Can you Become More Persuasive By Forming a Cult? I think so. I’ve never really formed a cult because I’m just not “cult leader” material. I lack the sociopathic self interest and single minded grandiosity so important to cult leaders. I have, however, spent a large portion of my life studying cults and how they work. What I learned from my studies has an incredible impact on understanding human behavior.
From the outside cults seem so weird no one can imagine why anyone would become a member. But what people get from cults are the same benefits they get from religions, spiritual movements, political movements and business opportunities. You can use this to your advantage any time you are trying to influence or persuade someone.
The benefits people get from being part of cult could be used to influence someone in any situation. Here’s what you have to consider.
It’s All About Feelings
The benefits people receive from be part of a cult/religion has nothing to do with features of the cults and everything to do with the feelings they help create. In olde school sales training you would be taught to sell using the “features and benefits” techniques. “Features and Benefits” requires you explain the benefit of every aspect of your product or service. Cults go for the gut by appealing to the deepest needs of the cult member. Great persuaders do that too.
A Sense of Meaning and Purpose
As human beings we are gifted (or cursed) with the ability to reflect upon our lives and our place in the universe. That creates a longing in most of us to know our place in the world. We also want to know that chaotic events have a bigger meaning to us. Religions/cults help fill that void and as a persuader you can give meaning to whatever you want to satisfy that need. Thus, when you buy a special brand of detergent it fulfills your purpose of protecting the environment. You vote for a particular national leader to give meaning to your national identity.
Try this, the next time you want to persuade someone begin a sentence with these words “This product/service/action is a part of your purpose in life. This is why you are here right now talking to me….”
Identity, Community and Uniqueness
Identity and community is the reason people join social clubs. Have you ever hung out with a group of people who road Harley-Davidson motorcycles? If you have you notice they have a sense of pride about the machines they ride. By surrounding themselves with others of similar interests they feel a part of a community, safe and protected in their common interest. Most of us want to feel special so consider how you can fulfill that want when you’re trying to influence someone.
“Most people are more than will to follow the crowd, be like everyone else. This product/service will set you apart. You’ll be one of kind, a part of a select group of people who have something special to gather around.”
Simple Answers To Complex Questions
Let’s face it. Life is complicated and sometimes hard to navigate. Cult and religions provide a structure to everything. They provide a simple set of answer to every question and rules to live by. Sales are made the moment someone believes “This will solve all your problems.”
The Need to Be Right and Feel Superior
One of the most affirming qualities of a cult or religion is how they make us feel right, and when we feel right others can be wrong. We thus feel superior by comparison. This feeling of validation will remain with us as long as we are loyal to doctrine. You can use this knowledge to influence and persuade. Remind people that regardless of their troubles it’s not their fault. Remind them they can feel good knowing they are doing the right thing with your product/service. By aligning themselves with your product or service they will be ahead and above anyone else.
Being persuasive is never about giving people reasons to do things. Persuasion and Influence is about giving someone a feeling they need. Once you have linked that feeling to you, your product or service they will gladly follow you down the rabbit hole to “drink the Koolaid”. Like any good cult leader start all your attempts at persuasion by appealing to peoples need for meaning, their sense of uniqueness and their desire to be right. They will love you for it.
Here are some other great persuasion products I recommend:
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