You may remember in my last email that I mentioned there were fine 'canons' (accepted principles or rules) in rhetoric - they are as follows:
- Invention - we're looking at this today
Here, 'invention' can be considered as 'research'.
"Aristotle said that the basic job of the rhetorician is to 'discover the best available means of persuasion'. That's what is meant, in this context, by 'invention': not making things up, but exploring what there is to say on a subject. The word's root mean to 'come upon' something: to find what's available to be said." (p.45)
So, 'invention' is simply considering all the possible things you could say about your topic, both 'good' and 'bad'.
In marketing and sales, your 'good' things are often called 'selling points', and 'bad' things are called 'objections'.
"But why do we list the objections too", you may be wondering. "Shouldn't we promote just the good stuff?"
Well, for the simple fact that understanding common objections gives you an opportunity to re-frame it into a selling point.
Basically, turning the bad into good.
The ultimate goal is to address objections before your prospect has even had a chance to consider them and then carry on with your selling points as if their objection had never existed.
"Love the car, but can you sell it any cheaper?"
"Now, some people have said they want to purchase this car, it had everything they needed, so they say, but it's a bit too expensive... which makes sense, because the new world-leading safety features - which can, and do, save lives on the road - aren't cheap to make. Luckily enough, we've talked with the director and he's made finance plans available for people just like you.
Now you can pay less upfront and still have the car you want without compromising on the things you want, like safety and value for money."
Rhetoric even classifies the kinds of 'good' things - or selling points - you should be looking for to help persuade people into three categories:
- Ethos - credibility
- Logos - rationality
- Pathos - emotionality
For today's email, let's look at ethos.
Ethos is an appeal to your credibility and character. You want people to believe you're a trustworthy person to listen to and show you're "one of them".
A successful appeal strengthens everything you say afterwards, which is why it's important to start your 'pitch' by demonstrating your credibility and showing how your values align with theirs.
In line with this, it's essential your marketing communicates to your prospects in the way they communicate themselves.
So, where appropriate, use the terms they use, the jargon they say, and imagery they see.
Fans of Gary Vaynerchuk like the term "hustle", whereas for people like me, I say "please don't repeat that". It's all about knowing your audience and what works.
Ethos - what to use:
- Membership in groups and associations
- Shared world views, values, and traits
- Testimonials and endorsements
That's it for today.
Next email will be about 'logos', the appeal to your prospects rationality and reasonability.
(How are you finding these emails? Quickly hit 'reply' and let me know if it's too 'dry' or 'theory'-based.)