You’re Not Going To Like This Idea

By Mark Kakkuri

Typical sales and marketing philosophies of course recommend your communications include a lot of positivity, hype and other forms of promotional words and imagery. Give your customers good news, extol the virtues of your product or service, etc.

And it totally makes sense to communicate this way — at least some of the time. Sometimes, however, it may make sense to use reverse psychology or what’s called “negative reverse” selling. You employ what seems to be a negative form of communication in order to get your prospect to further look into — and actually make a positive case for — your product or service.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you are Ammo & More Ammo, a manufacturer of handgun ammunition. Your marketing strategy obviously uses plenty of positive messages: “Ammo & More Ammo performs like this.” And so on. A very simplified negative reverse might go something like … “Ammo & More Ammo isn’t for all handgunners …” Once your prospect reads or hears that, he should wonder whether he’s the type of handgunner who would or should use Ammo & More Ammo. As such, you raise a question in your prospect’s mind, which at the onset sounds counterproductive to a sale, but actually creates a level of intrigue — causing the prospect to look more or closer at Ammo & More Ammo instead of less.

In the world of online reviews, I sometimes use similar negative reverse techniques to generate interest in my article. Consider these headlines: “The Last Handgun You’ll Buy”; “Why You Shouldn’t Carry Concealed”; or “Why You Shouldn’t Trust Online Gun Reviews.” Admit it: You’d want to read all those articles, right?

Granted, some marketers deride this technique, suggesting it is “click bait” (an attempt to merely get readers to click on the article headline) only to boost some digital marketing statistic. At FMG, we aim to truly challenge our own thinking and the thinking of our readers by at times introducing the negative reverse. You bet we want readers to click on articles. But more importantly, we want readers to think through every angle of a product or service so they can continue to be the best informed readers in the industry. You should, too. Whether you introduce a negative reverse in your own marketing tactics or we use a negative reverse when reviewing your product or service, either way we are challenging readers to do their research, consider all the angles, and, in turn, become your committed customers.

Contact us to discuss an online review or service and how it might benefit from a negative reverse. You’re not going to like this idea; you’re going to love it.

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