Subliminal Persuasion

What is subliminal persuasion?

The word subliminal means below consciousness.

Subliminal persuasion, in essence, is the art of influencing individuals at a level that's beneath their conscious awareness. It's not just about the words we use, but the power that resides beneath the surface of the language. It's about harnessing the inherent message of everyday words and coupling it with a lower level of conscious cognition to effectively steer a person's decision-making process or thought pattern.

This form of persuasion operates on a deeper level, tapping into the subconscious mind to subtly guide individuals towards a desired outcome. It's a fascinating interplay of language and cognition, where the overt message of words is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface, a more profound level of influence is at work, subtly shaping a person's thoughts and decisions.

This is the essence of subliminal persuasion - a powerful tool that goes beyond mere words to influence people's thinking and decision-making processes in subtle yet impactful ways.

(Covert language is covered towards the end of this page)

Perhaps the highest level examples of this are hypnotic language and NLP persuasion

Why use subliminal persuasion?

Truth is, you can't not use it. 

Each time we engage in communication, we're not just sending messages through our words. There's a whole other level of non-verbal communication happening, often without us even realizing it. So, it begs the question, why not harness this power to deliver an effective sales message that resonates both verbally and non-verbally?

In the fast-paced, competitive world we live in today, subliminal persuasion techniques can be your secret weapon. They can provide you with the edge you need to stand out in a crowded market and keep you one step ahead of your competition.

Dave Lakhani, a renowned author who has penned numerous books on the subjects of persuasion and influence, once made a thought-provoking statement. He said, "Persuasion that looks like persuasion isn't persuasive anymore." This underscores the importance of subtlety in our persuasive efforts. It's not just about persuading; it's about doing so in a way that feels natural and genuine.

When do Prospects Buy

The moment a prospect decides to make a purchase is often when they experience a sense of positivity about their decision.

This involves a dance between feelings and subconscious persuasion.

As a salesperson, your role is to orchestrate this dance. You're there to instill feelings of comfort and excitement about the purchase in your prospect's subconscious mind. Simultaneously, you're providing logical reasoning to the conscious mind, allowing it to justify the choice. It's a delicate balance between appealing to the emotional and rational sides of your prospect, ultimately leading them to feel good about their decision to buy.

Did you know you can have a non-verbal influence on your prospect's mood and state of mind?

To Buy They First Need to Be Open to Your Words

Initiating a successful sales dialogue requires your prospect to be receptive to the conversation and to trust in your words.

In this context, doubt is the adversary of persuasion.

Your primary role at the onset of a sales call is to foster a sense of comfort and trust in your prospect. This involves creating a rapport that makes them feel at ease and confident in what you're saying. After all, the foundation of any effective sales interaction is built on trust and rapport.

The most effective rapport building techniques are subliminal methods. 
I have written about this in my e-book, "Sales Rapport".

There are other subliminal factors that influence believability.

For instance how you dress. You need to know what works for you and especially make the connection from what you are selling, the industry that you are in and what you should be wearing to gain maximum effect from the people around you.
An appropriately dressed salesperson shows respect for the prospect they are visiting and gives the impression that they care about how they look and perform this instills in the prospects confidence in their message.

Your prospects are evaluating your confidence, competence and your motives during the sales call. 
You could be the most competent salesperson in the world but if your prospect suspects that your only motive is to make money from them you are unlikely to make a sale. Likewise, if you don't know your product well your prospect is likely to doubt much of what you say. When you present your product and its benefits you need to appear congruent. That is to say your non-verbal message backs up what you speak.

For example, a salesperson standing in front of a prospect saying in a weak voice somewhat meekly and with a questioning tone that this product would be of use to the prospect is not very convincing. There is a lack of congruence in the message being sent.

There are many aspects of non-verbal communication

There are important lessons for salespeople in the above comments. Know your product well, learn the benefits it offers to its users and that will show through subliminally in your sales presentation. Your motives also shine through readily as you present your offer. So if you want to be more believable and make more sales you need to focus your attention on helping the prospect rather than making dollars for yourself.

I know a salesperson here in Australia who is the leading salesperson in her industry. She is impeccably dressed, always prompt and efficient and nobody in her industry knows the industry, the players in the industry, the regulations and the products as well she does. Consequently she is the most successful, highest-paid salesperson in this industry in Australia and constantly headhunted by overseas companies.

I wrote earlier that people buy when they feel good about the decision.

You improve your chances by making the prospect feel good to start with. Some people call this the law of association. A former colleague of mine used to always bring doughnuts when he went to see his biggest customer. It became somewhat of an event. As soon as he arrived people could smell the fresh doughnuts and someone would go to make the coffee and he would mill around talking to the decision-makers at the company. This is a very powerful subliminal persuasion tactic.

And people feel good when they get their needs met. And people's fulfil their dreams and express their identity via their Life Purpose and they express this in everyday life with:

  • The things they own.
  • What they do.
  • How they relate to people.
  • How they speak.

If you help people fulfil their Life Purpose they will feel good about purchasing from you. To read more (and you should) click here Life Purpose

Subliminal use of Language

There is also a lot of subliminal persuasion that can be used in your language as you present your offer.

There is a lot of truth in the saying, "it's not what you say but how you say it".

The way you use intonation and inflections in your language has a large bearing on the meaning of what you say.
I'll give you an example below:
It is easy to assume that a sentence like "I can't promise you that price." has only one meaning. In reality, though, inflection provides much of the actual meaning. Look at the each of the sentences below, each with a different word emphasised, and followed by the implied meaning. 

I can't promise you that price. (But maybe someone can.) 

CAN'T promise you that price. (There's no way.) 

I can't PROMISE you that price. (But maybe you'll get it.) 

I can't promise YOU that price. (But I can promise someone else.) 

I can't promise you THAT price. (But maybe a good price.) 

I can't promise you that PRICE. (But I can promise something.) 

The meaning of our statements is determined by which words we emphasise, and it is a subtle process.
Think about the intonation we use in uttering a sentence. Basically, we have three choices. As we say something we can finish the sentence with:
An upward voice intonation
An unchanged voice intonation
A downward / deeper voice intonation

Try it for yourself. Let's pick a sentence to say. "You want to buy this."

If you repeat that sentence and speak the last two words in a higher pitched voice it sounds like you are asking a question. In fact there are languages (e.g. Italian) where you indicate you are asking a question by the intonation of the sentence. And guess what; these languages use that same higher-pitched voice tone to indicate a question is being asked.

Next, say that sentence keeping your voice tone constant. Different, isn't it. That tone is indicating you are making a statement. 

Finally, utter that same sentence again but say the last two words louder and deeper. This is command tonality. This command tonality is well utilised by hypnotists and can, of course, be used in hypnotic sales techniques too. 

How is this useful in selling?

Well, when you make a comment like "This product is the one you want". It has very little positive impact if you utter it with a question type tonality. In fact, it sounds like you are asking a question and are not really sure if it's a good product or the best one to use. 

Mind you, you can use questioning tonality to your advantage. Say your customer tells you she is using Acme brand material (your competitor). If you reply with "You are using Acme brand?" with that upward inflexion in your voice, I can just about guarantee you that your client will ask "What's wrong with Acme brand?". To which you can just reply "Oh, nothing." They will, of course, still be wondering what's wrong with that brand.

I mentioned above that if you say a word lower and louder that is command tonality.
You can carefully construct sentences emphasizing certain words with a command tonality that spell out what you want people to do. These are called Embedded Commands and are an extremely effective subliminal persuasion technique. 

For example,
"When clients hire my firm, John, all the work we do is to get resultsright now."
Your prospect's unconscious mind hears, "hire my firm, John…get results…now"
Put enough of these sentences together in a sales presentation and it will markedly improve your sales results. 

Also you can use presuppositions to subliminally influence your prospect to do your bidding.
What are presuppositions?

Presuppositions are the linguistic equivalent of what most people call assumptions.

They are what must already be assumed to be true for the sentence being made to be true or to make sense. Presuppositions are what must be assumed rather than what is directly stated.

To use presuppositions, think of what you want your influencee to accept as fact, then construct a sentence that presupposes it. You can stack presuppositions to make them even more difficult to resist. 

The power of presuppositions can be quite amazing. 

Let me give you an example.
Using presuppositions is the difference between saying,
"Is there anything you find interesting about our product?"
"What do you find most interesting about our product?"

The first sentence above almost presupposes that there is nothing of interest. Whereas the second sentence presupposes that there are a number of things of interest and the listener has to choose between them.

I discuss these subliminal persuasion techniques in my book "Sales Language"

Of course, subliminal persuasion is a big topic that cannot be completely covered on one webpage but hopefully I've given you some tools to work with.

Further Reading

Here are some books and resources that delve deeper into the topic of subliminal persuasion, particularly in the context of sales and marketing:

  1. Subliminal Persuasion: Influence and Marketing Secrets They Don't Want You To Know by Dave Lakhani: This book reveals in step-by-step detail the exact techniques that really work in persuading and influencing others.
  2. The Science of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say "Yes" in 8 Minutes or Less!: Although not directly about subliminal persuasion, this book could provide valuable insights into the broader field of influence and persuasion.

Here are some webpages that delve deeper into the topic of subliminal persuasion: