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Power of Persuasion: Are you sold or fooled?

by | Aug 12, 2010

By: Rachel Schwarz

Hello, valued blog readers! My college class, “The Theory and Practice of Persuasion” focused on how companies and people market themselves, outwardly and subconsciously. Once on notice, I saw these underlying persuasive techniques at work everywhere – television commercials, magazine ads, online banners.

I was quickly turned off by how deceptive and pushy these advertisements seemed.

Some common “in-your-face” marketing techniques:

  • Scarcity: Telling you that you must act now, before products run out. When you believe you might miss out, you will be more likely to jump at the opportunity to purchase your product.
  • Appeals to Authority – Having someone in a lab coat or with an impressive title endorse the product so that it seems more reliable. Remember! Just because LeBron James drinks Gatorade doesn’t mean that if you drink Gatorade, you’ll play like him!
  • Great Deal- How many infomercials have you seen where they emphasize that if you call right now, you’ll get “not one, not two, but THREE extra sets of containers for the same low price”.  You’re not getting the amazing deal you think you are. If they couldn’t afford it, they wouldn’t offer it!

It’s true- these persuasive techniques work even though they’re underhanded. When selling an idea, a product, or yourself, it’s up to you to incorporate a straightforward sales pitch with a persuasive reason for customers to buy your product that can be supported and proved.


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