The Art of Persuasion – Part 3 of 4

Welcome to the third part (of 4) in The Art of Persuasion series.

Author’s Note: I am enjoying writing this series, and truth be told, it gets better from here. As you progress deeper into persuasion secrets that could make or break your relationships – personal or professional – you will discover that the persuasion techniques become more powerful yet easily implementable.

If this is the first post you are reading in this series, I would urge you to go back and check out these posts, in the same order:

The Art of Persuasion – Part 1 of 4

The Art of Persuasion – Part 2 of 4

The reason I am advocating reading those is because these articles are intentionally linked, and unless you are aware of persuasion aspects discussed in those articles, you might find yourself confused and bewildered!

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Persuasion is a very clever art. Good persuasion techniques are subtle in nature, and tend to leave a lasting impact on our psyche. Most of the techniques are aimed at changing our behavior within a matter of minutes. Some succeed, many don’t. Verbal (or auditory) and written persuasion tactics work amazingly well on those that at some level – conscious or sub-conscious – are moved by it, and trust me when I say, most people are.

Written Persuasion

Words are powerful

Have you ever seen a sales pitch that online marketers rely so heavily on?

Have you ever read fiction?

Have you ever given money to charity only on the basis of what you have read?

Truth is – persuasive writing is capable of triggering a buying-impulse in our head. Some of the best copywriters are offered upwards of $5,000 per sales page. This amount is insane!

Do they do anything special to warrant that kind of amount? You bet!

Check out this sales page for a guide to getting your Ex back

It is an affiliate link, but I want you to have a read through the sales page.

Don’t purchase it! Just read.

So, what do you think? Does that convince you enough to purchase the guide? If you are in a vulnerable situation, you are more likely to go for this (wouldn’t blame you if you purchased it regardless!). The sales page combines different techniques to produce an immaculate yet (in my opinion) tedious page. But you know what? It still sells, maybe the guide works, or maybe the sales page really is awesome!

If you write, try and write something that can connect with people on a personal level. Often copywriters use bold and italics to make their point salient – make it stand out from rest of the text. The sales letter uses clearly spaced and indented text to capture your attention. Written art is often not just about words, many writers often use visual persuasion to entice readers.

Written art is not as invasive as other persuasion techniques, but your imagination can really amplify its effect. If you are like 90% of the general population, you can follow a story and imagine it perfectly, though we all tend to imagine scenes differently (same goes to arguments with your spouse – you remember one thing, he/she remembers another!)

This brings us to another, more powerful form of persuasion…

Verbal Persuasion

For those that are new to the world of persuasion…life-coaches, relationship experts and psychologists consistently talk about ‘Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)’ – a technique combining neurological process, linguistic training and behavioral modification. Unfortunately, due to the way it has been presented to the general populate, NLP has received bad reviews and people dislike the idea of being controlled by words. Well, let me rephrase NLP into verbal persuasion. Sounds better?

If it does, I have just managed to control your psyche into associating a positive feeling (persuasion) rather than using something negative (like programming – which sounds controlling or robotic, leaving you little room to maneuver). Control, is a strong word. So let us just stick with ‘I have persuaded you to think differently’. Sounds better, doesn’t it?

Great orators use power of their words and delivery to make an impact and influence people. You will often find yourself latching onto every word being said by a man on the stage, on a topic that you might find uninteresting or pointless. That is the purpose of verbal persuasion, to hook you into learning, to hook you into buying, and to hook you into loving. Intimate relationships are strengthened on the basis of verbal communication, where incessant persuasion often borders with manipulation.

Have you ever heard a salesman talk? He isn’t trying to sell you a product; he is trying to tell you that there is an empty void in your life, a void that can only be filled by what he is offering. That is verbal persuasion, ability to convince you that everything you purchase is purchased off your own accord, and no one else’s trickery. This kind of persuasion might leave you with a sour taste in the end, but hey, it works!

So this brings us to the million dollar question!

How can we verbally persuade someone and prevent ourselves from being coaxed or manipulated into submission?

Here You Find What You Seek

Wouldn’t it be easy if we get all that we want just by asking for it? Well, it is not that simple. But I can tell you that radical honesty is the single most powerful verbal (and written) persuasion technique, nothing beats that. It takes courage and congruence to be honest, but if you can do it, it will work. I can guarantee you that it will work. Do you know why?

Radical honesty works because it stands out, it is salient. When most people are fluffing around trying to find the right words, you can use the true message to score points. Integrity is highly revered, so use it. If this fails, switch to flattery. Giving compliments always creates an air of reciprocity, so you can expect to get something positive back.

If you are struggling to write a sales letter, just put yourself in the shoes of your customer – what would you like to read? What would make you purchase a product you might not need in the first place. Remember: Create an artificial void, fill it with what you are selling.

What If Someone Uses These Techniques On You?

Chances are that someone has already tried, and they succeeded.

All of us are easily influenced by other people’s words. If anyone reading this thinks they have never been influenced by what someone else has said, well, it is not possible. We are social animals, so unless we live in isolation all our life, someone, sometime will rub off on us.

We cannot always negate persuasion, but can reduce its frequency, and its impact on us. When someone tries to sell your something, or you are looking to adopt a new idea, apply the 5/5/5 rule.

The 5/5/5 rule: The 5/5/5 rule is an introspective safeguard against anything that we might do and regret later.

When you are looking to purchase something, consider how useful it would be to you after 5 minutes, after 5 months and after 5 years. By the time you get to the 5-year mark, you would have realized if or if not that product is important for you. Obviously some products such as groceries and a handbag may not have a 5 year shelf-life, you need to use your instincts there. Obvious things such as food and clothes are important (and even short-lived), but those purchases that will affect your life over a longer term should be considered using the 5/5/5 rule.

Similar thought process can help you guide better with your actions, once you can judge the action’s consequences over the 5/5/5 period.

Following this technique will ensure that you don’t end up going down the path that isn’t congruent with your vision of future.

So, do you like the 5/5/5 rule?

Was this post educational? Does it leave you better than when you first came?

Share your experiences! Tell us if this article has been helpful!


If you like this, you might also like to read (please feel free to comment and share):

The Art of Persuasion – Part 4 of 4

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About Neeraj Sachdeva

Neeraj is a life-geek, who enjoys talking about Psychology and Freelancing. His freelancing endeavor focuses on kick-starting start-ups and small businesses by using practical and timely experience. In his free time, he helps budding freelancers, and you can read about his journey on The Freelancer Diary.

About Neeraj Sachdeva

Neeraj is a life-geek, who enjoys talking about Psychology and Freelancing. His freelancing endeavor focuses on kick-starting start-ups and small businesses by using practical and timely experience. In his free time, he helps budding freelancers, and you can read about his journey on The Freelancer Diary.


  1. Great post again Neeraj. I happen to know a very good sales man and, because I know him so well a lot of the BS that he’s selling doesn’t even work on me anymore. However, I would be lying if I said that it didn’t work when I didn’t know him. And, it works still with people everyday.

    As for the selling page 🙂 ahahhah we know our friend Travis is a master of sales copies and yes, they do sell.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Never Run Out Of Ideas To Write About And Boost Your CreativityMy Profile

  2. I’ve never gone as far as 5/5/5, but I will ask myself, “Is this something I NEED, or something I WANT?” That often tamps down the urge to try out the latest shiny gadget.
    Cheryl recently posted..Do-overMy Profile

    • Ah, very interesting concept. Want v/s Need. Do you know that we are likely to pay more for what we want than what we need?

      • Why is that? I mean, yes – I know it’s true, but WHY? Is it because we feel, somehow, more “entitled” to what we NEED? I doubt it’s because we really value it less.

        • I was really hoping someone would ask that…

          Ok..ahem…its because what we need often comes easy to us and we adapt to live within our means. Food, water, electricity, house etc. are almost given. We don’t need more/better food, we don’t need bigger house. We want them.
          As for wanting something, we are happy to pay more here. Wanting something means satiating a hunger within us – whether that is for new clothes, a new gadget, a new house. When we shop for what we need, we look for bargain (Hell – cheaper fish, we’ll save a few pennies and get it), but most of us who want a new iPod would be happy to fork out 300 bucks on one, while we save pennies on fish packets.

          Its just the way things are. We actually do value what we need less, only till the point it gets taken away. This calls for another post, one which might become too self-indulging 😀
          Neeraj Sachdeva recently posted..Should You Rent an Office Space?My Profile

  3. Great post! This is actually the type of persuasion I study most, since I work in copywriting and sales letters, though I like to think I use my powers for good and work only with companies and products that bring real value to their customers.
    Dustin Christian recently posted..Two Simple Ways to Double Your Audience and Boost Your Twitter EfficiencyMy Profile

  4. I have a friend who nods the whole time she’s trying to persuade you of something. Unconscious mimicry is a human instinct, and you find yourself nodding in return and, nodding, find yourself beginning to agree with her. It’s insidious! lol!
    Marian Allen recently posted..The #contest For #ebooks ContinuesMy Profile

  5. Interesting stuff!

  6. I’ve heard of some of these techniques before, but not as detailed and simplified as you’ve made it. I’ve always wondered why I get persuaded to buy stuff on sales pages, yet the same doesn’t happen to others when I do the sales writing. The ability to get into one’s mind and channel it in a particular direction is really powerful and can be misused. I’m enjoying the series and can’t wait for the fourth.
    Lanre recently posted..Think, Attract and BecomeMy Profile

  7. ashrafsobli says:

    want to see real world million dollars verbal persuasion ? go to youtube, find and watch all Steve Jobs product launch presentations … 🙂

    if you can understand German, you can try search for Hitler’s clip … very energetic, even if I don’t understand a word he said, I honestly feel like to join the crowd 😛 … but he’s a bad person so I won’t really join him …

    but definitely I would buy Apple product 🙂

  8. Thoroughly enjoying this series … your comments on verbal / written persuasion are grist for the mill for sales reps. Coming from a sales background we were taught about open / closed questions, and how to approach customers on the floor. For instance, approaching a customer and saying “Can I help you?” is often responded to with no, just looking.

    Honesty is a powerful tool, and you’re spot on – it’s rare.
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