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Mind Control Tactic: The Label and Define Technique

It Is All In Your Mind

Volume 1 Issue 2 - November 30, 2011

Have you ever wondered what is going on inside the mind of someone you are talking to? Are they really paying attention?

Stop guessing.

In this issue of the Six Secrets Newsletter we look at a powerful technique that can help you focus the internal thoughts of a prospective customer and align them with your message.

Andrew Seltz, Publisher and EditorShare your thoughts on this issue. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

To your success,

Andrew Seltz

Publisher & Editor
Six Secrets Newsletter

Mind Control Tactics for Marketing

by Andrew Seltz

Mind control - the idea conjures up images of hypnotized zombies helplessly following the commands of an evil master. But the reality (at least in the marketing world) is that mind control tactics are simply methods for directing people's attention onto your message.

Do you think it would be useful if you could direct the internal dialog a potential customer is having while you are trying to persuade them to make a purchase? If so, keep reading because I am about to share one powerful tactic that I learned as a salesman.

I spent a portion of my professional life as an in-home sales person selling home improvements. That is where I learned the technique I am about to share with you. I know first-hand how powerful a technique it can be to help guide a prospective customer through a purchasing decision without appearing 'bossy' or high-pressured. I call this persuasion technique...

Label & Define

The way label and define works is that you get a prospect to internally accept a label that describes who he is, and then (after he accepts the label) YOU proceed to define what the label means.

Here is an example of how it worked in the home improvement world.

Early on in the sales appointment you would find something about the prospect's house to compliment - anything (when standing in a cockroach infested single-wide trailer this can be challenging.) Then, you would state that whatever you pointed out was PROOF that the prospect is a 'smart homeowner!'

Now, nobody is going to stand there and argue that no, 'you are wrong, I'm a complete idiot' - specially if he is an actual idiot. Would you?

I didn't think you would.

So, internally, he accepted the label. He IS a 'smart homeowner.'

To strengthen this identification with the new label you would make a few more similar observations.  Once this idea had settled in a bit, then YOU could start to DEFINE how smart homeowners behave.

Smart Homeowners:

  • Take care of small repairs before they become big problems
  • Know that the guy with the lowest bid is NOT going to do the best job
  • Invest in quality
  • Buy my stuff... TODAY!

Now, every time the person you were talking to heard you say, 'a smart homeowner does this', internally his mind is hearing, 'I do this!'

The reason for the internal translation is because it is consistent with his earlier acceptance of the label you gave him. Smart Homeowner = Him!

By accepting the complement (and the label that came with it) he was really letting you get your hands on the wheel to start steering some of his internal thoughts. You could tell him what he should be thinking about without setting off the 'this person is trying to boss me around' self-defense alarms.

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Label & Define Is Not Magic

I would love to convince you that this is some kind of zombie-producing hypnotic mind control secret that turns people into compliant cash dispensers. But, it is not. It is nothing more than a way to direct the internal dialog a person is having as they make up their mind. You can steer attention toward things that make you look good and away from things that reveal weaknesses.

This technique just stacks the deck in your favor a little, but you still have to deliver the goods. Otherwise, you just end up with a buyer's remorse refund the next day.

The reality of most sales situations I found myself in was that the people I encountered really needed to take action to fix a problem. I didn't have to invent a problem for them. They were just scared to death of making a mistake and choosing the wrong solution - something I think is true in a lot of situations.

Helping people overcome fear and take action is a big part of the selling job.

Putting Label & Define to Work Online

Using the label and define tactic online only requires small modifications to the basic tactic I described.

Obviously, you will not be able to look around and find something to compliment your prospect about if they are reading sales copy or watching an online video. Instead, you can state obvious information that most people would agree with and then anchor the label to that. Let me give an example.

If you were selling an organic gardening product, when a visitor came to your site you could be reasonably certain they had visited other sites and sought out help with their organic gardening. If that weren't true, they wouldn't be on your site in the first place - wouldn't you agree?

Since that is likely true, you could say something like, "you have already spent a lot of time and energy searching for the right gardening techniques to create a thriving organic garden. You are obviously a smart gardener because you asked the right questions and ended up here!"

You could follow up with a few more statements about how pesticides are terrible and that smart gardeners have been seeking a better way - organic gardening.

Do this a few more times throughout your sales message and you can anchor the thought in your prospect's mind that he or she is a 'smart gardener.'

Then, you can begin to define the ways that smart gardeners behave - including purchasing products like yours. When you introduce case studies or customer testimonials, you can apply the smart gardener label to the individuals involved. This will demonstrate that other smart gardeners (like themselves) have purchased your product and gotten desirable results.

Label and define is a powerful 'mind control' technique that will consistently help you to direct and focus the internal dialog taking place in your potential customer's mind.


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