My Daily Observation: The Skill of Selling Snake Oil – 1/30/18

My Daily Observation: The Skill of Selling Snake Oil – 1/30/18

DannyThere is this odd relationship that has always existed in our world: people who want something, but don’t want to commit to the time it takes to gain success, and people who  capitalize on those people’s willingness to take shortcuts in order to sell them something.   I call the latter the snake oil sales people.  They take advantage of unsuspecting people making claims that the product or service of choice is going to wash their troubles away.

“Buy this electric ab belt and have the body you’ve always wanted!”

“This concoction of herbal supplements can cure MS!”

“Rub this on your feet twice a day and no more plantar facsiitis!”

“Buy this golf club and you’ll hit longer, straighter drives than you could have ever imagined!”

And people buy, as they always have, the products don’t produce and the buyer is left disappointed.  But I want you to think about WHY the buyer is disappointed.   Of all the reasons the buyer has remorse, way down deep inside they truly had the desire to get what it was the seller promised; they simply wanted a shortcut.

The buyer wants to have the body they see on the ab commercial.  The sufferer wants a cure for MS or plantar facsiitis.  And that golfer wants to hit the longest drives of his life.

Let’s face it, I want Flex Tape to work, but if you read reviews you’ll see that buyers have remorse.

Here’s my point: the snake oil salesman knows something you don’t which is why so many people fall for these gimmicks.  They take advantage of a biological fact.  They tap into the emotional part of your brain called the Limbic system.  In marketing we aim everything at this part of you that you don’t know you use to spend money.  The Limbic system supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory and smelling.  A large part of your emotional life is stored in the limbic system and it is this part of your brain that makes decisions “feel” right.  It is also the part that influences purchasing.

Image result for electric ab beltThe limbic system doesn’t function on words and data, but on imagery.   And it is this part of the brain that the snake oil salesperson strikes because they know if they can learn to paint just the right emotional image in your mind, then they can get you to buy what it is they are selling.  And then there you are at home standing with a vibrating belt around your waste looking silly.

Here’s the cool part…you can take advantage of your own limbic system.  What if you started painting your own images in your mind?  What if you could get yourself to buy your own awesome story?

What if you became your own snake oil salesperson?  But instead of trying to sell yourself on the idea that a shortcut exists, you sell yourself the idea that with just one simple step in the right direction, you can change your own life?



16 thoughts on “My Daily Observation: The Skill of Selling Snake Oil – 1/30/18

  1. I think of this when I see multiple ads for wrinkle creams that magically make you look young. I was telling my daughter about one. I said maybe if you bought millions, put it all in a tub you could come out with a new body. Then what? You’d never be able to wash again? 😂 That’s why I record and skip commercials.

  2. The horse world is full of ads for horse supplements that will pep up a lazy horse, calm an over excitable horse, bits that will make you ride a prefect dressage test or ride a clear jumper round. There may be some results but ….. hmmm not exactly as advertised!

  3. Oh I love this so much! All those lotions and potions to erase all those wrinkles and fine lines and make you look 20 years younger! Really interesting about the limbic system. I like how you switched it at the end, to influence your own limbic system! Great idea🙂

    1. I have my moments. The rest of my thoughts are like “What would happen if I grabbed that ceiling fan and spun around so fast I could let go and smash through the wall.” lol

  4. I just wrote a blog called stick pile and it was focused on me determining my own fate . Not what someone tried to sell me on.
    I get dont buy the snake oil infact am working currently on nt getting dry frustrated with those selling it to me ready to pounce on who. They see as vulnerable.
    Great post!

    1. Bethany, I want to say thank you so much for following my page and reading my scribbles. I don’t say that often enough and wanted to take the time to say I appreciate you.

      1. Well aren’t you just so kind to take the time out to write me that. I know you have so many that follow you and comment so you wouldn’t have the time to comment back to everyone. Your blog is very meaningful and inspiring to me, thought provoking, something I look forward to. So thank YOU. But thank you also for thanking me. Very kind

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