The #1 Sales Killer On Your Site—And How to Get Rid Of It For Good

How would you enjoy suddenly having an influx of people, “chomping at the bit,” ready to buy whatever it is you’re selling?

It would be insanely great!

But what holds those people back… preventing you from experiencing the surge that you deserve… is something that I believe 95% of people (and businesses) suffer from.

I call it the “customer coma.”

So, first, I’ll tell you all about it… and then I’ll give you the “smelling salts” you need to eliminate it forever.

How People Accidentally Lull Their Customers Into A Coma (Do you make these 3 mistakes?)

Like this video? Share the tweetable.

“You don’t need to be interesting to not be boring.” – Click to Tweet

How To Wake Up Your Customers with Sally Hogshead’s 7 “Fascination Triggers”

Now that you watched that video…

If you want to captivate your readers and customers with wonder, awe, and fascination, you’ll love this discussion with Sally Hogshead.

You’ll learn the 7 Fascination Triggers that are proven to persuade people to take action.

And this isn’t opinion… it’s fact.

Sally conducted a research study with a major marketing organization and stumbled on these triggers after analyzing the data.

So, without further ado, listen to this edition of Social Triggers Insider now. Just press the play button the audio player below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Who is Sally Hogshead? Sally is the Chief Fascination Officer of Fascinate, Inc. She is an international keynote speaker, with proprietary research published by both HarperCollins and Penguin. She’s also the author of the GREAT book “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” and the founder of the newly released website How To Fascinate. She also blogs at her blog

As a matter of fact, did you know there are 49 different personality types? Find out which one you are by checking this out.

Did you know Social Triggers Insider is now on iTunes? If you enjoy this series, please take a few seconds and leave an honest review. It would be a huge help.

For a quick summary, here’s what you’ll learn during this episode of Social Triggers Insider:

  • How Marilyn Monroe captivated the world with what’s known as a wet voice… and then you’ll see how you can apply it to your business.
  • How to keep people on the edge of their seats… waiting for whatever it is you’re selling… and then happily buying it with little to no questions asked.
  • Why people do things they’re not supposed to do… and how you can take advantage of that to pull in more sales.
  • Plus… you’ll find that everything we talk about during this masterclass is backed up by DATA.
  • And much, much more

Right click this link to save the audio as a MP3 file to your computer.

Right click this link to save the transcript as a PDF file to your computer.

What Should You Do Now?

You’ve learned about what I call “the customer coma,” and studied the 7 Fascination triggers from my discussion with Sally Hogshead. Now it’s time to put this knowledge to work…

Follow this simple 3-step formula:

Step 1: Pick A Fascination Trigger

Before you write your next piece of content, decide which fascination trigger you’d like to press. There’s 7 of them. (Power, Lust, Mystique, Alarm, Prestige, Vice, Trust).

Step 2: Avoid Putting Your Customers Into “The Customer Coma”

After you write your content, make sure you’re not putting your customers into a coma with “toning it down syndrome.” (I tell you all about that during the video).

Step 3: Celebrate

Watch the results pour in… and then let me know how it worked out for you by leaving a comment below.

And then…

Don’t forget to check out Sally Hogshead’s new website “How to Fascinate.”

Now let me know what you thought about this Social Triggers Insider masterclass by leaving a comment below.

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121 comments Leave a comment

Hey Derek, that video is a blast from the past.

Are you going to re-record these old ones? Bring them back to life because the quality is no where near as good as your recent stuff.

Frank Daley

Good points Derek. and thanks for providing the Pdf file.

Sergio Felix

Hey Derek,

Not sure if you are still monitoring comments here but this interview you did with Sally Hogshead is clearly what I have loved the MOST out of your entire site man (and I have read every single word and watched every single video on this place so that’s gotta say something!)

Anyway just wanted to let you know, huge thanks man!



I loved this vid and the interview with Sally. I was hanging on every word and taking notes. Learned ALOT and it’s definitely made me more aware as to the presence I’m giving and how I can improve the basic understandings of how we are persuaded. So dope!


I feel opposite of most listeners. The video did a good job of hooking me but the specific data Sally spoke of sold me to listen further. Excellent presentation on the 7 triggers. Next step: application. I have my work cut out for me!


Another fabulous interview. Loads of insightful information.
Thanks for providing so much value for free!

Tania Belkin

Hey Derek,
WOW! The audio of your interview with Sally Hogshead is amazing. The information is amazing, and the way she delivers it is excellent as well.

I downloaded the MP3 and I am planning to re-listen a few more times. This interview is jam packed with so much stuff that listening to it once won’t do.

Great Stuff!

Jon Wilburn

Derek – Great info man. Love love it. I know this is an older post but still wanted to comment and share the love. I can’t wait to lower my voice tone to others, ha, should illicit interesting looks at the very least :)


We went back through some of our articles. And it does look like we toned it down. Thanks for the tip. We are going to change the way we write to get the results we need.


Can we have a promo code for the 49 personality types package for how to fascinate?

Zoe Alexander

Derek, you had us hooked! We listened to the whole interview with Sally and the 7 triggers are awesome! The posts we’ve just read have killer content and love the videos!


I loved this talk with Sally. I am off to buy her book right now. Thanks so much for highlighting this. I don’t think I would have ever found it otherwise!

What I think is really interesting about these Fascination Triggers is that they can be applied to almost anything–as I was listening to it, I was thinking of the information in terms of how I could use it as a fiction writer, and I have a ton of ideas…and I haven’t even read the book yet.

Tanya Malott

Now that we have determined you have my trust 😉 of course I will listen to anything you tell me to listen to.

I just want to ask, did you take her test? (I did)

I am guessing your primary trigger is “Passion” (mine is). I love being in a category with Orah and Leonardo DaVinci.

Oh, and another way to not be boring?? Make people take tests/quizzes/surveys….and tell them cool stuff about themselves that they kind of know, but like to hear again anyway.

You, of course, are a genius at not being boring….

Paul French

Brilliant! That video was excellent Derek, so well executed. The first thing it made me think of was Christopher Nolan’s film, The Prestige: “The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back.”

Rob M

Wow amazing content. I am amazed this was given away for free.

I think this has just made me realise how boring my site may be. Time to crank up the fascination triggers. Great stuff.

Mike Williams

(Clapping) Very nice video and audio. I just got inspired to change up my style and be myself with some awesome triggers to help people take action and be apart of my community. Thanks

Isaiah Jackson

HOLY COW!!! Dude I just learned a lot simply by watching the video :-)
Killer content, just bookmarked the site so I always have something to look back to, you know as an example.


Derek… I love your stuff man! Congrats on your success (and on your failures).

Just add more content…cuz I visit your website twice a day, maybe, just maybe you’ve added something new. :)

Related to this post: It’s great and if you want an idea for a new article: What people follow more? An expert? Or a friend?

The idea in my head sounds like this: An affiliate website.. would have more sales if they postion as an expert or as a buddy/friend/someone similar? (i’ve listened the interview twice and i’m still not sure which way should I go with a project that i want to start).


David Frey -

I guess curiosity would fall under “mystique” because I’ve found over all the years of my marketing that curiosity is the biggest driver of action. When you tease someone with powerful information, it drives people to action.

As a marketer and copywriter, I embed curiosity in just about everything I write. It’s what creates clicks.

curiosity -> clicks

This is an excellent post.


I enjoyed your video and took away a point that I have overlooked and was definitely missing. You are awesome. Thanks


Wow that was awesome Derek. Keep up the great work man.
Love that header Sally. :)

Alan | Life's Too Good

Hey Derek,

I already heard the hogshead interview because I get your podcast first. I LOVE your podcast! What I love even more is the way you have tied the 3 things together in this post & vid… great stuff.

I’m guessing the information gap is even more important in audio and video than in articles as in written content you can just skip down to the key points, but in audio/video you need to keep listening/watching…

take care & best wishes,

Kimberly Bordonaro

Hi, Derek. Great stuff here and an excellent master class. I am quickly becoming a huge fan of yours.

I was inspired by the power trigger to write a follow up blog. You can check it out here: The Shocking Truth: Your Clients Want You to Move Like Jagger


How to Create a Brand that Captivates Your Audience | Personal Branding Consultant Kimberly Bordonaro

[…] week, Derek conducted an awesome interview with Sally Hogshead, author of “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” and they discussed how […]


Jaegermeister! Really!!?? I had that nasty sh*t one time and never let it cross my lips again. Her example of people hating it and drinking it anyway validates what I built my brand on; that we’re a nation of sheep and you need to stop following the herd.


One of the most passionate videos ive seen, you look like one happy dude.

Sweet little blog, i just have a question have you read gary halbert’s letters?

keep up the good work


Top notch content Derek!! Fantastic techniques and great insights. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m hooked too !!

IDEA: I would love your insight on the difference between BUY NOW buttons on pages that do not list a price VS ones that tell you up front what the price is. Personally I hate having to click and commit just to find out the price and feel like there is some deception going on. It makes me pause. I know they are counting those clicks as potential purchases and testing everything except the price – does it get someone close enough to click.

BUT … I would love to hear your opinion on this. I hear both sides of it and they are very convincing arguments. What’s your take?

Thanks !


I loved this audio with Sally. I started to become more interested in ‘social triggers’ when I wanted to learn how I get manipulated by marketing into spending more than I intend to when I’m a customer somewhere. The one thing about this whole behavioral studies area of thought that depresses me is that we’re extremely manipulable creatures and that in most cases, the person or product who comes out on top doesn’t deserve it – they only got there through sheer manipulation of human weaknesses. Although I feel like information regarding behavior and how to manipulate it to sell ideas and products is good to know, it’s depressing at the same time, and doesn’t appeal to my idealistic side. How to reconcile the two? Any ideas on your end?


Really valuable post and audio Derek and I really want to go ahead and find out my personalised ‘fascination’ style over the weekend. I am tempted to try and pepper in a bit of each type of fascination into future posts, but am concerned some heads might explode with pure fascination 😉

Ps where do you get your energy from in videos? I swear you woke me right up when I watched the vid last night. I was so excited and had NO.IDEA.WHY…well I figured your enthusiasm is contagious?

With Gratitude

Jason Morgan

Derek – Great, great post! I couldn’t put my finger on what I knew was missing from some of my posts. I immediately put the advice into action and wrote what I hope will be a more engaging article.

I’m sure you’re crazy busy but if you wanted to use my post as a test to see if I’m getting the concept, I’m open to feedback.

Here is the post. The main trigger I targeted was vice. I also used to tone down my wording but this time I just wrote straight up. I also tried to “open the gap” near the beginning to try and build some tension.

– Jason

Matt Horwitz

Derak man, you hit the fuckin’ nail on the head about the “toning it down” part, love it man! Your energy and emphasis kept me hooked for the whole video. I downloaded the MP3 for listing on the go. I’ll definitely check out the audio. Keep up the great work !

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you Matt. The whole “toning it down” thing is something I believe everyone struggles with at some point.

Jon McCulloch

I apologise in advance… but…

Did you hear about the chicken who fell over and banged his head?

He ended up in a korma.

I’ll get my coat…



    Derek Halpern

    Are you ripping on my accent? 😛

      Jon McCulloch

      Me? As if!

      I would never, ever laugh at my Colonial Cousins’ accents!

      Speaking of accents… I’m a Brit and I live deep in the South of Ireland, in the Republic (we’re actually moving into the farmhouse where Michael Collins’ grandmother was born shortly — he was the ‘father’ of the Rebellion), and even though we’ve been here 5 years, I still can’t understand a word most people say.

      BTW, the email address you gave for sending ideas for blog-posts to in your Thesis newsletter is bouncing…




Nice article, Derek; very interesting.

Hey, I’ve quick question for you. What plugin are you using for the “Recommended For You” box in the bottom right corner?


    Derek Halpern

    upprev is what it’s called.


Hey Derek,

I have to admit I was a bit sceptical of this website at first. I’ve seen far too many ‘affiliate sites’ and how they rope in people in the wrong ways I thought that this was yet another. (I was recommended to you by a friend)

Low and behold you proved me wrong! You video captivated me from the start, I love learning as much as I can and am willing to sit through anything – even if it leaves me making my own mind up on the subject.

I did think at times you were going to come through my screen in reference to your erratic energy but that added to it. I think if you simply stood there like a school teacher pointing at the board I would of been done earlier. (I sufer from Sleep Apnea – it takes a lot to keep me awake when reading/ watching – I have to be interested in it!)

The fact that you talked with Sally and published that for free – thumbs up in my book. I did however fall asleep during it but I was already going that way anyway but I can say this – from what I heard in the ‘background’ she seems to know her stuff and anyone would be crazy not to at least give her a chance. How often does anyone/any company actually get any more than 100 people and survey and publish their results let alone 75,000?

I don’t agree that things ‘these days’ are fundamentally different in human nature as one comment mentioned in a round about way. They are not, some people, despite modern times, still act like apes and the simple fact of things is no matter what happens in society we will always be lead by leaders. There is no escaping that as some people become leaders, some become followers.

So throwing someone a sales pitch implying that you are the only one that can help them with their purchase etc. you will 9/10 get the sale by the ‘followers’. As for leaders – they make their own mind up and do research and there is not much anyone can do about that!

My best example, based on leadership, would be that if there were two stores on the same street selling the same products for the same prices – what makes customers shop in either. For some it is convience, the first one they stumble across, for most, its the person behind the counter ‘selling’ the product to you.

Leon Noone

G’Day Derek,
You’re really activating my trust trigger. The material on choices and this stuff on fascination is absolutely first class. Congratulations on attracting and holding the attention of a curmudgeon–me– who’s been active in direct marketing for over 20 years and consulting for over 30.

You are further proof of the old adage: “the more you know the more you realize you don’t know.” Or as John Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

Make sure you have fun

Best Wishes

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you Leon. Truly.


BOOM! POW! Great energy, you ‘killed’ it


Hey Derek,

Thanks for the video, I’m loving it! Downloaded the MP3 to listen on my ipad when not at work. I create strong, visual touch points for businesses to get client attention, through fresh modern design.

My #1 challenge is ‘mass ignorance’ in the business community about the critical importance of great design (visual presentation) in marketing. Even before clients can physically read a single word of text, they are already subconsciously forming an opinion of a company based on visual presentation alone.

Studies done by the Design Research Council in the UK, show without a doubt that companies utilizing design properly are more profitable than those who don’t.

If you have any great tips on how to get people to want to buy what they have no ‘perceived’ need for, ( even though they do actually need it!) I’d appreciate.

Thanks again!
Inga Friesen

    Derek Halpern

    It’s tough, for sure.

    But here’s the deal:

    You can’t sell people what they don’t value. So you’ve got to phrase it in terms of something they do value.

    Don’t give them what they need… give them what they want… and secretly slip what they need in under the radar.


Really enjoyed the video. I won’t say it hilarious like “Dejan” said – but I would say – its a high voltage presentation. :)

    Derek Halpern

    I’ll take high voltage.

Jeff Hicks

Yep Derek, I felt it too. When Sally leaned into the mic and lowered her voice, I was drawn in, physically.
The way I know stuff connects with others is if it connects with me.
Thank you for sharing Sally Hogshead’s research and approach.

    Derek Halpern

    I knew I couldn’t have been the only one!

Jason Fonceca

What a great combo, Derek and Sally. Dude, I really loved this conversation. You covered all the triggers, great stories and personal examples (Ramit Sethi, etc.) and it was a fascinating summary of a fascinating book :)

Keep rockin’ it.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks Jason — glad you enjoyed it.


Hi Derek,

great material, thanks again! I am interrupting my listen to tell you that I suddenly realized I had just pust one major prospect “to sleep”. Thanks for all the tools I will need to wake him up again!


    Derek Halpern

    No problem Sabine. we’ve all been there at some point.


Derek, just wanna say… I opened and read this post and watched the video last night at like 4:30, work got busy, and I went home without getting a chance to listen to the 30 minute audio, and throughout the night and morning I haven’t stopped thinking about the ‘open gaps’ you planted w/ the video. I’m like How!? How did Marilyn Monroe captivate the world with a ‘wet’ voice? Well, now I’m about to close that information gap and find out.

Information Gap = Curiosity
Information gaps work.

Dee@ Small House Life


Derek.. your posts are always extremely helpful, informative, interesting BUT I must say this is the first time I’ve been fascinated.. captivated and motivated to make some massive changes in my biz!

Before I got to the interview with Sally, I watched your video.. and I thought “What the heck is going on with Derek today? He’s so different.” Your voice, your body language.. you were more ‘in’ it.. (maybe it was Marilyn?)

Anyway, here’s my number one takeaway.. My site is really about a dream. When you take stock of your life and choose to arrange your priorities around a simpler lifestyle.. that’s a dream! ..a yearning.. a desire that you want to make a reality. That’s why I called the site ‘Small House Life’ and not ‘Small House Guide’ or whatever. ..and yet, I have a lot of posts on design, organizing, etc. Who can get fascinated about organizing?

So here’s what I’m going to do to avoid Customer Coma.

I’m going to invite my readers to share their journey.. either because they’ve already succeeded or their story as they’re moving towards their dream life.

I’m also going to interview people who are already living the simpler life.

Didn’t mean to write a book here.. Thank YOU Derek.. Now I’m off to spread some fascinating Tweet luv.

dee :)

    Derek Halpern

    Awesome Dee!

    I don’t do much video here, but I suspect it may become a mainstay. People are really digging it.

    With regard to your plan — that sounds like a pretty good idea too. You get to feature people in your community, and help show people they’re not alone. Good move.


The video is freaking hilarious 😀

Don’t know why but Derek reminds me of Billy Mays … he’s freaking animated.

    Derek Halpern

    Everyone keeps telling me I remind them of an infomercial sales people. Ha ha.


Hi Derek,

I havnt listened to Sally’s audio yet, but before i do, just the quality of your content and your absolute belief about understanding psycology to gain a competitive edge, i would like to say that i whole heartedly agree with this.

Another note, you are giving us signals everyone now and then, on your upcoming master classes (of course paid for) i would like to say i would be the first one to put my hand up and say i am IN.

But, please please please keep it affordable, so everyone is happy.
I do sales and marketing for a charity, thats why naturally, we are not loaded with money, but i really hope your masterclasses would be afforabled so atleast i can get in also.

Many thanks, Super Info, Great Help.



loved the vid AND audio!! great interview, i’m looking forward to reading Sally’s book Fascinate


I remember when I was in Canada and they showed me their special expensive Jägermeister bottle and I just thought “at home in Germany only bums drink that disgusting crap” but Metallica had made it cool and when JM did their campaigns similar to Red Bull, which also tastes like crap, and told everyone to mix it with something less awful, it worked. Great example.

Maybe if these things ever worked on me, I would have an easier time understanding why people buy enormous cars, awful drinks, pink-slim-burgers etc.


Hi Derek
Fantastic interview. Am fast becoming a big fan. In response to JG – she can head over to Sally’s site called How to Fascinate as it is all there in detail.
Not sure whether you want to share this or not but I thought that it would be great if you had a page on your site with your recent reading list – you could also monetise too if you were that way inclined.

Josh Sarz

I haven’t seen you look this excited in your videos ever. Great post, Derek. What are you going to teach us next that will top this one?


Will there be a transcript available for the video as well?

I don’t watch videos… it takes too long.

    Marya | Writing Happiness

    Thats a shame jg. I just listened and it was WORH EVERY second.

    Great job Derek. I have also ordered Sally’s book. Can’t wait.

    And thank you.



      Derek, i have a confession to make.

      i have a crush on you.

    Derek Halpern

    No, there won’t be a transcript available for the video. There’s loads of text content on my site that you can peruse at your leisure though.


      Yep, I read your emails and website all the time. Was hoping to read this vid content as well. Thanks for the reply!

Johnny b. Truant

For me, the best example of “opening the information gap” is when somebody emails me and promises that there is a “bad things” reference somewhere in the video. I just had to keep going to find it.

Ishita: here’s the picture I took of Derek doing the “over the head ear scratch” :!/JohnnyBTruant/status/133052359688454145

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha, there it is!


Hi Derek,
Thanks for presenting this information. The video and the interview with Sally certainly was very insightful and extremely valuable.

I suppose there are a multitude of ways to use this info to build brand loyalty and keep readers from being bored to tears.

Excellent stuff, thanks again.


    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome

Dana Mayer

Derek, you did it again, you brought us something relevant and unique. I don’t know how I’ve missed Sally before now, but I’m glad you shared her!

    Derek Halpern

    Glad you liked it Dana.

    That’s my goal here… to bring unique ideas into the mix!


Derek – great video on not “toning it down.” used to do that shiz all the time (and still do sometimes) and it stings each time i do. good lesson to remember. also, on the “we like to do bad things” wonder if you’ve seen this little rugrat named “Latarian” who really does like to do bad things. Scroll to 45 seconds.

Thanks for the info, I might be hitting you up for the Aweber/Bridge product, in fact already may have.
Happy weds.

    Derek Halpern

    Finally! Someone got my reference. I said “we like to do bad things” as a call back to that video, ha ha.

    Somewhere on the internet you can find a picture of me doing the “over the head ear scratch” move too… just like Latarian.

Sarah Kohl

Sally, Nice to see you here at Social Triggers. Your presentation at Content Marketing World was…. well….fascinating! Amazing actually.
Your continuation here is perfect. I truly think your ideas about what motivates/engages people is spot on.
I am looking forward to seeing more of your work here.

Derek- as always a provocative post. I think I’ll need to make some changes to keep my clients engaged. Thanks for the prod. Off to develop some cognitive dissidence.

    Derek Halpern

    Hey Sarah Kohl. I have never presented at Content Marketing World. It may have been a different conference. However, I’d love to speak there some time. It’s a good group from what I hear!

      Sarah Kohl

      Oops, I saw Sally Hogshead at Content Marketing World. She was captivating. I am so glad she is working with you since you both analyze and evaluate data before forming your opinions.

      Derek-thanks again for providing thoughtful ideas/speakers. I always learn so much from your posts.

Jon McCulloch

All jolly good.

I’ve never heard of the ‘information gap’, but the principle it describes is well known (at least among us copywriters).

The first two — not being boring and not toning it down — and are something I try to bang into my clients’ and coaching group members’ heads as frequently as I can.

I email my list daily and while I get the odd complaint from the Moaning Minnies and “helpful” advice from people who think I ought to be more “professional”.

But you know what? The worse I am, the more offensive and contentious my emails, the more I try and push people away… the more sales I make.

Funny that, eh?

What I DO need to do is be less SEO focused on my blog, that’s for sure.



christian howes

as usual great! the toning down thing is interesting because on the other hand, we don;t want to be “pushy” or “too salesy” right?,…


Great video and audio Derek.

I was aware of several of the triggers but thought about them in a different way. This really brought home their power of influence on human behaviour and made me think about them in a different way.

The trick will be figuring out how to implement them or improve on how I’m using the ones I am already.

I’ve tried the alarm trigger before setting deadlines and found they had an adverse affect on CTR on ads and lower CRs generally. So these triggers may not work in all situations.

Ian Brodie

Oren Klaff talks about something similar in “Pitch Anything”. Your listeners (ie potential investors or customers) essentially only pay attention until they think they “get it”. Once they think they know what you’re talking about, your main point or whatever they tune out.

Happens even more so online as you’re showing – they don’t just tune out – they switch off.

One of his suggestions is to introduce something new. So when you (for example) reveal that the big issue is the information gap, you could say: “makes sense, right? But there’s a twist – I’ll get back to that later…” – essentially opening up a new gap.



Brilliant content. I listened to it twice :)
Sally really gives some great examples to explain the triggers and you had some great questions.
Great work!

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks Raj.


I watched the video, it was exciting and fun. I listened to the recording, and after about 10-14 minutes about how to be fascinating, I got bored. I clicked away. I guess that makes me boring? :)

    Derek Halpern

    The recording is definitely more “deep” than the video. The discussion is about helping people understand human behavior because right now, the truth is this: smart entrepreneurs who want to thrive in this ultra-competitive marketplace MUST master the fields of psychology.

Patricia Dally

Starting the triggers with Lust, I thought I was going to hear the seven deadly sins! This was much better than that. Thanks

    Derek Halpern

    Heh… That would have been an interesting take on this, eh? 7 deadly sins… of persuading people to buy stuff.


Simply fascinating!

Awesome job Derek.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks man. Glad you enjoyed it.


And now I think I must try Jägermeister….

Thanks Derek and Sally!

Great content!

Jerry Shafran

Great stuff as usual..I had to share: my Marketing Exec just just told me he’s “channeling Derek Halpern”.

We both love your info and how it’s presented!

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha, nice!

    Who was “channeling Derek Halpern?”

Annuity Ace

This is fantastic- I am just sitting down to do video scripts and this diversion is just what I needed. The information gap is exactly the concept I need to bridge boring concepts and make it fun.
Thanks Derek- I learn a lot from this site.

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome.

    For the future… The comment policy here requires you to use your name in the name field. Not business name.

Donovan Owens

Such powerful information.

Wet voice? Very interesting and very true.

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha yep. The other stuff in the discussion is GREAT also.


You exude so much energy through your video that it made my computer lock up :-p (at least, that’s my theory!) Seriously, great insight, and I’m already thinking about how I can create an information gap with my customers/content. Downloading the mp3 now…

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha.

    Or maybe it’s my striking good looks.

David Siteman Garland

Nice shirt ;o)

    Derek Halpern

    I told you dude. I’ve got one in every color 😀


Great video Derek.

What do you think of using “scarcity” as a way of waking up your customer? If they know a product is in demand and in short supply, that should get their attention, no?

    Derek Halpern

    Scarcity works. Sally places that under what she calls “the alarm trigger”

      Jon McCulloch

      Scarcity is awesome. Probably the most powerful technique in the marketer’s toolbox — so long as it’s reasonable and believable, and you stick to it.




So fascinating (tee hee)! I teach my clients about the importance of the information gap AND I teach them about previewing their main points in a speech (I’m a speaking coach) but I’ve never really thought about this fancy dance we must do as speakers to make our preview both helpful (here’s what you’ll get by investing your time) and yet *mysterious* enough that they don’t feel like the preview closed the gap. This is really good stuff!

    Derek Halpern

    Glad you liked it Michelle… and of course… thank you for taking the time to comment!


Love the red shirt. :-)

Just one question, are you actually this animated all the time in real life? Love it!

    Derek Halpern

    You could say I’m high energy 😛

Dean Soto


Great stuff as usual. I TOTALLY tone it down all of the time. It’s scary sometimes to think that someone may be upset with me. But more important was definitely the information gap. That’s a winner and something that copywriters thrive off of.

Now, to just use it in my content. lol.

Gonna check out the audio tonight. Thanks for the great video and post.


    Derek Halpern

    The information gap theory by George Loewenstein is gold. When you know about it—I think I first read about it in Made to Stick by the Heaeth Brothers—it changes everything. You can get people from the start of your article… to the end of your article… no problems!


Ok, I have to be honest. Derek, your video captivated me and I was ready to delay what I’m supposed to be doing to listen to Sally’s info.

But about 1 minute into her talk I became bored and distracted with her in-depth discussion of the word “fascination”. So I stop listening.

Either Sally’s 7-steps are wrong, or she’s not using them.

Back to work…


    Owen McGab Enaohwo

    @Lisa you missed a lot! Listen to the entire interview to find the value in it if you really want to boost up your marketing results.

    Gregory Ciotti

    I guess the discrepancy here is how long different people allow for their attention to be captured.

    Personally, I’ll let anything that has captured my initial attention a little time to marinate (more than 1 minute) before I make my call, but I guess this wasn’t the case for you in this instance.


      Maybe I’ve evolved beyond the point where ancient sales tactics don’t work for me anymore. Maybe I can actually sense when I’m being led down the path the sales person wants me to follow.

      If I’m busy, I overcome my curiosity and choose to not go down the obvious path. If I have time to kill, or don’t believe in what I’m already doing and am looking for answers or distractions, then maybe I will.

      People are not the same they were even 10 years ago, let alone 1000 years ago. The information age has transformed us to expect more, and expect it faster.

      Derek Halpern

      That’s how most people are in my experience.

    Derek Halpern

    I see where you’er coming from, but here’s why I like that description. The whole audio is about fascination… and talking about the origins is vitally important for one reason:

    When people hear advice, they often think “well that’s nice, but it doesn’t apply to me.” She described the origins because it PROVES that this stuff has existed forever… and has worked forever.

Nick Reese

I love the information gap. Great way of illustrating your point. Love the video man.


Hi Derek – I loved this video. Great information and I loved how you dissected this down (dumbed in down). Keep up the great videos.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks Sherold. Did you have the opportunity to check out the audio, too?

Ian Brodie

Hey Derek – in complete validation of what you just said, the very second on your video where you revealed the biggest cause of the customer coma – failure to (well, I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched the video yet)…the very second you revealed it – I hit pause and was ready to click away. The gap had been closed and I was done.

I bit my teeth though and kept going – glad I did!


    Derek Halpern

    Yep… I was worried about revealing it too soon. But I’m glad you kept watching :-).

    Proof of concept right there for sure.

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