Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Persuasion By Insinuation - How I Got Onto A Fully-Booked Air Flight - Douglas Castle

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Persuasion By Insinuation - How I Got Onto A Fully-Booked Air Flight - Douglas Castle
Marketing is about getting attention -- but it also requires delivering a message which contains a demand for action. Your must be pursuasive not only by using descriptive language, but by actually letting your quarry's imagination do the rest. Politicians, spin doctors, and teens wanted to spent the night somewhere where they probably shouldn't have all used some variation on this approach.

Summary: It uses an incomplete, but not untruthful story to stimulate the imagination of the audience, prospect, nosy mother, victim or (in this case) the airline ticket agent.

Lingovation - What I've Named This Technique: "Persuasion By Insinuation" Real-Life

Example: Because of massive winter snowstorms by flight from Florida to my favorite airport in Westchester County, New York had been cancelled. Flights were being cancelled, postponed and redirected because of the inclement weather. I went up to the ticket agent (a kindly-looking woman, who looked like a hybrid of Angelina Jolie and Aunt Bea), and asked if there was a chance that I might get onto the next flight going to my favorite airport. She indicated, sadly, that the next flight, scheduled to leave in five hours was fully booked, with passengers on standby. She then added that the next flight would not be until the next day! What to do... What to do...

I first asked her if she could re-check the next flight to see if something might have changed or somebody might have cancelled, leaving a seat available. She sympathetically nodded, checked her computer manifest, and told me "No sir. I'm so sorry. Every single seat is taken."

Suddenly, inspiration struck me. I looked directly into her eyes (she had two), with a slightly panicked expression, and with my hands trembling slightly, and said, "Oh my God. I'll miss my treatment!" I then wrung my hands, looked down at the floor, and then met her eyes again. She responded, "Let me see what I can do." I said, "Thank you so much, Miss. You're a lifesaver."

She attacked her keyboard with inspired ferocity, and smiled at me, saying, "It appears that I can get you a boarding pass for one seat that IS available on the next flight, Mr. Castle." Without hesitation, she printed out a boarding pass, and handed it to me with a compassionate, Florence Nightingale/ Mother Theresa expression on her face. I thanked her profusely.

Yes. I still feel guilty. I didn't have any "treatment." I wasn't in pain. But I am convinced that she had bumped some faceless passenger from the flight because she had seen me as a vulnerable person needing her help, and that she had the power to do something righteous.

Many people like to be saviors. I had touched her personally, and had, in a few minutes, become a Human Being in need of her help. It was the confluence of Persuasion and Compassion that served as her call to action. What does this have to do with marketing? Everything.

Apply what you've learned here using your conscience as your compass, and only to the extent required. Don't make a habit of abusing people by utilizing the sins of implication and omission - but don't stay one more night in Florida than you have to if you need to get back to New York. Amen.

And now I'm off to my local house of worship to pray for forgiveness...


Douglas Castle

Tags, Labels and Keywords for this Article: humanization, pursuasion, persuasion, insinuation, assumptions, imagination, painting word pictures, asking for help, conscience, establishing rapport, air travel, behavioral psychology, Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs, innovative tactics, appealing the the goodness in people, the sin of omission, the sin of misdirection, exploiting the imagination, compassion, making people feel needed, Articles by Douglas E. Castle, Mad Marketing Tactics, TNNWC Group, manipulation, telling a story, accordians in Hell, true confessions of mad marketers, rapid adaptation, profiling personalities, eye contact, an emotional appeal, The National Networker Weekly Newsletter, The National Newspicker, The TNNWC NEWSROOM blog, DouglasCastleBlogosphere, Mini-Media Buzz Blitz, master marketing secrets, Taking Command blog, RadioDazz blog, The TNNWC RSS Feed and Daily Email Supplement Blog, messaging, personalization, Linked In, blue ice, connecting personally. 

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