Make Your Prospect Feel Special

For experienced marketers, this may be old news, but the Harvard Business Review found that people who were made to feel special were three times more likely to want to buy a specific item.

How, exactly, was this conclusion reached?

In an experiment that provided participants with an opportunity to buy a discounted coffee mug, those who were told they had been randomly selected to get the discount were 3 times more likely to want to buy than people who believed everyone got the discount. Researchers Jerry M. Burger and David F. Caldwell of Santa Clara University say such “special” opportunities may be appealing because people’s self-esteem is tied to factors that distinguish them from the crowd.

Naturally, prospects are more responsive when they feel special, singled out, part of a distinct group.

This is why so many successful sales pitches appeal to vanity.

Making prospects feel special is just good business. But do not be deceptive and do not cross the line into flattery.

I’ve found that flattery is the mark of a con man and nearly always precedes an effort to defraud.

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and