5 Foundational Persuasion Bases To Cover

People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.

I came across this sentence from a 2012 Blair Warren ebook. Via a post by Scott Adams.

A seemingly self-confessed lifelong student of persuasion.

He suggests that the five persuading insights contained within that sentence “are the most important because they are simple, they are immediately useful and they can be frighteningly powerful.”

Gaining agreement may only need one of the above quintet. His point being that any adoption of your thoughts must utilise at least one of these “basic principles”.

He later refers to this by imploring we must change from one ‘two-word strategy’ to another. The old, ubiquitous and disastrous, to this new and most effective one; abandon correct & convince for validate & fascinate.

These come from his world of ad campaigns.

How transferable are they into solution selling?

The author suggests lasering in on these can be so potent in no small part because it forces focus away from you. Instead it switches to thinking about the person you seek to persuade. Their needs, not yours and your product.

Always a good steer for the complex bid seller.

For those of us into political mapping and the like, this may well provide an additional winning framework for our ongoing deal forecasting routines.

Under the general heading ‘persuasion’ you now have five flags to check off.

Perhaps even labelled as; dream – failure – fear – suspicion – enemy.

(So long as you can remember each one’s ‘verb’.)

Which apply to each prospect individual? Should more be covered? What is the relative weight of each? Which personalities share any?

The original 33pp pamphlet is worth seeking out. Perhaps the most useful part being the penultimate page or two. Where the author shows how he applies this very framework to its very own introductory remarks.


There’s also a small point in an interesting aside about the distillation of an idea.

He cites philosopher Nietzsche. Although many others are credited with similar sentiment.

In that any longform thinking can be summed up in a single paragraph.

Maybe we should term this ‘synopsis selling’?

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