A couple of weeks ago Tobias wrote a testimonial for my book on a thread on the LinkedIn website. He then asked me for some feedback.
Persuasion Techniques Competition
Since we have a competition running to win a Persuasion Techniques video I thought it would be useful for everyone if I did an analysis of Tobias’ post in public.
Written Persuasion Techniques Analysis
Let’s start by having a look at the original post. It is reprinted in full below and you can see the original thread that provoked it here.
When you have finished looking, real achievement comes from doing, I had read every scrap of free NLP information on the web, but until your hand goes into your pocket, and counts out the cash, you will find your self struggling to with the commitment required. There are Hundreds of books that are about theorizing with NLP. The one I found that was best for getting actual helpful phrases with numerous examples and simple exercises, was The ‘Persuasion Skills Black Book’. I am sure that if you search you will find a book entitled “NLP Writing for business”, but the ‘Persuasion Skills Black Book’ is the place to start, If you try this book, let me know how it helps, If you can see your self receiving a big Christmas bonus because your skills at writing had become more focused and inspiring, then you are ready to try this site and buy.
Whilst there is a huge amount of great stuff that Tobias has put in here there is one thing that is extremely powerful in all of this that is not immediately picked up from what he has written. I will share that with you a little later. But first let’s start with the fundamentals.
The Key to Persuasive Techniques
There is one simple key to using persuasion techniques that is often overlooked because of its simplicity. Before you can apply your persuasion skills you need to know what you want.
I have not asked Tobias his outcomes from this posting but I am going to assume it was to get the originator of the thread and others reading the posts interested in buying The Persuasion Skills Black Book.
Rapport, Pacing and Leading
The first sentence is a masterstroke of pacing and leading. Tobias starts with “When you have finished looking, real achievement comes from doing,” This is a pace of the originator of the thread who is “looking to improve their business writing by incorporating NLP.” But not only does this first line pace them it also adds a presupposition about achievement.
Next Tobias adds in an authority statement about himself…a why you should listen to me type statement…”I have read every scrap of free information…” But then Tobias uses a truly brilliant I / You shift and starts talking about “you” the reader. “But until YOUR hand goes into YOUR pocket…” Basically Tobias in now suddenly giving the reader direct suggestions about how they will be.
In just the first sentence Tobias paces the originator of the thread, adds in an authority statement for himself and gives the reader a direct suggestion of the problem they will have by continuing their current actions. What would have made it even better would be to change the end of the sentence slightly.
The end of the sentence is about struggling with commitment. Bearing in mind that Tobias wants the reader to “commit” to buying the book it might have worked slightly better if the end of the statement was about “lack of results” for example. The end of the sentence would then read “…but until your hand goes into your pocket, and counts out the cash, you will find your self struggling to get the results that you want” That said this is an excellent start as it is.
Describing the Solution
The first sentence sets up the problem and the next couple of sentences describe the solution for the reader. Tobias starts by setting up and delivers a comparison, “hundreds of books… the one I found the best…” Tobias then adds in another masterstroke.
The next line starts with “…find a book entitled NLP Writing for Business…” He then deletes this ideas by using the word “but” and directly states that “…The Persuasion Skills Black Book is the place to start.”
In terms of sequences he sets up a general comparison “hundreds of books” and points out his solution is the best. He then takes a very specific solution that looks perfect, deletes the idea and makes a command to start with The Persuasion Skills Black Book.
He ends this sequence with “If you try this book, let me know how it helps.” This is a suburb use of presuppositions. Presupposed in this sentence is that the book will help. All you have to do is to try it.
Hypnotic Future Pace
The last sentence is a hypnotic future pace wrapped inside a cause and effect loop. When you deconstruct this pattern you will find that Tobias has asked you to imagine the benefits of reading the book i.e. Christmas bonus, focused and inspired writing. He then states that if you can do the task then you are now ready to buy the book.
In one fell swoop Tobias makes you imagine a great future doing what he wants you to do and then tells you that you are ready to do it.
One thing that might have made it even better is the benefit statement. Tobias uses a Christmas Bonus as one part of the benefit statement. This works perfectly for anyone that has a chance for a Christmas bonus, but those that don’t might not be as emotionally involved with statement. Using a phrase like “getting the results you want” would work in a more general sense because it will appeal to more people. The problem is that it is not as powerful as something that specifically applies to you on an individual level.
The Best Thing about the Post
Here is the email Tobias sent me asking for feedback:
Subject: RE:There is also a lot of free resource on my blog including using NLP in writing and business. […
How about a free Critique on my language?
When you get the time…
I didnt think about it, it just came out like I was saying it, it felt really good to read it and have it make sense, but as an apprentice, I still require feedback as to my direction.
What I take from this is that Tobias just wrote the post. Despite the huge amount of critical analysis I have just done, making it seem as if it took hours of thought and consideration to construct the post the reality is Tobias just sat down and wrote it. My vision and intention when writing The Persuasion Skills Black Book was to help people get to this stage.
I see many NLP Practitioners and Master Practitioners who know the theory, they could put together a good post but it would take them hours and they would stand no chance of using these skills in the middle of a conversation. In my view the only point to having these persuasion skills is to be able to use them without thinking. Tobias is definitely demonstrating this level of skill.
The issue is not being able to use these skills but to be able to use these skills instinctively, automatically and unconsciously. Following the exercises in The Persuasion Skills Black Book helps you develop to that level.