How to Use Reverse Psychology in Your Advertising

by Lou

This is a great technique to use with people who don’t like being told what to do (like people who run the Mismatching Meta Program).

What is reverse psychology? It’s basically getting a person to do what you want them to do by telling them you don’t want them to do it (or by telling them to do the opposite).

Here are some reverse psychology techniques you can use right away:

1. Use Ericksonian commands. Instead of saying “GET THIS TODAY!”with the possibility of causing resistance. You can say, “You don’t have to GET THIS TODAY!” Or, “I’m not going to tell you to GET THIS TODAY!”

2. Call in their identity. “Are you the type of person who never finishes what they start?” or “I bet you’re someone who never finishes what they start.” You need good rapport with this second one.

3. Secret whispers. By telling the person you are trying to influence that other people said he or she would or wouldn’t do the behavior you want. Obviously, in your advertising you would need to personalize this. “To be honest John, my staff said you wouldn’t even like this widget. You’d put it in a drawer and forget about it.”

If you are unable to personalize this one, you could use an authority figure. “Security experts say you would probably never use this widget.”

4. Reinforce autonomy. Here you argue against yourself. You tell your prospects that you cannot make them to do anything they don’t want to do, even if you feel you have their best interests at heart. “I can’t get you to buy this widget even though it will help your business enormously. Only you can decide that.”

You need to be careful of reactance when using reverse psychology. This is where you get resistance if the person consciously suspects you are trying to change his or her behavior. Don’t be obvious. Be subtle.

I bet you’re not going to use these techniques in your ads.

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