“I am not sure this is for you, but…”

Those nine magical words, forming a phrase that you could practically put in front of any sentence to get people interested in whatever you have to say… or sell? 

A salesperson trick— that sometimes, even if you knew it, it would still work on you. 

The reason? 

It works on your subconscious mind. 

You first you think, “Huh, so why it’s not for me?”

Then, you think, “But? But… what? Maybe it is for me. Let me try it out.” 

Words are magic, words are energy that diffuses into our being and pretty much shape our decisions. 

Part of my quest to learn more about consumer behavior, I have learned this trick among other tricks from the book Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil M. Jones. 

Let’s see how Phil dissected this phrase.

“Opening a statement with the words, “I’m not sure if it’s for you,” causes the listener’s subconscious brain to hear, “There’s no pressure here.” By suggesting that they may not be interested, you naturally increase their intrigue. They wonder what “it” is, and this spike in curiosity hooks them. What’s more, it fires an internal driver that tells them a decision needs to be made, and the soft approach ensures this decision feels unpressured and internal. The real magic, though, is delivered through the final three-letter word of this sequence, a word that typically should be avoided in all conversations: the word “but.”

Jones, Phil M. Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact (pp. 7–8). Box of Tricks Publishing. Kindle Edition.

I bet you are a bit like me and could be a skeptic on the concept.

“What do you mean a few words would make me do something I wasn’t interested in?” — That was my thought… but, I had the opportunity to test it, not me directly though, but through a friend.

You see, a friend of mine is creating a new product, a stylish laptop bag for corporate women. The laptop bag is not a typical laptop bag. It’s a laptop bag and it is also stylish. Ask any woman who wants to look stylish and not carry two bags to work, a laptop bag and a handbag, and she will tell you how much of a challenge it. 

I am personally very excited about the stylish laptop bag, especially that I have seen it. I would definitely get it, and perhaps we will discuss later on my drive as a consumer on wanting to get this stylish laptop bag once it’s out and in the market. 

Today, though, we are talking about the magic of words. We are exploring the possibility of changing perception just by alerting what you say, and in this case, the words “I am not sure this is for you, but…” 

My friend is currently doing some customer testing to get feedback on the stylish laptop bag prototype. She told me, she will go and ask women who work in DIFC, a corporate hub, on what they think about the stylish laptop bag, what they like/dislike, etc. 

I saw an incredible opportunity to test those nine magical words, “I am not sure this is for you, but…”

I asked how is she going to approach those women, and she told me, she is going to ask them by giving them an introduction and asking them if they are interested to participate in some customer testing. 

Sounds like a friendly approach, especially that my friend is extremely outgoing and I bet anyone would be happy to have a conversation with her. 

But then I asked her, how about you try your method… and, also try to approach the women by starting with this phrase, “I am not sure this is for you, but…”

She said she will try. 

After the customer testing, she gave me a call. She told me those words were truly magical and got women interested in no time to check out the new stylish laptop bag. Incredible, right? She told me it’s like those words play with their mind and for some reason, they are happy to know more about the bag. 

Super exciting. Right? I am excited. 

She suggested I could write about that in my blog, and even though I am a bit tired because I just came home after a long day at work, I couldn’t help but think, I really want to write about it. So, here I am, writing about it. 

Just imagine what you could do if you knew exactly what to say and when to say it. Just imagine how many tricks you could fall for without even realizing.

PS: The featured image in this blog post is not actually the stylish laptop bag. I am definitely going to share the picture and perhaps another blog post once it’s out and in the market.

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  1. Rasha elfar July 14, 2019 at 9:25 am

    You are amazing and I just can’t stop reading you blogs. Plz tell me how to keep following you. I’m starting a new business of my dreams, a new brand for abayas, summer and beach wear. Thank you ❤️

    1. Sherwette - Site Author July 14, 2019 at 8:20 pm

      I am glad you find the blog interesting and useful! 🙂

      You can follow me on social media as I share the articles there once published. I am going to activate the newsletter and RSS feed soon, so I will keep you posted once I do.

      Good luck with your new business. Let me know which topics in marketing and consumer behavior you would like to learn more about. Perhaps I could blog about them? 🙂

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