Persuasion Lessons From A Food Snob

Persuasion Lessons From A Food Snob

I’m willing to bet money you’ve never heard of anyone with my unusual breakfast routine. Banana dipped into natural peanut butter (or almond butter) and then dipped in a mixture of shredded coconut, cinnamon and raw cocoa nibs. It’s delicious and healthy. The cocoa nibs are bitter as hell by themselves but the sweetness of the banana brings out the chocolate flavor.

Based on my breakfast description you’ve probably jumped to the conclusion that I’m an elitist food snob. You’re half right, but that has nothing to do with this article.

This morning we were out of bananas. Ah, but I improvised. Last night my wife made delicious sweet potato soup. We had some left over so I thought about how to adapt it to my usual breakfast. I couldn’t figure out a way to work in peanut butter but I added shredded coconut and cocoa nibs and cinnamon to the soup.

This was no automatic response to the scarcity of a key breakfast ingredient. I thought this through. Before I made a decision I ran through the worst case scenario in my head. I figured the downside was minimal. I like all the individual ingredients. They may not go great together when they’re combined but it wouldn’t be terrible, so I went for it. The results were okay. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it again but it served its purpose.

The reason I bring this up is because that thought process: what’s the worst that could happen is always going on in your prospects mind whenever they make any significant purchase or important decision.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if the value goes to zero. Will I be okay financially? How do I explain it to my spouse, family, friends?

Will my boss like it? If he doesn’t, how will he react?

If it doesn’t work out will I feel embarrassed?

What’s the worst case scenario your prospect is likely to think of when he’s considering your product? This is part of that conversation that’s going on in his mind. That’s why in my sales letters I like to include “even if” benefits.

Here’s how it works:

“Even if you choose not to make money as a consultant with this [insert skill], you’ll stand out in a sea of resumes if you prefer to remain in ultra-competitive corporate america”

Notice how I added in a soft benefit “standing out in a sea of resumes.” That allows your prospect to say to himself:

“Okay. Even if I don’t pursue this as a consultant, there’s some benefit and that makes it worth the money. I can even explain it to my husband this way if the consultant thing doesn’t work out.”

Now, when she goes home to her husband and tells him she invested $1,000 to learn this new skill, she can say “It’s an opportunity to pursue something on the side… and even if I don’t, I’ll need this skill to stay competitive in my job”

Her worst case scenario is no longer:

If I don’t follow through I’m out $1,000 and I have to explain it to my husband.

Now, her worst case scenario is:

If I don’t follow through at least I have this skill to keep up with the competition in my company/industry.

Take a look at your current promotion. Do you have even if reasons to make the buying decision easier for your prospect? You may have a “perfect” product where everyone gets fantastic results. That’ doesn’t really exist, but let’s pretend that’s true. Even if that’s the case those worst case scenarios will still swim in their minds when it comes time to say “I’ll take it.” If you can’t give them alternative endings to their worst case scenarios, they may not have the guts to pull the trigger.

This is a quick fix, but if you’re feeling stuck with the exercise, go through your benefits and add this phrase onto the end: even if this benefit doesn’t reach its potential/happen, you’ll still [fill in in the blank]. That should kick-start your brain into creative mode and generate a few of your own even if benefits.


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