Just after 6 AM the kids spring awake and get out of bed. We’re going on vacation tomorrow so we open our Christmas presents a day early. Christmas morning and kids birthdays always remind me of the single most powerful emotion when it comes to persuasion, specifically persuasion with intent to sell.
Here’s the story.
The kids were so excited about the presents they would receive, they struggled to fall asleep last night. Their emotions were heightened to the extreme. When they woke up they could hardly contain their excitement. They jetted downstairs and my wife and I gave them the go ahead to open their presents.
Wonder and excitement rushed through their veins as they opened their (probably too many) presents. It took them about fifteen minutes to open up all their goodies. We spent the next twenty minutes showing them how to use the more complicated ones.
Ten minutes later they wanted to watch “Miles From Tomorrowland” on the Disney Channel. The excitement had passed. Time to resume life as normal.
What really drives us more than the reward itself? The secret lies in your favorite fiction books. It’s what keeps you up until 3AM unable to put down your book. It keeps your kids up way past their bedtime, too excited to fall asleep.
The feeling that you just can’t wait to see what comes next, so much so it drives you insane. How do you create anticipation? A writing teacher once told me that curiosity is the forerunner to anticipation. Some other prominent writers echo the same advice.
With a little curiosity and a build up you create anticipation. Mastery of this technique takes some practice, of course. To get you started, I’ll leave you with a few shortcuts to gain some momentum.
I’ve written about sales bullets before here. Bullets give you the benefit of something without revealing how that benefit gets delivered or the mechanism that makes it work.
For example, How to get rid of dark circles under your eyes without creams, supplements or dermatology treatments
In the example above I’m telling you the benefit but I’m not telling you the secret behind it. The reader thinks: what on earth could it be that gets rid of those dark circles. The answer might be eight hours of sleep but keeping that part a secret builds up the anticipation.
Combine Things That Don’t Go Together
This creates curiosity. Add in a buildup before you reveal the secret and you create anticipation. For example, I once wrote an article about a Thomas Jefferson persuasion tactic in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence and persuasion strategies do not normally go together and it creates curiosity because you just have to know what it is.
I could write volumes on this subject but I can’t relieve all your anticipation. I’ll save a few tricks for next time.