Preemptive Labeling

Our goal with this technique is to preempt the objections that the other side will have before they do, which takes away their weapons.

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

By simply stating the problems that someone would raise before they do and addressing them beforehand, the intensity of them will be limited. You will disarm most of their objections.

  • It also works due to perceived contrast. You’re illustrating the problem, and then the fix;
  • “I know you’re going to think this doesn’t work, but we have testimonials from 7 top experts in similar positions that prove it does;

But when the person has a very strong objection, that one will remain even after you disarm it. So you know that’s the objection that is the true one and is still there.

Simply take any negative element you think the other side may raise and raise it yourself first, addressing it before they do.


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"This is what's wrong"

For example, just like Jack Dorsey listing “all the reasons not to invest” in Twitter, leading with your weaknesses at the beginning of a presentation. It’s an example of both this and adverse transparency;

"I know you think X"

When, in casual conversation, you already know that a person will have an objection, you can literally look them in the eyes and say, “I already know that you’re going to dislike this because [ABC], right?”. And the person’s objection will be diminished

Risk assessments

Building a risk matrix, strategically, in a corporate environment, is doing this. It’s being honest about what may go wrong and addressing it

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
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How to Stack This Technique