How to Tap Into the 17 “Hard-Wired” Hot-Buttons of Human Persuasion


These 3 appeals should be worked into everything you create.


Because they’re powerful, hard-wired hot buttons inside every human brain.

If you read my book CA$HVERTISING, you know about what I call the “LifeForce-8.”

We human beings are biologically programmed with the following 8 desires:

1. Survival… enjoyment of life… life extension

2. Enjoyment of food and beverages

3. Freedom from fear, pain and danger

4. Sexual companionship

5. Comfortable living conditions

6. To be superior… winning… keeping up with the Jones

7. Care and protection of loved ones

8. Social approval

When I say, “Hardwired,” that means they’re nearly impossible to “remove.”

But there are also “9 Secondary Wants” that are LEARNED, and also important to know:

1. To be informed

2. Curiosity

3. Cleanliness of body and surroundings

4. Efficiency

5. Convenience

6. Dependability/Quality

7. Expression of beauty and style

8. Economy/Profit

9. Bargains

Do you see how QUICK, EASY and CHEAP fall smack-dab into that second group?

Fact is, people are L-A-Z-Y. We want results NOW! So if your product or service is, in any way, QUICK and EASY, say it!

For example, do you run a cleaning service?

“Announcing the QUICKEST & EASIEST Way
to Have a Sparkling Clean & Fresh Home
… for Less than $100 Per Cleaning!”

“But Drew! $100 isn’t cheap to clean a house!”

It actually is, in some parts of the country. You get the point.

Do you run a website design service?

“Announcing the QUICKEST & EASIEST Way
to Have a Beautiful, Custom-Prepared Website
for Your Restaurant for Just $499 Complete!”

Of course, you don’t have to use the same “Announcing” verbiage… it’s just an example.

“But Drew! Why do I need to TELL them it’s “quick and easy?”  Isn’t it better to just let them find out on their own and then they’ll know?”

[The sound of crickets chirping.]

Argh. This is advertising. Persuasion. Sales. You have to do more than simply HOPE that people will think the things you want them to think. You have to MAKE them think them. (Try saying that fast 10 times.)

One way to make things LOOK easy is to make them visually “approachable.”

For example, in creating BrochureCafe–a former offshoot of my online services, but for brick-and-mortar locals–I didn’t want a cold, hardcore, corporate, Madison Avenue theme. No. Instead, I created something friendly and lighthearted:


Fact is, that which is familiar is more approachable. (Read that again.)

We fear mystery. Mystery denotes unfamiliarity and surprise. The image of a happy diner waitress serving frosty, whipped cream-topped fountain drinks and, er, brochures, is far more approachable than an uptight corporate dude in a suit and tie at his desk, or, commonly shown in stock photos, with his hand extended. Zzzzzzz. We’ve all seen that too many times before.

Bright colors are friendly too, aren’t they? They’re upbeat. Positive. Suggestive of happiness and energy. Contrast that to the gray and maroon in so many corporate brochures and websites. It’s not that it’s WRONG, but it simply gives you a different FEELING.

Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Banana cream. Boy, do I love pie!

In fact, rather than throwing a bunch of text and numbers at people, on my Services & Prices page, I continue the familiar cafe theme and offer “Service by the Slice”…


… with the number of pie slices representing different ordering options. The copy reads:

ONE SLICE= Your Copy, Our Design. Give us your final copy. Our experienced graphic designers turn your words into an attention getting, ultra-professional-looking sales piece.

TWO SLICES= Your Improved Copy, Our Design. Give us your current copy. Our professional writers add fire and spice to boost its pulling power. Then our designers create a mouthwatering layout that your prospects will eat up.

THREE SLICES= We Do Everything… You Relax. Simply tell us about your product or service and our pros go to work for you… ad-agency style. This deluxe service includes a bold promotional concept… hard-hitting, strong-selling copy… and a gorgeous, can’t-miss design for the ultimate in impact and response. This is the best option if you want the greatest possible sales impact because it allows us to create from scratch.

Order it “A La Mode” and printing is included.

Hey… there’s nothing wrong with having some FUN with your business, is there?

Guess what… your customers and prospects like having fun, too. (Imagine that!) And while you might never think of it this way, doing business with you is an EXPERIENCE.

Did you ever consider that? People get more than simply the product you’re selling them or the service you’re providing! Every transaction is also an EXPERIENCE.

That means when they buy from you, they’re also buying the transaction itself: the mood, the emotions, the interaction, the body language (if in person), and all the communication.

All these things are piled on top of what you sold them. If you gave EL CRAPPO service, them the crappo is piled upon their purchase and chances are you won’t see them again. (Even if they loved what you sold them.)

If you give KICK-ASS service, this is piled upon what you sold them, and not only will they be happy with their purchase (assuming you sell quality), but they’ll remember you as being ENJOYABLE to do business with. (Hey, that wouldn’t hurt your business, would it?)

Can you honestly say that your present customers think it’s a JOY to do business with you?

“Aw heck, Drew. My business is NOT Disney World! My job is to simply sell what I’m selling and satisfy the customer. The process doesn’t need to be ENJOYABLE. It simply needs to be efficient and satisfactory!”

Why the heck not? You’re not like the majority of businesspeople who robotically process their transactions like a mannequin with a change maker on your belt, are you?

I suggest you adopt the mindset: “I’m going to do everything in my power to make this customer ENJOY doing business with me!” Do that for a couple of months and see if it doesn’t have a major impact on your repeat business. Only a fool would think it would do otherwise. (Especially in today’s crummy economy, with millions of people experiencing financial turmoil… desperation… and depression.)

THINK: What could you do–starting tomorrow–that would make it more FUN for people to do business with you? Believe me… people need it now, more than ever. (And remember to tell them that you do it quicker and easier… and you save them moolah, too!)

“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never
allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would
go mad or become unstable without knowing it.”
Herodotus (484 BC – 430 BC)

Get crackin!

Drew Eric Whitman
Direct Response Surgeon(tm)

P.S. Let’s have some fun putting together your next brochure, flyer, sales letter! Shoot me a message from my contact page… and I’ll cook you up a real winner!  😉