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Your 7 Triggers To Persuasion and Captivation

The name of the book is Fascinate.

This book, by Sally Hogshead, reinforces the point that Information isn’t power – the ability to fascinate is power. Anybody in Sales or Marketing who is interesting in captivating their audience more than you do today, should read this book. Visit my Amazon Marketplace to look for a new or used copy.

If you want your message to be fascinating, it will have to be, to some degree, polarizing. If you’re not generating a negative reaction from someone, you’re probably not fascinating anyone. Fascination lives not in your own communication to the world, but rather in how the world communicates about you.

Ideas are only as valuable as their ability to solve a problem. You could have a hundred great ideas, but if none of them solve a problem for your or your clients, they are worthless ideas.

The gold hallmarks of a fascinating message.

1. Provokes strong and immediate emotional reactions.

2. Creates advocates.

3.  Becomes “Cultural Shorthand” for a specific set of actions or values.

4. Incites conversation.

5. Forces competitors to realign around it.

6. Triggers social revolutions.

What are the seven triggers? They are Lust, Mystique, Alarm, Prestige, Power, Vice and Trust.



I am fascinated because…


Anticipation of pleasure

Craving is the anticipation of pleasure


Unanswered questions

Mystique makes me want to solve the puzzle


Threat of immediate consequence

Alarm demands a response now


Symbols of rank and respect

Prestige earns status respect and admiration


Command over others

Power controls


Rebellion against rules

Vice tempts me with “forbidden fruit”


Certainty and reliability

Trust comforts me because I can rely on it

These seven universal triggers spark a variety of responses, any one of which heightens our physical, emotional, and intellectual focus. Effectively activated, each trigger creates a different type of response.


If you trigger lust, you will draw others closer. They will crave your message, wanting more and more until fully satisfied.

1. Stop think, start feeling.

2. Make the ordinary more emotional.

3. Use all five senses.

4. Tease and flirt.

Within spoken communication, audiences draw 55 percent of communication cues from visual, 38 percent from tone of voice, and only 7 percent from the words themselves.


Trigger mystique, and you’ll encourage others to learn more about your message. They’ll be intrigued, and seek information.

1. Spark curiosity.

2. Withhold information.

3. Build mythology.

4. Limit access.


With alarm, you compel others to behave more urgently. They’ll take action in order to avoid negative consequences.

1. Define consequences.

2. Create deadlines.

3. Increase perceived danger.

4. Focus on the risks most feared.

5. Use distress to steer positive change.


A message with prestige will elevate you above others, inspiring covetousness or envy.

1. Develop emblems.

2. Set new standards.

3. Limit availability.

4. Earn it.


If you effectively trigger power, you will control others. They will defer to you and your message.

1. Dominate.

2. Control the environment.

3. Reward and Punish.


By triggering vice, your message will tempt others to deviate from their usual code of conduct. They’ll act outside of standard habits or norms.

1. Create taboos.

2. Lead others astray.

3. Define absolutes.

4. Give a wink.

Happiness would lose it’s meaning if not balanced by sadness. Virtue would lose it’s meaning if not balanced by vice.

The purpose of your message with vice is not to lure people into sin, but to lure them away from their standard choices.


With trust, your message will comfort others, relax them, and bind them closely to you.

1. Become familiar.

2. Repeat and retell.

3. Be authentic.

4. Accelerate trust in a shorter time frame.

5. Un-fascinate an unhealthy message.

How can you apply fascination to your business? Incorporate fascination into one or more of these areas.

Purpose: Your reason for being; your fascination as a brand.

Core beliefs: The code of values and principles that guide you; and what you stand for.

Heritage: Your reputation and history; the “backstory” of how you came to be.

Products: The goods, services, or information you produce.

Benefits: The promises of reward for purchasing the product, both tangible and abstract, overt and implied.

Actions: How you conduct yourself.

Culture: All characteristics of your identity, including personality, executional style, and mind-set.

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