In persuasion, identification is simply the process of having elements in common with your target, which persuades as they identify with you.

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

Identification works because, when someone identifies with someone else, they subconsciously like them more. They also consider recommendations to be more trustworthy because the person is similar to them.

When trying to create identification with people, it’s crucial to remove preconceived notions. This is important because, if you’re judging or hating your target in any way, you will never truly connect with them.

  • Hate rich people? You will never learn how to amass wealth (or connect with people who do);
  • Hate marketers? You will never learn to properly sell yourself (or connect with people who do);

There are usually two key elements to identification:

  • Eliciting (asking for the characteristics you want);
    • “I only work with top performers”;
    • “I only work with managers that recognize my talent”;
  • Embodiment (embodying similar characteristics to the target’s);
    • “I know you’re cautious, Mr. [ABC], so let me tell you that I am as well. There was this time when I [ABC]”;

Naturally, identification works better when you have a super-specific avatar of your client or target.

Identification will make you polarizing – you will become magnetic to the right type of client/target, but also repulsive to others. This is supposed to happen, and is part of specialization – it’s specializing in terms of characteristics.

While eliciting and embodiment are more about identifying with someone in terms of their general personality and who they are, you can also use in-the-room techniques to make the person feel similar to you right here and now, such as mirroring.


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Harmful in general, but can work wonders for persuasion. If you're a clean, open real estate agent and that's what clients expect, it's a perfect match

"Tell me more"

In job interviews, it will be the opposite. The candidate is claiming to identify with the company, and the company testing them

"Perfect for X"

A very useful copywriting technique for selling is to state who a product is perfect for, and who it's not at all for. Both reinforce the right people as the target and disqualify the others

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
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How to Stack This Technique