Dear Business Owner,

I think you should get to know me because I'm the most profitable word in the English language ...

I'm "the most profitable word in the English language" because it's impossible to sell most anything without using me at least once.

An open letter from the most profitable word in the English language.jpg

But you should know, I'm not sexy. Sorry. Don't expect me to capture attention the way these words do:

  • "FREE"
  • "YOU"
  • "NEW"

That's not me ...

I'm more subtle. I play on the subconscious. And I'm great at what I do. But don't take my word for it. Trust the research: 

The Xerox Test

In the 1970's, Dr. Robert Cialdini, a psychologist, conducted several experiments that measured human persuasion. He documented the results in his now classic book, Influence.

The experiment had actors ask random people, who were waiting in line to use a Xerox machine, a series of questions:

1. First question:

The actor came up to an unsuspecting person standing in line and said:

"Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?"

This request yielded a 60% success rate. In other words, 60% of the people said, "Sure, go ahead."

2. Second question:

The actor slightly changed his question. He said:

"I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I am in a rush?"

This second test yielded a 94% success rate because the subject gave a reason, albeit a bad one. 

3. Third question:

The actor made a slight adjustment:

"Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?"

This time, 93% of the people let him budge despite yet another inadequate reason.

The Takeaway

"A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason," explains Cialdini. "People simply like to have reasons for what they do."

That's where I come in. I'm the word "Because."

People like me because I validate their actions:

  • "Call soon because this offer won't be on the table for long."
  • "Sign up now because you'll regret it if you don't."
  • "Register today because ten minutes is worth your peace of mind. 

Remember: Cialdini's experiment proved that it doesn't have to be a good reason, it only has to be(cause).


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