NLP Copywriting Tip: Casting Doubt for Fun & Profit

by Lou

All right, John Prospect is reading your ad. He’s intrigued by your sales argument. He thinks what you have might be able to help him. How do you push him over the edge and get him to buy?

Doubt plays a big part in his decision making, of course. If you don’t answer his doubts, he won’t buy. Here’s where standard copywriting will help you. Can you prove your claims to him? Do you offer a guarantee? Can you show him before & after photos? Anything to make your case and eliminate his doubt.

Luckily, you can also have doubt work for you. Here you create a doubt where customers will not succeed in accomplishing their goals – or eliminating their problem – unless they use what you’re offering.

THE PATTERN:
No (PROSPECT or PRODUCT TYPE) has/had (ever) (BENEFIT) without (DOING WHAT YOU WANT/IMPLYING).
OR

No (POSITIVE ADJECTIVE) (PROSPECT TYPE) has ever (BENEFIT) without (DOING WHAT YOU WANT).
OR

No (PROSPECT or PRODUCT TYPE) would be (BENEFIT) without (DOING WHAT YOU WANT/IMPLYING). (NOTE: The above two are stronger. This one borders on just a plain advertiser-type assertion. If you want to use it, you’d better add some proof to back it up.)

EXAMPLES:
“No salesperson has ever become truly wealthy without mastering persuasive language.”

“No stamp collection would be complete without these stunning first day covers.”

“No successful coyote has ever caught a road runner without using ABC Products.” (NOTE: ABC Products would be a competitor of ACME PRODUCTS.)

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign uses this pattern a lot. At various times she, or her campaign, has said these things:

“No candidate has ever become president without winning Ohio.”

“No Democrat has won the presidency without winning Pennsylvania since 1948.”

“No candidate has won the Democratic nomination without winning Pennsylvania since 1972.”

Adding a time element (since….) adds more power to this pattern, especially the further back in time you go.

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