Persuasion

People Believe This, And You Can Use It To Manipulate Them

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Born Jun. 28, 1712. What I love about this quote is that people generally believe it, and that makes it easy to trick them. “Nature” is an amorphous idea that most people would struggle to define. But it’s “real” and it’s “truth” …

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To Persuade Quickly: Attack Instinct Via Emotions, Then Logic

Francis W. Newman

“The active part of man consists of powerful instincts, some of which are gentle and continuous; others violent and short; some baser, some nobler, and all necessary.” – Francis W. Newman, Born Jun. 27, 1805. One of the mistakes a novice persuader can make is to attempt to work on the mark’s logic. But that’s …

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If They Don’t Buy Into the Story, They Won’t Pay For the Product

George Lois

“Great advertising, in and of itself, becomes a benefit of the product.” – George Lois, Born Jun. 26, 1932. What old George is saying here is that objects (like products, for example) all have a story. They just do. Someone invented those products, for some purpose, to solve some problem, to sell to some person, …

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Why Being a Good Writer is a Dangerous Power

Jean-Paul Sartre

“Words are loaded pistols.” – Jean-Paul Sartre, Born Jun. 21, 1905. I like this quote a lot as it relates to persuasive writing. Much better than that Shakespeare bullshit about the pen being mightier than the sword. That just makes people cocky and ineffective. Good persuasive writing paints the untenable scenario for the reader. Wronged. …

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Turn Your Pitch Into Gossip, and People Lean in Closely

Mona Simpson

“Gossip is essentially storytelling: storytelling about people whom we know.” – Mona Simpson, Born Jun. 14, 1957. I think gossip – as a tone – is an under-appreciated angle when it comes to persuasion and influence. *leans in to closer* Listen… Gossip isn’t just a story about people we know – it can be the …

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