’s ultimate sales page…
I notice a pattern where they said people buy based on emotions and then justify making those purchases with logic. And in most of their letters, especially their headlines and statements, they seem to adopt and tailor Blair Warren’s 27 words (One-Sentence Persuasion)…
Where it says, “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicious and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”
Is it fundamentally true that we need to provide incredible values to our prospect, and at the same include the emotions in all of our email messages to the prospects using Blair Warren’s 27 words?
Your views are greatly appreciated.
Let me start by saying I have nothing wrong with what Blair Warren teaches in his one-sentence persuasion essay…
I think he is fundamentally right when it comes to persuasion.
On a very basic, fundamental level, we are driven by what he says.
— We want people to encourage our dreams, and help us believe that they will come true.
— We want people to justify our failures, and let us know that it’s not our fault.
— We want our suspicions to be confirmed, and new evidence presented to further underscore that we are correct.
— And, with politics as the most shining example, we want someone to throw rocks at our enemies on our behalf, and to redirect blame from us for the attack.
And when it comes to persuasion, there is hardly a more succinct list that gets at all of the core human drives and motivations that can be used to speak to us on a very deep level, stimulating our emotions toward a purchasing decision.
So, if you study great copywriting and persuasion, I have no doubt that you will see these in action over and over and over again.
I have to admit in answering this that all my negative biases against “network marketing” are coming bubbling to the surface…
So before I get any further, I’ll lay this out.
I have nothing wrong with network marketing in theory.
There’s nothing wrong with working for a company to sell their products, and getting paid for performance.
There’s also nothing wrong with the idea of recruiting others to join in, if they are interested, and getting paid some kind of bounty or performance fee on what your recruits contribute to sales.
I have nothing wrong with the compensation structure — but I really have a sore spot against the culture.
Here’s the truth about network marketing. It’s an illusion. In most network marketing companies, a HUGE majority of the money being made is by the people who set up the company. MAYBE a few within the ranks of distributors (or whatever you’re called when you’re out hawking products) are making some change.
But — and I’ve heard this to be true about more than one company — most of the ground troops involved are the main ones buying their own wares, filling their garage with worthless product to juice their sales numbers.
I don’t fault you for getting caught up in it. Some of the best salespeople in the world sell network marketing as a business or income opportunity. They’re masters at convincing you that THIS ONE is going to be different. That THIS ONE is going to give you riches and freedom, and your down-line will be giant and you’ll never work another day in your life.
And some even have really good products to go with that, so you can feel good about what you’re selling — or at least, what you’re buying yourself and filling your garage with.
But any time I’m approached by someone who tells me they’re a “network marketer” — via email, as a new LinkedIn connection, wherever — my guard goes up to the max…
And, it colors my perception of this question — and leads me to give this answer…
Interpreting Blair Warren’s “one sentence” through its own lens is the best way to figure out why it’s so popular…
Network marketing is sold on the dream of easy riches. So are Blair Warren’s 27 words.
We want people to “encourage our dreams,” we’re told.
And that’s EXACTLY what one-sentence persuasion is meant to do.
It’s meant to promise you that you will become persuasive and get rich if only understand the one sentence.
It’s a SHORTCUT.
At least, it promises one.
Just like the whole network marketing model promises a shortcut to getting rich.
Do both work, in theory? Absolutely!
Do both work, in reality, in a small minority of cases? Probably…
Do the vast majority of people who see this shortcut as a be-all, end-all solution to their problems fail? For sure!
If you go around trying to look at all great selling and persuasion through the lens of Blair Warren’s 27 words, you will no doubt find what you’re looking for.
And, in fact, if you constantly try to apply it to make yourself more persuasive, it will probably work — at least, a bit.
(Here I’ll admit I long ago stumbled on the original one-sentence persuasion report, and will even share the original PDF with you here in line with the permission given in the file. I was temporarily tempted by its “power” and definitely learned from it. But, like I recommend for you, I didn’t become overly attached, and soon it merely contributed to my total marketing, persuasion, and selling knowledge base.)
Here’s my big warning about this…
Maybe you recognized the reference in the title of this essay, “One persuasive sentence to rule them all.”
I’ve been into The Lord of the Rings recently, and have finally convinced my oldest son to start reading the trilogy (we’ll watch the movies as he finishes the books). I’m listening to the audio books this time through, as I can do that while tending to all my “grown up” responsibilities around the house.
In that story, there is the One Ring, a single ring that holds power of many other Rings of Power, each given to leaders of Men, Elves, and Dwarves.
The One Ring was made by the Dark Lord Sauron, and with it, Sauron can exercise his evil power over all of Middle Earth.
But years ago, Sauron lost the One Ring in a battle, and it eventually made its way into the hands of a Hobbit named Frodo Baggins, who set off on a quest to destroy the One Ring and Sauron’s power with it.
The One Ring is a plain gold ring, and there is only one way to identify it. When you place it in fire, letters appear on its surface, starting with the phrase, “One ring to rule them all.”
This one ring has incredible power. It can be used for good. But by the strength of its power, it can easily turn a good heart to evil deeds.
And in fact, much of the conflict in The Lord of the Rings trilogy arises from the fact that few are able to resist the “shortcut” to power that the One Ring provides.
A major challenge then is to prevent the many who are to help Frodo on his quest, and the many he meets along the way, and the many who would stop him all from getting a taste of the ring’s power. Because as soon as they turn to this shortcut, it starts to hurt them as much as help.
Now, I don’t necessarily think Blair Warren’s one-sentence persuasion course is so dark and evil as the ring. But rather, it is similarly tempting to treat it as a shortcut to getting everything you want — but if that’s how you wish to use it, not much good will come of it.
Learn from it. Appreciate it. Apply the principles it teaches in ethical persuasion, where your aim is to help others.
But don’t get too lost in its apparent power. At its very core, remember that it was written to persuade you, and so you should examine its own use of the same principles it teaches, and see how they are going to work on you!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,