And How To Hack That Fear in Yourself and Others
(Including Your Clients/Patients/Customers),
To Write Great Headlines, Copy and Marketing
And To Become Instantly More Effective, Motivated,
Happy And Rich
The Neuroscience of Change,
Action, Marketing & Wealth Building
What you really want to know is:
How to create (through your books, ad copy, speaking, pod casts
and other content you already do) an experience for your prospects,
customers, patients and/or clients that is the neuroscience equivalent
of a vodka and red bull cocktail (which I first encountered in a pool in
Mexico…but I digress).
You need to know, how, as a bartender of sales, marketing, and persuasion, to deftly
mix desire with a dash of tension and healthy anxiety in your prospect, which can only
be reconciled and satisfied by acting or buying from you.
How to create a neurotransmitter mix so alluring and powerful that you move beyond
“persuasion” and where they look to you for influence, want what you have to sell (so it
better be good and the real solution or you’re in trouble) and that buying is what gives
them release and pleasure.
And this assumes that you have fulfilled the sacred duty of selling a true and proven
solution that over delivers.
Does that sound good to you?
Do you want that result?
Well what we’re going to review is even better than whatever you’re imagining.
So read on…. And I’ll give you the link to listen to me at Perry’s Four
Man Intensive and a couple of my own videos…
But before I can tell you what you need to know, you have to hear this story…
A year or two ago I was sitting with Perry Marshall and three other smart entrepreneurs
in a small face to face program that Perry calls his Four Man Intensive – where “man” is
used broadly to mean either gender.
I was in Chicago with Perry rather than Maui for reasons that I can’t exactly recall but they
must have been very good reasons or Perry was very persuasive because, to be clear, Maui
was my first choice.
But you go where you need to go to get access to the unfiltered brain of Perry Marshall.
How’d I come to be there…ready to make a record break through (which I’ll share in
Well, Perry and I first met at a series of events in 2003/2004 when we were both starting
out on the speaking circuit.
We hit it off.
He was, and still is, that rare combination of super intelligent and creative, but able
to teach you what he knows and can understand how to apply his thinking to his own
AND other businesses.
Now another mutual friend, Fred Catona says that Perry’s very smart but that he
(FRED) “needs a translator to figure out what Perry’s saying.”
And when I’m around I happily fill that role.
But Fred’s only “confused” because of Perry’s overuse of Star Wars/Hobbit/Lord of
The Rings metaphors and Fred’s aversion to all of that.
My point here is that we all see the world in different ways, we all get different
breakthroughs, and we all appeal to slightly different audiences.
But smart people are always searching one another out, listening to
and learning from one another!
They are always asking: “How can that smart person’s views, ideas,
and perspectives inform my life and business success?”
So here we are, sitting around a small table in Perry’s house, sharing stories and
business successes and failures when Perry notices a theme.
Everyone’s having trouble getting going with new things. Even when they know
the new thing is rationally a great idea.
And yet, even though they have their own problems with change, they can’t believe
how hard it is to get their customers and prospects to try new things… to change
and to buy from them.
Dave: “It’s simple science.”
Perry: “Expand on that.”
So I went on a riff and explained part of why we have trouble getting ourselves
to change and why it’s so hard for customers.
Perry recorded it and I’m giving you the link again at
the end of this article in case you want to keep reading.
And it’s funny and useful to think about.
I recommend listening to it at some point…
But, that riff on cave men, fear, and staying put right where we are…on the dangers
of change is only part of the story…
What you really want to know is:
1) Why we fear change,
2) How We Can Overcome it and do more, and
3) How to recognize this same fear in our prospects/clients/customers and make sales to
them while they are temporarily and still craving what you have to offer.
First, understand that in the reptile part of our brains (in particular the amygdala) we’re
built to notice even tiny changes and to interpret them as danger.
The reptile brain world is digital. It’s food or danger, fight or flight, kill or be killed.
There is no time for thinking and human style reflection.
That instant fear of anything new saved the lives of many reptiles,
mammals, and humans.
That’s why you may notice that even when you come to a rational decision to change,
buy, or act, that you still get agitated or anxious before you “pull the trigger.”
There is a built in desire to stay safe and that “new equals danger.”
You still feel hot or a bit bothered before you’ll act.
You still have that minor urge to run or escape.
And, it’s why we often don’t take action even when an idea seems great.
That’s how our brains protect us from new…and the dangerous.
So, one hack for your own well being comes from Ryan Levesque who,
thanks to his training in neuroscience, takes big goals and breaks them
down into tiny actions that seem ridiculously simple and achievable.
He tricks the reptilian part of his bran into thinking that the action does not
even rise to the level of change. And, in so doing, he avoids the fight or flight
response while building a gentle momentum toward action and achieving a
This is not to deny the value of big exciting and motivating goals.
But it is the recognition that those type of goals trigger high level or low
level resistance that can stop us in our tracks.
Once we set them, we then need to break them down so that the fear of starting
something new goes away. So that we actually do something that signals to the
brain that we’re moving toward a new goal without triggering the fear usually
associated with change and action.
Failure to recognize that change signals danger to our brains and that we are
built to love homeostasis means that we may never get started on important
projects, businesses, wealth building, saving for adventures, stuff, retirement,
We may leave wealth and success on the table out of a fear of change without
even knowing how or why that happened.
So, we have to have strategies and tactics to get us going.
To get us past that protective trigger of fear and the powerful but often below
the surface desire to stay put.
So try his method:
If you want to write a book or article, start by writing just a few words.
Got a big goal?
Make the first step to schedule a few minutes each day to work on it…
see you already did something and it was easy… you scheduled it…
and your mind is less afraid…it was easy and you build momentum.
The big lesson here is that asking clients and prospects to buy,
opt in, or to give you their information triggers this same
If you have what they really need and you’ve tested it and it works,
if they’ll really value it, then you need to get around that fear of change
and that sense of danger that they feel.
First, you want to avoid triggering the neurotransmitter mix such as
adrenalin, norepinephrine, cortisol and those associated with fear
And you want, instead, create within them, the optimal mix of tension and desire.
How’s that done?
Two steps –
First, avoid triggering fear by using micro commitments (non threatening tiny acts) –
prior to asking for a sale, an opt in, or for something from them.
Second, activate a powerful state by using open loops and the Zeigarnik effect to build a
balance of tension (or a bit of anxiety/fear of loss) and desire which can be release when
they decide to act, to buy, to opt in, or to join you.
To read more on the Zeigarnik effect see the PS below.
Here’s how it works.
1. Micro commitments – So science tells us that it’s easier to get started with
anything new when the sensation of change/fear is minimized.
So, a marketing system, funnel, or process that encourages engagement
without asking for too much has a better chance of success.
And in fact, we are right now experimenting with driving traffic to blogs
and social media posts on various traffic driven topics. Prospects can get to
know us without even having to opt in.
But they can then be retargeted and sent to a site to opt in in order to get
some content or simple product without doing much…and they already know
us without us triggering fear of a larger commitment.
Now that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to separate the early and
most hyper buyers from the passive fearful shoppers BUT asking for
someone to answer a question before asking for an opt in, engaging their
curiosity with a story before trying to sell them a free report or video may
heighten the chances for a closer connection because it’s incremental
and not an abrupt change that can trigger fear, suspicion, or discomfort.
2. Open Loops and Curiosity
When we use open loops, stories or language patterns that engage the reader
(listener or viewer) and that create curiosity about our theories, products and
services, we create an itch that can only be scratched by taking the next step.
That can be opting in, watching a video, and a bit later in the relationship…
But when curiosity has been engaged…where they want to know and must
know the next step, answer or part of the story, then you’ve really achieved
You’ll sell more and your returns will go down and satisfaction will go up.
Want an example?
On the web notice that images often cut off at the “fold” and compel the
blog reader to scroll down and engage.
You’ll start to notice that infographics make you want to keep scrolling.
Whether or not you like the novelist Dan Brown, take a peak at The
Da Vinci Code.
Notice that the chapters are short.
And that everyone ends with a cliffhanger that compels you to read
the next chapter.
Read great long form sales copy and you’ll notice that “page breaks”
The end of the page (when well written and designed) compels the
reader to go on to the next page…out of pure curiosity and/or a little
fear or not knowing how it ends.
Each page ends with a method of raising your curiosity about
what’s next so that the only relief from that tickle is to take the next
Read the crazy headlines at sites like buzzfeed.com, and notice the news
teasers that get you to stay put for the next story…they all work based on
the open loop or the Zeigarnik effect.
Just to save you some time, here are a few:
And here are a few bullets from Kissmetrics that use the same technique of
creating an open loop, curiosity and anxiety….desire to bring closure
that compels action:
The little-known secret Walt Disney used to
create magical experiences for
customers, and how you can do it online
The real reason slower service beats fast service, and a
script you can have your team use to turn a dissatisfied
customer into a happy one
6 easy ways to get customers to stay with you long after
the sale so they’re delighted to buy from you over and over
So can you see and feel why, when directed at the right audience, these
create a desire to know more and demand the viewer, listener, reader to
If this hits home, feels true, and “just might work..” but you need to hone
your skills, you can get a crash course that hones these skills of story telling
and alchemy in language to help you to become a better speaker, writer,
There’s a no risk, money back guarantee and any one of the 23 skills that it
installs in you can make the difference between wild success and failure or
mediocrity in a business or professional practice.
So enjoy it!
And, as promised, click here to hear my rift at Perry’s Four
P.S. Want to know more about the Zeigarnik effect?
Here’s a link to my video on it. Dave on The Zeigarnik Effect
We remember more about tasks and information when we
are interrupted and we develop curiosity and think more about them…
If you recognize how we can use the Zeigarnik effect in marketing
then read more right here:
And here are a few more examples of practical uses of the
You might also enjoy a related technique: