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Stop Trying To Convince People!

By December 6, 2012 July 20th, 2014 Destroying Conventional Wisdom

How many entrepreneurs, business owners, brand managers and CMO’s toil daily trying to convince consumers to buy their stuff or do business with them? Way too many. I’m working with people who are in the advertising industry and I hear the same old shit being pumped out onto the masses time and time again.

It’s like being stuck in some kind of bad rendition of “Groundhog Day”. Do they ever wonder why they work on such small conversion rates? Seriously, think about it for a moment. The entire industry is built upon trying to convince consumers that they really mean what they say. C’mon, what’s the first three letters of convince? C-O-N!!

“If your business is built upon convincing people to buy your product or service you’ll never get off of the advertising treadmill. And that’s right where ad agencies want you.”

That’s EXACTLY what it is. It’s a con game of epic proportions. Stop trying to con people and start relating to them.

Seth Godin wrote:

Persuade vs. Convince

An anonymous copyeditor working on my new book unilaterally changed each usage of “persuade” to “convince.”

I had to change them all back.

Marketers don’t convince. Engineers convince. Marketers persuade. Persuasion appeals to the emotions and to fear and to the imagination. Convincing requires a spreadsheet or some other rational device.

It’s much easier to persuade someone if they’re already convinced, if they already know the facts. But it’s impossible to change someone’s mind merely by convincing them of your point.

If you’re spending a lot of your time trying to convince people, it’s no wonder it’s not working.

Think of it as going on a date. Yes, you may indeed get some results by running your bullshit, con game lines on a woman every once in a while, but chances are you’re dancing with yourself more often than not and when the lights come on you look like the loser you really are. Why? Because you’ll quickly find out that your “conversion rate” really sucks.

But when you find that person who understands you, wants to be with you, and believes in what you’re telling her, you find a relationship on a whole new level.

Same thing in business. Stop trying to convince people. Just seek out those who already believe what you believe and you don’t have to work so hard at delivering a message that is greatly ignored and basically rendered useless.

I know most in the ad industry will disagree, but then again, they don’t believe what I believe anyway. So, I’m not concerned what they have to say. See how it works?

link to Seth Godin’s article as mentioned in the video:


Barry Cunningham

Author Barry Cunningham

Barry Cunningham is an antagonist of conventional wisdom. Check out our case studies. They will give you an idea how we help brands & businesses amplify their conversion and lead gen campaigns by deploying digital advertising campaigns at scale. And I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.

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