At the avenue of informational and entertaining is what I like to call infotainment; it is also where the first book in our series, Triggers, lives. The book’s tagline: “30 Sales Tools You Can Use to Control the Mind of Your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade,” seemed like a lofty proposition to me when I first cracked the spine on this marketing classic; however, through the use of these same triggers, our author motivates his audience to keep reading, influences you to smile at his smart storytelling, and persuades his reader to look for these triggers in their own life.
Joseph Sugarman, the author of Triggers, is a marketing whiz. He’s done everything from copy writing to direct marketing to sales on QVC. He is a born salesman with a ton of experience, which he aptly puts on display in Triggers. Each chapter feels like mining for a small nugget of Sugarman’s knowledge and yet the mining is easy and interesting. His use of story-telling makes for a fun and entertaining read; but it also reveals the true nature about human psychology and how it relates to our buying habits and what drives us in our product purchases. In a short 186 pages, Sugarman reveals 30 powerful psychological triggers; there are books that say much less with so many more words.
I won’t spoil the fun of reading this literary masterpiece for you by divulging all 30 triggers outlined in Sugarman’s book. I will, however, recount my favorite story from one of the later chapters:
Sugarman receives a call in his office from a sultry female voice that called herself Ginger. “Mr. Sugarman, I love you,” Ginger told him. Taken aback but expecting a practical joke, Sugarman thanks the sensuous voice. Ginger then goes on to tell Sugarman how much she loves his thought process and how she can really see his personality in the copy he was writing. She asks to meet with Mr. Sugarman, telling him, “I promise you that you’ll be very glad to see me.”
When she arrived in his office, he realized what she meant by that promise. Ginger was gorgeous, a tall blonde with long legs nestled into a tight miniskirt. Sugarman recounts how the skirt was so short he was embarrassed to even ask her to sit down. The story continues with Ginger telling Sugarman about her troubles with direct mailing for her beauty salon and then eventually asking him for his aid, saying, “…Joe, if you could help me get it to work, I’d be extremely grateful.”
Was Mr. Sugarman being propositioned? As a happily married man, he didn’t like the thought of sex being used to entice him into writing copy, yet he still agreed to look at Ginger’s mail advertisement.
After reviewing her mailing piece, Sugarman explained to Ginger her problems with the piece and her mailing list. As he finished his explanation, Ginger looked into his eyes and begged him for his help. Turned off by her use of sex, Sugarman initially refused Ginger’s plea. Then Ginger whispered something into his ear that took him completely by surprise. Sugarman explains that there have been very few times in his life when he had been at a complete loss for words, and this was one of those few times. At this point, I was dying to hear what Ginger whispered to Sugarman quite similarly to how curious you are to know right now.
And that’s the beautiful part, this story is from the chapter on the trigger of Curiosity. Ultimately, Sugarman doesn’t reveal to his reader what she whispered in that chapter but refers his audience to an appendix at the end of the book. However through this, he shows how powerful curiosity can be in persuading a prospect or your audience to keep reading your ad, book, sales copy, article, or even keep purchasing your products if you leave a certain mystery behind each one of them.
If you do want to know what happened between Sugarman and Ginger, you’ll have to pick up a copy of Triggers for yourself. It’s much too explicit to put on a blog about reading a book per week. However, that’s not the only reason you should buy this book. There are 29 other psychological triggers that are invaluable to learn and see being used in your own life. If you are a sales person or marketing professional, this is a book with strategies that will produce dividends if practiced correctly. I know I plan on rereading Triggers at least one more time this year.
Thanks for reading my first report of the 52 books I plan on reading over the following year. Please feel free to leave any comments, critiques, criticisms or otherwise below. In the upcoming week, I will be continuing my marketing and copy writing theme by reading How to Write A Good Advertisement: A short Course in Copywriting by Victor O. Schwab. Until then, go read a book or something.