“The questions don't do the damage. Only the answers do.” – Sam Donaldson, Born Mar. 11, 1934.
In Sam's field of journalism, that can be true. A probing question that gets an answer from a prominent figure is often revealing in a way the answerer may not have meant.
And often, it can be damaging depending on what is revealed.
That's not the reporter's fault for asking. It's the fault of the person who hid the truth or misled or lied or whatever.
But we aren't journalists. We WANT to question our readers in such a way that they reveal answers that leave them in a compromising position.
We want them uncomfortable. Exposed. Fearful. Grasping…
They don't have to actually answers. But good persuasive writing will excavate those answers and bring them to the front of the reader's mind. We make them admit uncomfortable truths to themselves. We make them face harsh realities and confront problems they've ignored too long.
We want them to confront pains and flaws they’ve ignored and tried to suppress and a void thinking about.
We make them face what they’ve denied, and leave them weakened, damaged, suffering, and afraid…
And that's great. For us.
Because as marketers we can then throw them the life preserver once they're compromised. For a small fee, of course. We're the fixer on the scene to smooth it over and make it better.
Once they're desperate and struggling and literally grasping for a lifeline…
This story has a happy ending. Once they realize they’re drowning, we can rescue them. Once the accept and confront that their problem really exists and they can’t ignore it…
…then it becomes really easy to sell them your solution for whatever their problem is. Patch the damage they just admitted. Seal the leak. Cover up the mistake. Correct the flaws. Reverse the pain and bring them pleasure instead. Satisfaction. Relief. Freedom.
But we won’t share their private pains.
It's not public. It's between you and them. A secret. No one else ever has to know. Because you'll fix it with them, together.
“Click here to buy now…”