Inconvenience your target to increase your persuasiveness

This is part of the ‘Persuasion’ series. Each post is a concise blurb on how you can be more persuasive in your interactions with people, and it’s taken from stuff I’ve learned + read. If you have any thoughts to share, please leave a comment or response below – or contact me.



“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value.”
-Thomas Paine

Colleen Szot – remarkably successful writer in the paid programming industry, changed 3 simple words to make sales of her product skyrocket. She changed the call-to-action line “Operators are waiting, please call now” to “If operators are busy, please call again”. This seemingly simple change utilizes the power of the principle of social proof, which says that if we are uncertain about a course of action, we tend to look outside ourselves and to other people around us to guide our thoughts and actions. In this example, we end up imagining high demand (tons of potential customers and operators that are too busy to pick up the phone because they’re taking other calls).

The takeaway from this lesson:

Make your target audience work for it. We only value what we struggle for — and I speak from experience on this one. What is “granted” to us– we take “for granted”, hence the term “to take for granted”. Making something too easy to attain diminishes your value. At the same time, you don’t want to put up too much of a challenge – or so many roadblocks that your audience gives up, thinks it’s unattainable, or that the effort involved is not worth the reward.


13. February 2012 by Kunal Punjabi
Categories: Uncategorized | 2 comments

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