Methods of Persuasion – Motivational or Manipulative?

Persuasion is everywhere, whether we are aware of it or not. In every conversation, interaction, or connection you make, you are either being a persuader or a persuade-e.

Some people think persuasion is manipulation, others think it is a motivational tool. Which perception do you agree with? Is it a tool for manipulation or motivation.

The answer is it can be either one. It depends on who is using it and the end goal that the persuader has in mind.

After reading my post, you will learn 4 persuasion techniques that can be used for manipulation or motivation. You will know what are they called, why they are effective and how can you use them in acquiring clients or customers in a non-sleazy way

Let’s look at who use persuasion in a manipulative way.

A classic example, a used car salesman.

When he is trying to convince you by saying “ I can give you a good deal with this car, great value at a low price” – he is using the persuasion technique called MATERIAL SELF-INTEREST.

Why does it work?  People want to gain the most and to pay the least for their choices. That is why most people wait for that once a year BLACK FRIDAY to buy something they have been dreaming of all year.

How can you use this persuasion technique in your business in a non-sleazy way?

Give discount coupons for your product. Ask for referrals and reward him by giving him a gift or a discount for your other products if the person he referred buys from you.

In that scenario, you are activating the RECIPROCITY persuasion technique.

Why does it work?
People do not like to be indebted to another person. If we receive a give or a favor, we feel obligated to repay.

How can you use this in your business?
In online business we give opt-ins or lead magnets – these are free gifts such as an e-book, checklist, infographics or printables that are value-packed.

In return, the recipient will hand us their email address, which we can use to build a rapport, a relationship that leads to them buying your product.

Did you notice that I mentioned “build a rapport and relationship” with the subscriber? This is a foundation or the next persuasion technique –


Why does it work?
Because people buy from those they like, know and trust. This is often used by experienced motivators like Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey. Anything Oprah recommends, it becomes a bestseller.

Why? Because we like, trust and know Oprah.

How can you use this in your business?
Tell stories that create a feeling of commonality. But don’t make it up.

The end goal is to get response of “me too”, “ I can relate,” “she gets me” instead of “so what” or “who cares

What kind of stories should you tell? Hero’s journey – from rags to riches, from failures to success.

As Tony Robbins says, “People like people who are like themselves or who are like how they want to be.”

What if you do not have hero’s journey story?
Show or tell testimonials from your satisfied customers, how they like your product or how it helps them.

That is another persuasion method called – SOCIAL PROOF.

Why does it work?
When we are uncertain to buy something, we look at how many people like that product. What do we check?  If you are like me, I look at the reviews.

In conclusion, I have given you 4 persuasion methods:

If you want to know more about persuasion techniques, I recommend these two books:

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INFLUENCE – The Science of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
It was published over 30 years ago and is considered the Bible for persuasion.
It is more scholarly, as compared to this newly minted thin book,


Mass Persuasion Method
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Bushra uses humor and plenty of easily digestible content if you are not adverse to her brand,



If you prefer to learn persuasion with someone to “do it with you”, I invite you to schedule a free chat to determine how I might help you implement Client Acquisition Using Persuasion.

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