Building desire is one of the main ways to prime or qualify someone without actually needing to change anything in your offering. The more the person desires your product or offering, the more they will be qualified. It can also be used to weaken objections (because usually, objections are a sign of lack of certainty or desire. Increasing it decreases and destroys them).

There are four main ways to create desire in someone:

  1. Use a hero’s journey or nightmare-to-dream journey;
    1. “John had [ABC] of negative. He just wanted [ABC] of positive. With our product, he was able to make that bridge”;
  2. Using associations or bundling
    1. Associating your value proposition with something known, famous, or that brings pleasure;
    2. E.g., products associating themselves with influencers or celebrities;
  3. Building anticipation or expectations
    1. Telling the person what to expect;
    2. E.g., “90% of people buy this on the first week”;
  4. Using intent labeling
    1. Making the person state they want something actively

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

Desire works through the principle of suggestion. As soon as the person desires something more, they will start anticipating it more and changing their expectations (which may be met or not at the time of purchase/doing your ask).

Specific techniques may work due to other principles:

  • For example, the hero’s journey works through the principle of perceived contrast. Contrasting something bad with something good makes it seem better in comparison;
  • Intent labeling works due to the principle of consistency. When someone states they want something, they will continue to act in accordance to that;

You leverage desire in someone by either building anticipation in them, contrasting the dream and the nightmare scenarios, or other methods that make the person want this more.


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Sales Letters

When websites have long sales letters going into detail on everything the person wants to avoid and what they want to achieve, it's this at work.


Hype is nothing more than building expectations or anticipations in a person. Which may correspond to reality or not

Placebo Effects

These are a great example of expectations. Even when nothing happens, the person thinks something did, due to their beliefs alone

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
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How to Stack This Technique