Make Your Solution Feel Like a Life Preserver to a Drowning Swimmer

William Shenstone

“A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood.” – William Shenstone, Born Nov. 13, 1714.

If you're reading this and the word “liar” makes you feel all squicky to the degree that you can't stand it, you might not like this conversation.

Because marketers are liars. (Not storytellers or “truth engineers” or whatever). At least entertain that thought for the duration of this lesson.

Now, what I want you to remember is that when you are trying to get a reader to adopt a whole new point of view – perhaps to widen their horizons to make room for your product and its possibilities – the best approach is two-pronged.

Don't just make your falsehood seem true.

Make their “truth” seem like falsehood.

It's not enough to paint the pretty imagined future picture that you want them to adopt. That's a half-measure for half-men (and half-ladies).

Go all the way.

You have to also make their current reality (or perception or experience of it or whatever) seem bad, too. Unsafe. On the verge of collapse. At the point of failure. Only getting worse. Etc.

You want them to be left feeling like even if they DON'T buy your thing, they can no longer stay in the position they are currently in, because you have made it feel so untenable and precarious.

Of course, this has the added effect of making your offer feel like a life preserver on choppy seas. They have come to accept your agitation and escalation of their urgent problem. And now your offer is the most immediate relief available, and it requires nothing of them but to say yes.

And they will choose it and feel that relief in having done so.

It's either that, or drown and leave their bones to litter the sandy wasteland at the bottom of the deep.


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