True story:

Once upon a time, I was out for a drive, hunting for espresso with a girl I was seeing.

I don’t remember where our conversation led, but suddenly the car was filled with a quiet haze of pouting.

To which I addressed:

“Did I sign up to date a pouter without realizing it?”

Her mouth slammed shut, and her pouting went out the window.

The reason why is two-fold:

1. Simply asking that question placed the onus on her, while illuminating the fact that she (and she alone) was responsible for her actions, and how they made me feel.

2. My statement was also a reminder that she has control over her actions, rather than than some external event.

After a lengthy silence she says, “that was really clever…”

Here’s how this work’s in copywriting:

Much of writing persuasive copy is about putting the onus back onto your prospect, and forcing them to think about the effect of their actions (or lack thereof).

When you’re making an offer to someone, your mission is to illuminate a better, easier, simpler path to their goal, solving their problem, or eliminating their pain.

Thing is, people tend to become married to their ideas, and their way of being, even if it isn’t serving them in a positive way.

Which is why you need to use your words to craft images in the minds eye of your prospects that allow you to slip into their brain, stir up their thoughts and emotions, while leaving a clear path forward.

Mike Samuels (The World’s Most British Copywriter) taught me this, and it’s fast become one of my favourite ways to close out a sales letter or launch sequence.

All you need to do is straight up state that your pouting prospect has a choice to make, and then lay it out for them…

The options for your pouting prospect being:

1. You can either continue as you are, and likely see no change, no progress, and dig yourself a deeper hole.

Had the pouting continued, this is what would have happened, and our espresso date would have been a sulking, sullen mess.

2. You can take responsibility for your actions, recognize that where you are right now is not serving you, then take action to do something about it.

The latter was the option my date chose, and all was well.

All because I challenged her current way of being, made her think about the consequences of her actions (on her, our relationship, and myself), and silently led her to the “sale.”

Which in this instance, mean no more pouting (not to mention a delicious shots of espresso + a doughnut).

A sales principle of which is a hell of a lot more effective than spitting out something to the tune of “cut it out – you’re being a whiny bytch.”

Which is akin to bullying people into a sale by attacking them, calling out character defects, questioning their integrity, or berating them for not buying from you.

Chill. People will either buy when the time is right for them, or not at all.

Which is how it should be.

Rather than beating people over the head until they buy, use your words to lead people to making the right decision.

That’s ethical persuasion.

To learn more about spinning pouting prospects into profits, and writing emails that your list loves to open, read, and buy from, check out Email Imagery at the link below:


_A. Mullan

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