Friday, August 12, 2005

Persuade Like a Jedi - Yet Another Way to Boost eBay Sales

There's a psychological technique called labeling that's useful for marketers. Noah Goldstein writes about it in the Inside Influence Report. He uses the following line from Return of the Jedi to illustrate his point -- Luke Skywalker (to Darth Vader) "I know there's still good in you. There's good in you, I can sense it."

Essentially you project traits, attitudes and beliefs onto your prospects and customers, then you give them choices that will make them want to act consistently with that label. The best example Goldstein gives is about a study they conducted with voters. One group was told that they were above average in their political activism and would probably vote in most elections. The other group was told that they weren't really very active in politics. Guess which group voted more in a subsequent election?

As an eBay seller, you have numerous opportunities to use this technique in your communications with buyers. (Past customers are especially impressionable, because they usually think that their buying decisions are intelligent/shrewd/tasteful/etc.) Don't be unethical, though, and just start throwing around compliments or labels that aren't truthful. Most people can sense cheeseball come-ons. Be honest and you'll create strong, profitable connections.

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