The “Belief Change” Formula That Works

This is how televangelists convert athiests.

It’s how climate change deniers convince people that scientists are wrong.

It’s how politicians win office.

It’s how great salesmen (and women) get rich.

Understanding Your Audience

The people who read your sales copy or hear your sales pitch aren’t blank canvasses.

They are complex, multi-faceted human beings. They come to the table with rigid beliefs, past experience, and strong opinions.

If you can overcome their pre-set beliefs and show them how your product/service will better serve them…

… then you win.

Sometimes you get lucky.


You sell high-end SEO services.

You stumble upon a business owner who values two things above all else:

  1. Innovation and cutting-edge marketing strategies.
  2. Paying people well so they can do a good job.

Your job is easy at that point. There isn’t much “belief change” going on here.

You pitch your wares, and they say “That’s exactly what I was looking for!

Dream situation. 


Most of the time, selling looks like this:

You sell high-end SEO services.

You stumble upon a business owner who values two things above all else:

  1. Immediate results.
  2. Saving the most money possible.

Your prospect values the opposite of what you have to offer.

SEO takes a long time. Results are harder to measure. You are expensive.

How do you turn this potential “no” into a resounding “yes, please!”

By learning to think like a political debate champion…

The Key To Belief Change Is Deflection

Here’s how climate change deniers win arguments:

Denier: “Climate change isn’t real.

Not-Denier: “Yes it is. Look at this data.”

Denier: “I’ve seen that data, but that data doesn’t matter because X, Y, Z”

Not-Denier: “But there’s a 97% consensus in the scientific community.”

Denier: “Consensus doesn’t mean anything. There used to be a 97% consensus in the scientific community that smoking was good for you.”

Did you catch the deflection(s)?

Let’s try again. Here’s how televangelists turn atheists into believers:

Televangelist: “There is a god.”

Athiest: “No there isn’t. There’s no objective proof.”

Televangelist: “Objective proof isn’t all that great. Here’s why X,Y,Z.”

Athiest: “You can’t prove he exists.”

Televangelist: “I don’t have to. He exists in my heart and that’s all that matters.”

Did you can those deflection(s)?

It’s a subtle move – and hard to master – but it’s terribly powerful.

Here’s the formula:

Prospect’s Belief + Why That Belief Doesn’t Matter = Belief Change

If you want to use this formula to raise your prices, here’s how to do it:

Step #1. AcknowledgeThe Objection Upfront

Yes, I admit, my prices are very high. If price is an issue for you, you might want to reconsider hiring someone else. But…

You’ve acknowledged the validity of your prospect’s objections.

The prospect’s objection is simply the manifestation of their belief. That’s why knowing your ideal customer’s potential objections is key to writing good sales copy.

Bring the objection (their beliefs) front and center. People get uncomfortable when you challenge their beliefs. They turn emotional.

Emotional people are easy to sell to.

Step #2. Tell Them Why Their Belief Isn’t Important

“But price isn’t everything. You don’t shop for the cheapest restaurant when you take your wife out to dinner. You don’t want the cheapest heart surgeon giving you a triple bypass.

When you buy the cheapest, you get the cheapest. etc.

The key here is to walk the fine line between being too soft and being too insulting. To offer them an emotionally appealing alternative to their belief.

You have to negate their position. Tell them why their long-held belief about pricing is holding them back from what they want. Cause enough doubt in their own belief that they look for another set of belief’s to latch onto.

Object to their objection.

Step #3. Tell Them What To Believe

You want to pay a higher price because that means...”

Dan Kennedy has said that most people are walking around with their umbilical chord in their hands waiting to plug it in somewhere.

It’s true.

If you can negate someone’s belief and show them why they are wrong to believe that way, the next natural step in the process is for them to seek out a new set of beliefs. Not later, not in the future, but now.

And you’ll be there waiting with your product/service as the solution.

Belief Change For Good

The key to making this whole thing work is to tell the truth.

People who buy on price see fewer results and end up paying more in the long run. This is a fact.

People who buy on price will lose their spouse, get kicked out of their house, and be alone for the rest of their lives…

… not a fact.

If you have a product or service that does good things for good people, then using this simple formula for changing beliefs (overcoming objections) can do a lot of good for a lot of people.

Next time you’re in a pitch meeting or crafting a sales letter, list all the potential objections (wrong beliefs) your prospects have. Then come up with emotionally compelling arguments as to why their beliefs are wrong.

That’s how you create successful advertising campaigns.