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How to Persuade People to Pay You More For Your Stuff
Last Updated October 3rd, 2013

The funny thing about selling is this:

What people are willing to pay you has little to do with the real value of what you’re selling.

Yes, you heard that right.

What people want to pay has nothing to do with the REAL value of what you sell.

Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with what they perceive the value to be.

This doesn’t mean you should fleece people. You should just realize that what people want to pay is influenced by their perceptions…

…And after you watch this new Social Triggers TV video, you’ll see how changing the way you say something can make people want to pay you more for your products or services.

How to Raise Your Prices – And Get It

This might seem like “trickery,” but it’s not. The real lesson in this video has to do with how you communicate with people.

Communicate with one type of person in this one way, and you’ll get better results. Communicate another way to someone else, and you’ll reap the rewards as well.

What are these two types of people and methods of communication? Watch the video.

What’s the craziest thing a customer has told you about your prices? what reasons did they give oyu for not being able to afford what you sell? Share a story in the comments below.

And here’s the link for my Twitter account and Heidi Grant.

P.S. Social Triggers is looking for a Product Developer. If you’d love to work for Social Triggers, we’re hiring a product developer. More info here.

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99 comments Leave a comment

I love you educational videos, but I HATE your tagline. It doesn’t fit your personal brand. “Get ahead in business” works, but “get ahead in life”… it doesn’t match your online presence.


Derek- This is so new and useful. I’m working on my About page so it speaks more to my system of helping folk so I will talk about gains and loss prevention. Thanks!


absolutely love it i’ve tried a few things but this is amazing bro love it keep it up ma man

Sarah from hoopingbysarah.com

I love your fancy new pocket square! This video was great. I cant believe people actually complained about typos.


My biggest takeaway was the 4 P’s.


Oh my gosh, I’m going to start using this in all sorts of ways – from new client surveys to talking to my teens. What a great insight – thanks!

Jennifer at Total Social Solutions

Good stuff. It’s important to listen to the potential client’s needs, and I think this falls in line with what you’re saying in the video. You have to really listen to them and present solutions based on their needs. When you look at it that way, you’re not selling or pitching — you’re presenting solutions to meet their needs. That’s when it turns from a pitch to a real conversation. Ask “How may I help you?” and not, “Buy my product/service.”

Megan Pangan

I plan on using this on my free optin to build my list. I’ll also use it as I integrate my ideas and suggestions to my husband. Thanks Derek, for a moment, I was like what the heck are you talking about? Then you broke it down really simple, glad I stuck in there. 🙂

Gary Foster

Excellent video, refreshed view on moving towards and away from motivation … Will go check my website copy, thanks for the tips Derek

By the way, for those who haven’t found the twitter link, click on highlighted name above, it works now

Geoffrey Gordon

I hate pens too…. lol, prefer keyboards they write neater.


Question: Won’t the combination of questions create a cognitive dissonance for the preventative and promotion choosers?


Nice video. I like how you promote both your blog and YouTube at the same time.

You sir have just earned a new follower. Cheers.

Alice Fuller

Wow! What great insight into customer behavior. I wonder which do you point out first,…the gains or the what you miss if some action isn’t taken.

Most marketers tend to point out the value and gained results first and only, I’d love to see a few examples of the language used when doing both.


It’s an excellent point…..and it does work…….as I sell Fine Art and find clients will generally let you know if they are promotion focused or prevention focused and this video clip does help bring it home. Looking forward to more insight. Cheers.

Alexis Meads

Great post, Derek!

I definitely want to start raising my prices, and need to make sure I understand my customer in doing so.


Ajay Prasad

Great video Derek. The perfect way to raise price for your products and services is mentioned in the video. Thanks for the post.

David Wu


I’m gonna qualify people via survey etc. first, then use the right questions to their focus.

It’s all about asking the right questions to the right people.

Jess M. Davenport

Great way of thinking. I must say it reminds me of this saying, ” It’s not what you say but how you say it” It’s all in the presentation.


One of my primary tasks today is to re-examine and re-write my sales page for Content Kung Fu. I haven’t been seeing the type of conversion I know they are capable of. Finding this video today was EXACTLY what I needed, because our rates are not the lowest.

Thanks Derek! This is my first time on your site and it will certainly not be the last. I’m impressed.


Need to fix “Your” in the headline.


Hello I was just wondering if you could do an individual video on how to become a better salesman I sell stuff to do with photography (Cameras) if you could do this this would be great.
Thank you


Very very effective sales strategies; I can buy anything provided I know what. Stand to gain or what I can avoid losing if I buy it

Johan Irwan

Thanks Derek for another wonderful videos. Loving it! I’ve used this at some of my speech during introduction. The results was really unbelievable. It really moves people.


Really great post man. I kind of already knew most of this but its always great to be reminded of whats important when it comes to selling


As always, I loved the video. There was one slight distraction. The typos in the second sentence under it. 🙂

Julie Stubblefield

LOVED this insight! I’ve often written or pitched to one side or the other, but rarely covered both in a sales page or even a blog. This means I’m likely missing or excluding some readers, subscribers, and clients. This is a change I’ll be making right way!

Thank you for the specifics on how to use these tools, Derek!


Very nice and informative video. I have a small problem now. I had a product that was free a couple of years ago. It was my mistake. Now I could have nice monthly income. Anyway I have to do something about it. I want to inform my clients that this is no longer free and that they can decide if they want to stay or go. I want to give them some time to make this decision. But is it a good way to do it? What is the best way to tell people that they have to pay for a product that was free before??


Thanks, this is interesting.

I´d see myself as a promotion focus and met both type of persons.
For me selling stuff is not now a topic but it will be in the future.
But getting what I want from people. This might help. I´ll try out and let you know.


poor pens:( great video tho

Natalie Jean

Hi Derek,

Thanks for that video I was actually in the middle of writing a whole new sales page and was getting stuck on this EXACT issue since I have both kinds of customers I’ll be using this tactic a lot more often.


Ray Schmitz

Nice key takeaway from a great book!


Maaaaan that was insanely useful. Now what i have to figure out is how to include these technic on my next sale. Wish i would watched the video earlier today. I know I lost a sale around an hour ago 🙁

Theresa Randall

Great video and explanation. I just launched my first eBook and can’t wait to implement the gain/loss strategy. I found it helpful to know the two perspectives that my potential customers could take. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Does anyone have a good example of adding both perspectives to their landing pages?


The Get In Shape Girl

I’m really enjoying your pocket square.

And I need to pay more attention to which kind of person my boyfriend, parents, friends, etc are so I can think of the right things to say to get my way all the time!

Tony Jay

Hey Derek,

The valuation we apply to a product, be it real estate, digital products, anything is really dictated by what someone is willing to pay. For instance we could put our property up for sale for 600k, but it’s only worth that if someone actually pays that. It does make pricing a challenge.

I’m pleased that you’ve given us a new way to think about how we can approach this. I’m going to make sure that for all of the posts on my site where I’m after a sale or an opt-in, that I’m appealing to both the promotion and the prevention people.

Just another thing to think about! 🙂



Hoang Lo

Great video
I’ve been always thinking that people value what they could lose more but never think that there are 2 types of people like you said.
Great concept
By the way, you made a typo in the paragraph under the video: “what reasons did they give oyu for not being able to afford what you sell?”

    Terry Matlen

    …psssst…there’s also a typo in the title here: How to Persuade People to Pay —->Your <—- More For You Stuff

    : )


Even though it’s suggested to appeal to both loss and gain
types,I’m guessing that the ratio is going to be approximately
the same as the ratio of self-employed to those working for someone else.
Probably around 90% prevention based.It would really be interesting
to expand the study to age and gender groups as well as introverted,
extroverted types.

Jeff Goins

“I hate pens.” LOL!


Wow. I’m definitely going to use this in conversations with my girlfriend!

Carole Raschella

Yes, this was eye-opening. Years ago, when I was first starting out and nervous about asking people for money, someone asked me what I would charge to do a portrait of her dog. I said five hundred (which was my usual price), and she said, in an astonished voice, “Dollars???” I said yes, but that comment did a great job of undermining my confidence and stuck with me for a LONG time. Eventually, I understood that it was the person, not the price, and I could say $500.00 to someone else and have them respond with “Is that all?” What this video showed me is that I was thinking prevention focus in the first case…and she reinforced it by reacting to what she thought was a high price. In the second case, I was probably still thinking prevention focus but the response told me I needed to get over it and think about success rather than failure. I learned that I’d never get anywhere living in fear of rejection, which is really just a lack of self-confidence. This video took my vague, “psychobabble” theory and gave it a simple, clear explanation. I have been enlightened!!


Great video Derek! I just checked my copy and it looks like kinda mesh both Promotion and Prevention focus, so I guess I’m ok in that department, although my copy now is a mess, I don’t if to call it “copy”, I’m so new at this…

Anyway, great content and you’re a funny guy and communicate ideas very well, can’t wait to see more of your videos!


I’m familiar with this research, but your video was a great reminder – thanks. The only caveat for me is learning how to incorporate this concept into business practice with integrity.


I’m passing on the video connection to my wife. I think the info will help us both as a pastor (me) and a freelance editor (her). I also am guessing I’m a promotion person and she’s a prevention one. At least, it’ll be interesting to see how we practice these insights on one another.


Endowment effect at its finest. Nice video!

Missy Cooke

This is similar to the “toward pleasure, away from pain” concept. As in, do you do things because you like to enjoy pleasurable things, or because you like to avoid pain?

To answer the question a few people asked, I think the best way to tell if someone is prevention vs promotion based is just to talk to them. Listen to the words they use, the examples they reference, the things they want. If you don’t understand something, ask follow up questions. The way someone talks will help you know what motivates them. So, instead of focusing on whether or not they are prevention or promotion based and waiting to tailor your conversation to that, listen to what they’re saying and use the promotion vs prevention technique to help guide the conversation.

Sarah Dizney

Another winner, Derek! I love your blog and these short videos. I always learn something. As a copywriter, I especially loved this one about the 2 types of people. VERY helpful! I will definitely make use of my new knowledge. Thanks!!


Very succinct insight into discovering motivation.
Love the pocket square!

Tim Turner

This makes a lot of sense. I will be incorporating it into my website and direct mail pieces… and emails!


This is a very interesting tip. I was wondering if anyone has a way to determine whether someone is promotion or prevention focused?


My first video of yours that I’ve watched…. good information..thank you!
My one complaint is you popping from side to side making me lose focus every few minutes. I’m assuming its keeping people from tuning out, but its kind of distracting.

Steve Freeman

I put together a new home page. I have the copy and an introduction video already shot and ready to go online, damn, now I have to do it over. I wrote it based on what people will lose and didn’t consider what they will gain.

Thanks for the tips, I look forward to these videos!


Thank you ….

This strategy and reality is really helpful ….

Heidi Thorne

Great timing on this post! I’m putting together a new collaborative project and I’m definitely going to integrate both promotion/prevention. Thanks for all the good stuff, as always!


Nicely played. Great information. Great, simple production. What a freakin performance-enhancing little lecture you gave in this video here. I’m totally hearing you. This is one of those topics that touch on the application of mindfulness to life – but set in a business context. Thanks!


Thanks man! This is what I need to sell to my WIFE! She is prevention focused, while I am promotion focused. I love it! I tend to call her negative and myself positive. prevention/promotion is clean and no ones feelings get hurt.

Diego Lucero

I love it! I have learned more in the past few weeks from you than I have in a very long time!!!

I wish more websites were like yours. Great content is hard to find. It’s all copy-pasted nowadays. No real original or unique thoughts.

Mridu Parikh

Perfect timing Derek as I’m just working on a sales page. I definitely highlight what people will gain, but not what they’ll lose, so I’m going to integrate that now. Thank you! Very valuable insight.

Jessica Drummond

This is a great video Derek. It reminds me of some of the Interpersonal Style training that I did with SGA. csuite

Thanks so much for using such strong research to back your recommendations, and then translating it into real life examples.

Love your work!


This will help me immensely with my co-workers who don’t like to make money from people…yes, I know it’s a challenge. I work from a promotional approach but I would bet they would resonate more with the prevention approach. Thanks for this!


What a great idea. I was trying to figure out how I could make the conversion rates to products being sold higher. My shop and inventory get a lot of views and favourites (as well as being added to treasuries) but hardly any sales. Maybe this technique will work if I apply them in the product description. 🙂


How to know which one is which on a website ?

Michelle Hughes

I love this , it really makes sense , especially copy that appeals to both sides of promotion and prevention.

Marsha from YesYesMarsha.com

Brilliant. I’ve just written my first sales copy on my ‘Work With Me’ page. In it, I include promotion-focussed stuff (all the benefits), but I now need to re-look and see what prevention-focussed things I can put in!
(As optimistic and cheerful as I am, I know I’m definitely a Prevention-Focusser!)
My service is helping you build your business by connecting with someone higher up in your industry, so I’m thinking my prevention-focus is going to be around you only having friends and contacts at the same low level, if you don’t hire me.

I fell for Heidi Grant Halvorson after I picked up her mini book “9 Things Successful People Do Differently” (yym.ca/174GUK1) whilst browsing at an airport, and LOVED it.


Great article and video! I’ll be using it for my new workshop launch. Thanks for sharing… Love the out-take! I agree pens are a pain, especially cheap disposable ones:)

Donnie Law

Sell to pain and not to pleasure!

This all makes sense as long as it’s not done in a sleazy way.


This explains so much about growing up with my father! Too bad I didn’t know this as a teenager. As for my own sales, I feel super yuck-o selling from the ‘don’t lose’ perspective, but this really changes my perspective. Thanks as always and a big thumbs up to your snazzy pocket square.

Ingrid Cadette

Thanks Derek for another fabulous video. As always your suggestions are simple yet powerful. I’m looking forward to re-writing content on my website and social media platforms. All the very best to you and your fabulous team!


I love the concept. It
have a hard time translating it to use in my business. I photograph women. How would I use these technique without sounding like I’m trying to hard ?

Tony D

Great video. This video resonates with me because my wife is super prevention-focused while I’m promotion-focused. In the past, I couldn’t understand why she didn’t value my plans and ideas as much as I did. After watching this video, I realize I try to persuade her in a promotion-focused way. I need to use language she perceives as valuable, and she will perceive greater value in my plans if I speak to her in prevention-focused way. Thanks Derek. I’m going to use this insight TODAY.

Joe Cassandra

Hey Derek,

Where’s Heidi’s twitter handle? Would love to tweet her for you, may help you get her on the show/podcast :D, cheers!

    Tony D


      Joe Cassandra

      Thanks Tony D, sent the tweet,

        Tony D

        I’m glad I can help.

Lou Johnson

Derek, thanks for this. I’ll share with my friends in Magic. The big topic is Getting what you are worth and NOT underselling yourself. Michael Ammar released a tape DECADES ago called, How to Negotiate Higher Fees. Haven’t heard it yet, but this snippet was a nice start to getting more for my time and talent.




I am looking to sell my freelance client more services, so looks like I have a new approach. He is definitely a “what can I get for my money” type of guy.

Lamar Pierce

Hi Derek,

Great info! I’ve seen several of your videos and have to say that I get something valuable from them every time. I will be taking this approach in my business. Thanks.


Great information thank you for the concept!

Stu McLaren

Thanks for this Derek.

I have a similar question to some of the earlier comments… what are some ways to quickly identify whether someone is promotion or prevention focused?


Just love your videos! A great coach living in my smart phone and computer! I struggle with raising prices and charging for my services. I am a hearing instrument specialist with a spiritual gift of mercy and service. I am learning that it is okay to charge and people expect it. What I learned today should be fairly good. There are so many reasons for people to purchase hearing aids and there is so much more medical research that shows what can happen if you don’t take care of your hearing loss like the correlation between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss. Do what you can today to help prevent what could happen tomorrow. Don’t forget to schedule you hearing test today!

Chris Craft

I’m meeting with a promotion-focused client in Miami at the end of this month. We’re on the verge of producing a pretty huge straight-to-web show for him. I’m confident we’re going to rock it. Thanks Derek for the great research info and video.

Keep Rockin’,


Derek what a great video! Thanks xx

I’m about to start my new online business and this video has helped me get clearer on my intro video for my personal brand site.

I’m a Promotion Focussed type so wasn’t considering the Prevention Focussed people!

I can see this awareness now being very much a part of all of my connections with prospective future clients – ie; well before I ask them to purchase anything from me.

I have a techie question for you now…
HOW did you do the “minimise” thing?? Loved it as an attention grabber.
Am currently into all things video as I’ll be using video a LOT in my business and marketing.

Thanks again for an (always) informative & entertaining watch & learn.



    It’s the same video he does (on the white background). Just take the clip and decrease the size. Since both backgrounds are identical, there’s really no mismatch. It can be done quite simply in Screenflow by setting a video action.

    It is definitely attention grabbing.

Mike Kawula

I owned a service business in the past.

I learned this early on that changing my estimate pitch based on the area I was in dramatically increased my closings.

Never thought about doing both on a sales page. Would love to see a video like you did with LKR going over changing of copy on a sales page to appeal to both types.

This Rocked ~ Mike

Pam Thornburg

I will use and share this information with retailers and interior designers during Selling and Marketing seminars that I conduct across the South and Southwest regions of the U.S.
I’ve shared this video with my team and we will all be incorporating this into our presentations.


Hey Derek.
Love this insight .. I’ll be testing this in my daily life now .. (gotta love to being more persuasive 😉 )



Your posts continue to come at such timely moments. The promotion/prevention has already been introduced in my next blog post. Thanks for the great insight.


Great info. On the money, as per usual. THX

Elisa Lionne

Great video Derek! Thank you for bringing this information to our attention. I’ll make sure to incorporate addressing both promotion and prevention based folks in my copy.


Love the way that you do all the work: locating & reviewing top research & then making it so easily actionable for us, Derek!

Just amended my sales page to let potential customers in the ‘preventive’ category know that they will miss out on the benefits of specific timing if they don’t do something at the next new moon in a day or two. As you say, it’s not about trickery, but communicating what is most helpful for people to know about my offer. It’s a useful offer, and genuinely time-sensitive.

Thank you.

Ingrid Abraham

Thanks Derek!
So far I have always concentrated on the benefits of using my photography services, so your video has now given me a new angle to work from.
I don’t know of any other photographers who do this so hopefully it will help to differentiate my business.

Jennifer Castaneda

Great video, and I have a question. What are some signs of someone that it is more promotion vs prevention and how could I tell the difference? Thank you!

    Jim Wang

    I had the same question… I think the answer is just experience with that person over time. Years ago, I had a friend who would never commit to anything on a weekend. It’d be something as simple as “Want to play golf on Saturday morning with some of our friends?” and he would always say “I don’t know, I’ll have to see.” It was always frustrate me until I realized that he was prevention focused, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do on Saturday and committing to golf meant he couldn’t do something else (this would be corroborated with other things, but that’s the example that stands out in my mind).

Troy Linton

Hey Derek….I am American but live in the UK. Always nice to get a bit of motivation from a fellow American. I am a Chicago boy but can relate to the New York mentality. Love it dude.

I am a vitamin guy by trade but just started a sports accessories business, primarily selling cool-cutting edge golf/tennis towels consumers and to the trade. In my next sales spiel, I will say to the promotional folks in the golf shops that if/when they take in my towels, they will gain margin £, broaden their product mix, offer a unique product with an edge…..and to the prevention folks at the golf shops, I will say that they will not lose customers by offering something different, they won’t lose money as I will take back the product that does not sell (guarantee)…So, hey, they got nothing to lose!


Great video Derek, I was looking for the link to her tweeter handle as well but didn’t see it listed.

Any tips on how to quickly assess if someone is prevention or promotion focused?

Brian Savic


The majority of pitches I have seen lately have either been focused on the gains or the losses, though never both. Think I may go and amend my keynote now….Thanks Derek.


Hi Derek,
Great video! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find her Twitter link though. Thanks!

claire stone

Looking super daper, Mr Halpern!!

Great video – love the concept of understanding whether people are promotion or prevention based, and how to appeal to both. It is a totally new idea to me – I’ll make sure to use both approaches in my next email..!

thank you

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