persuasion strategyAn extract based on the One Sentence Persuasion Principle by Blair Warren

The first question to ask is whether it is even possible to have a one sentence persuasion strategy. How can it be that it is possible to capture and communicate anything of value about persuasion in just one sentence? This article proves that not only is this possible, it is an extremely powerful tool…

In order to understand persuasion, it is useful to take a look at the field of magic as the two have a common core. Have you had the experience of going to a magic shop and seeing a magic trick that enthralled you then buying the magic game and trying it at home? It is almost 100% predictable that when you found out the secret of the trick, you were disappointed with how simple and mundane the trick was.  You wondered how the trick could fool anyone and then suddenly, you realized it had fooled you.

This is the discovery that what seem to be the most magical things in life – amazing magic, great communication, successful business, close relationships –  are often the result of the correct application of very basic principles. 

In persuasion too, it is necessary to understand that even the most extreme examples of persuasion such as mass movements are often based on the most basic of human desires. Just as magicians perform apparent miracles using mundane principles, powerful persuaders impact the people around them in the same way. Of course the there are many theories about persuasion and depending on who you ask, you can get many different interpretations about what these basic principles are that drive persuasion. But there is a common set of factors that can be encapsulated in a single sentence. This is not a sentence that one delivers, but a sentence that one remembers and one that can guide your ability to persuade in virtually every situation imaginable.

Let’s look at this sentence – this “one-sentence persuasion strategy” – and see how it works. Here it is:

“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”

That, in a single sentence, contains five of the most important insights about what persuades people:

– encourage their dreams
– justify their failures
– allay their fears
– confirm their suspicions
– help them throw rocks at their enemies

Now, these are not the most important because they are comprehensive – they aren’t. They’re not the most important because they’ve been scientifically proven – they haven’t. And they’re not the most important because they’re based on the latest “persuasion technology” – they’re not. They are the most important because they are simple, they are immediately useful, and they can be almost frighteningly powerful.

Hitler used them and nearly took over the world. Cult leaders used them and commanded such loyalty that many of their followers willingly – even eagerly – died for them. And yet, these five insights are not only tools for madmen, but for managers, marketers, salesmen, evangelists, entertainers, etc. In short, they are the tools for anyone who must connect with and persuade others.

There is something else that is very special about this sentence.  There is absolutely no reference to YOU. There isn’t a single reference to your wants, your needs, your hopes or your concerns. There isn’t any reference to your offer, your company or proposal. There isn’t any reference to what you think. This is all about the other person. Persuasion is not about YOU! It is about the OTHER! This does  not mean you ignore your needs or wants; it just means your focus is on the needs and wants of those you seek to persuade.