When You Assert You Make an Ass Out of…

The Power of Presumption

My daughter is supposed to read this book, Sold on Language,
for her Anthro class, but I grabbed it and I’m on page 128.

These 2 eggheads from University of Whatever make some really
good points about marketing & advertising language.

Like how you can slip under your prospects’ radar
by using presumptions rather than assertions.

The authors, Sedivy and Carlson, assert that assertions are open
to scrutiny while presumptions tend to fly under the radar. They give
this example.

“The quality of Stickley’s furniture is legendary. You can afford it.”

That leaves 2 assertions open to attack, ie that the quality of Stickley’s furniture is legendary and that you can afford it.

But if you rephrase it:

” Yes, you can afford the legendary quality of Stickley”,

there’s only one assertion vulnerable to attack (that you can afford it).
The part about the quality of Stickley is presumed and therefore is less
likely to be scrutinized.
You too can apply this ingenious technique to your marketing.

[See, I just did it. The fact that the technique is ingenious is presumed.
Only whether you can apply it is open to question or scrutiny.]
Now that you’re aware of it, try to notice it when marketers
are speaking to you. And then practice doing it yourself.

You state part of your sentence as a by the way, everyone already
knows this (except maybe you) fact (ie the presumption) and the
other part, the part you’re prepared to defend, as an assertion.
Mastering this technique will increase your influence.

There’s a quote in the book from another book, Behind the Oval Office about how Clinton’s advisors taught him this technique, no not for that situation…

Presuppositon. Scary in the wrong hands but a powerful marketing technique nonetheless.

See you in the spotlight!

P.S. Good book, that Sold on Language. Tons of good lessons. Check it out. (Forgive the egghead crack. :))

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