Point out the Simple Next Steps ☜

Point it out!

6:50am
Saint Paul

I have to confess, I’ve cheated a bit.

I’ve been adding some double-greater-than symbols to my email Subject lines and From fields.

You see, what started off as a small experiment… “pointing out” what action you want people to take, such as clicking a link or looking at a specific part of a photograph… well, putting the symbols in the email info itself just helps draw people’s eye.

Of course, it’s just a tactic, and one that could backfire. Tactics come and go.

That’s OK though. I’m here to learn and share with you what I’ve learned.

For example, yesterday’s email about Hanlon’s Razor and how Incompetence is Commonplace… triggered an Unsubscribe from a gentleman in a Canadian Oil Company’s IT Department.

The irony writes itself.

If you’re here to learn with me, excellent. If you have to go, I understand.

For those still here… if you want other people to take action, pointing out that action may seem ridiculous… but remember that people are lazy and don’t really want to think.

If you can tell them… and show them… exactly what to do next, you’re a step ahead.

One famous example comes from the pages direct marketing sales letters.

At the bottom of a page, the writer will actually tell you, “Turn to page 2.”

“Oh, ok!” thinks the reader.

All this to say, make the next steps clear and simple for your persuasion prospect.

Keep your focus,

Jeffrey

Just Say No

The late Jim Camp, one of the worlds “most feared negotiators,” was a big fan of the word No.

Camp even wrote a few books around this idea, No and Start with No.

Photo "CL Society 218: Crossing arms" by Francisco Osorio, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
“I said No and I mean No!” Photo “CL Society 218: Crossing arms” by
Francisco Osorio, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

No, Camp reasoned, allowed people to hold on to the status quo. No didn’t require action, No didn’t force someone to do something they weren’t prepared to do.

Continue reading “Just Say No”

Is it useful to bore your audience?

730am

Saint Paul

 

Hey there!

Yesterday we discussed the importance of your tone of voice, specifically how being monotone works against your ability to hold someone’s attention.

If your voice has no texture, basically, there’s nothing to hook your listeners’ ears.

"Brain" by wyinoue, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Can we tap directly into someone’s brain? “Brain” by wyinoue, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

But… I mentioned that maybe you want to be boring and monotone, on occasion.

What might that occasion be? Continue reading “Is it useful to bore your audience?”

Don’t you use that tone with me…

5:59am
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Have you ever sat through a presentation, and it could barely hold your attention?

The speaker drones on…
“…and in this chart you can see the market share projection…”

Ug take me out back and shoot me.

Are you engaging when you speak? Photo "Preacher" by daliscar1, Flicker, CC-By-2.0
Are you engaging when you speak? Photo “Preacher” by daliscar1, Flicker, CC-By-2.0

Vocal tones, speed, and silence are the punctuation to our spoken words. But most people —you and I included— forget the importance of Continue reading “Don’t you use that tone with me…”

Please, don’t support poor design when you buy household items

Donald A. Norman knows good design.

The author of “The Design of Everyday Things” (Amazon link) (PRL Summary link) tells us that the objects we use are improved when they share common characteristics.

Reinventing the wheel, in other words, is not only unnecessary, but it can actively work against brain patterns and muscle memory people have developed. Continue reading “Please, don’t support poor design when you buy household items”

Ralphy Emerson’s ideas on duality and contrast

Yesterday I wrote a bit about Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Compensation.

In the essay, Emerson argues that everyone is compensated, for the good or the bad, in relation to the good or bad they bring to others in the world.

Good, or bad. These are relative terms, of course, defined by their polarizing nature. You can’t have one without the other.

The compiled Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson
The compiled Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson’s Compensation opens with a discussion of the polarity of nature, Continue reading “Ralphy Emerson’s ideas on duality and contrast”

Emerson on your Compensation from the Universe

6am on the nuts
Saint Paul, Minn

*|FNAME|*, I just received my copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays.

"Compensation" and other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Compensation” and other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Photo copyright ⓒ 2019 Jeffrey G Thomas 

This collection of Emerson’s writings includes the famous Compensation, which discusses how people who give tend to do better than those who take:

“He is great who confers the most benefits. He is base —and that is Continue reading “Emerson on your Compensation from the Universe”

2-4-6-8, who do you appreciate?

The Universe is at it again, bringing me a message over and over to make sure I hear it.

(Also known as ‘Confirmation Bias,’ where my brain recognizes patterns in the randomness of the world)

Photo "Brothers in a Dangerous Trade" by Joel Penner, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Incoming Transmission from the Universe! Photo “Brothers in a Dangerous Trade” by Joel Penner, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Continue reading “2-4-6-8, who do you appreciate?”

What is a “tell” that someone is lying?

7:22am, St Paul

From  a question on Quora.com:

What is a “tell” that someone is lying?

It’s hard to know if someone is lying. It’s a super power we all wish we had… but we can’t read minds.

Displaying signs of discomfort. Image "distant distance" by Rennett Stowe, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Displaying signs of discomfort.
Image “distant distance” by Rennett Stowe, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Continue reading “What is a “tell” that someone is lying?”