Using a metaphor is one of the best ways to really drive home your message. It’s like greasing the path for your ideas so they slide into your customer more easily and without resistance.
I’m constantly working on my storytelling. It’s an area any persuader should begin mastering. However, not all metaphors need to be long stories.
According to Wikipedia a metaphor is, “language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects.” When I first learned about persuasive metaphors I started comparing everything. I highly recommend you start doing this. It is Yoga for your brain.
While I was comparing things I realized I was consistently asking myself, “What’s that like?” From this came what I think is the quickest and easiest way to create powerful metaphors. . .
“It’s just like. . .”
Here are a couple of examples to draw out how you can use this in your persuasion arsenal.
Signing up for X (whatever you’re selling) is just like riding a bike. It was scary at first and you were probably afraid to make a mistake and get hurt. But, as you look back, you did it. You learned how to ride. There was someone to guide you just like with this program. Once you get on and start riding we’ll guide you to stay balanced. If you fall we’ll pick you up, wipe off any dust and get you quickly riding again. It’s a skill you’ll always remember throughout all your life.
Did that start a movie in your mind of someone learning to ride a bike? Did it help you transition the fear of buying into the ease of learning? Here’s another. . .
Persuaders that don’t learn to use metaphors are like unwanted bugs in your home. They’re interesting creatures and sometimes bizarre to look at. Some have a powerful and potentially deadly bite. But, you generally don’t want them in your house and when you do see one your impulse is to immediately kill it.
Simple and to the point, right?
So practice for yourself. What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you read these?
- What’s your job like?
- What’s a call from your mother like?
- What is the product or service you’re selling like?
Usually the first thing that flashes in your mind is what you should run with. Take that flash of creativity and begin describing it. What are the positive aspects? What are the negatives? Doing this regularly will keep the gears in motion that drive your metaphor creativity.
It’s just like when you were a kid. . .