“Language is legislation, speech is its code. We do not see the power which is in speech because we forget that all speech is a classification, and that all classifications are oppressive.” – Roland Barthes, born Nov. 12, 1915
Something vital to keep in mind when you are a persuasive writer is this: You are not someone who creates enlightenment or increases freedom in your reader. Perhaps poets get that job.
Our goal is oppression. Yes it is.
Your job as a seller is to detail possible choices for the prospect, and then you must make all of them seem inferior to choosing the ONE you desire them to choose.
It's a matter of classifying and qualifying the possibilities.
You illustrate how THOSE options are obviously shit, for these detailed and very good reasons… However, THIS option is amazing for these very convincing AND TRUTHFUL reasons… The “choice” is therefore easy!
See, our goal is to ELIMINATE all other possibilities in their mind.
We want to make their imaginations see value and potential ONLY down our chosen avenue, and ruin and woe as the terminus of every other path they might otherwise take.
Instill in them the sense that the ONLY sensible – even moral – course of action is to get out their wallet and swipe that card and take your offer.
Right the damn hell ass now.
They choose because there IS NO CHOICE. It feels like one, but isn't. It's limitation and oppression of thought, implemented by us, against them.
Of course, this is a beneficial kind of oppression, especially for a frazzled prospect who is bewildered by options and possibilities.
We make the universe more manageable, more comprehensible, and more easy for them to operate in. Not by opening their mind to the vastness and variety – but by closing them off from everything but the best choice. Our choice.
Remember this: They did not come to you for education on the cosmos of options and possibilities and decisions to weigh and worry over. They came to you to make THE decision FOR them by making the choice obvious.
If you do what you're meant to, and they do what you mean for them to, it's a win-win.
<!—- lagniappe Here are a few ideas on how you can eliminate all opposing alternatives to your recommended choice for the prospect to make... 1. Enforce acceptance of the problem and its need for attention. This is usually done through teaching the prospect to self-diagnose. At a minimum, worst-case-scenario, a prospect can’t walk away from your ad without at least accepting they have the problem you solve (presuming they really do), and it needs to be taken care of. 2. Eliminate the possibility of just ignoring it. Inform them of the possibilities of the problem worsening, the window of this opportunity closing, and the loss of advantage that fast movers would enjoy. 3. Subtly smear the competition. Without naming names, obviously (ask your lawyer why). But talk about flawed solutions. Flawed delivery, flawed application, flowed outcomes, etc. Know what they might find if they look elsewhere, and tell them why they might not like it. A super simple way to do this is to find some UNIQUE aspect of your offer that a competitor can’t easily imitate. Then, they are all lesser simply because they lack this one thing which you make seem like a dealbreaker for your prospect. 4. Remove their desire to solve it for themselves. Inconvenience, cost, failure to implement correctly, failure to execute at all. Everyone feels like they can be a DIY hero, and that feeling of being an action taker and decision maker is good - we want to encourage it. But you want to divert it away from getting their hands dirty. We want to make the choice to hire us easier, faster, cheaper, and smarter than thinking they can just do as good a job without our experience and wisdom and skill. BONUS: You can also make a point of painting the picture of the kind of person who ignores their problems, who lets them fester, who looks for the shortcut or the cheap route, or who self-applies a bandaid to a gunshot wound to the chest. That’s not someone anyone wants to be. Negligent, lazy, irresponsible. Stupid. This allows you to create yet another choice that parallels choosing your product or service - it gives them the opportunity to choose a better person to BE. If you found this helpful or even just entertaining, be sure to let me know? Thanks! —->
1 thought on “The Illusion of Choice is Beneficial Oppression”
I absolutely love these little nuggets of wisdom that you share Colin!
Incredibly powerful and insightful.
I'm glad I subscribed to your email list just now.
Thank you so much!