Back when I was taking a persuasion class from Penn State, I was studying a sales letter and I noticed something right away. The letter was political. It was about socialism. But rather than take a stand against socialism (like I would expect would happen in a sales letter about finance) the letter presented strong evidence that Americans have plenty of good reasons to be attracted to socialism. When that happened, I was discombobulated for a second, then went back to the letter feeling like I was going to learn something new. So many people talk or write about politics, and you can tell where they sit on the ole' spectrum. When you guess right, what's the point of reading more? You can just tuck that article into the correct pigeonhole on your mind and move on. But I couldn't with this one. What was going on, and why did it work? According to Richard M. Perloff, author of The Dynamics of Persuasion; Communications and Attitudes of the 21st Century, Alice H. Eagly has a theory that explains this perfectly. "Individuals make predictions-or develop expectations- about what a particular communicator will say, based on what they know about him or her, and the situation," wrote Perloff. "When a speaker disconfirms your expectation, you scratch your head and want to figure out why this occurred. In such cases, you may (as we will see) conclude that the communicator is a credible source."
In other words, people often trust you more if you say something that goes against what they expect you to say. What does that mean for you and your business? The things that you say and do and write determine how much credibility you have and how much trust you will get from your readers. One simple way to get a boost in credibility is say something that goes against what people might expect you to say. But where do you start? I can't necessarily answer that, but you can start by taking a look at the issues that you face and deal with, and practice talking and thinking about them from more than one angle. What attitudes do you have that surprise people? Do you ever feel like people put you in boxes that you don't like? Just think about those things and take note. If you come up with anything good weave it into your copy or your speech.