Exclusion Confirmation

Exclusion confirmation is a technique that can be used to both test a person and provoke an objection in them. The goal is to get the person to chase and create intrigue by excluding them, saying something such as “This may not be for you”. If they don’t chase, you know there’s a lack of interest (or objection) there.

Underlying Psychology/Biases

This works as it creates intrigue in the person and it gets them to chase. It’s a type of what people would call “reverse psychology”. You play “hard to get”. If the person doesn’t chase, you know there’s an objection or problem there.

In a way, it’s similar to the Identification technique. You’re challenging them to either identify with you (or this product/service/etc) or not. So you tell them exactly who this is for, or exactly who this is not for, and you gauge whether they identify with one of the extremes or not.


Mentioned in UPP:

  • Will work much better if you first qualify what you’re excluding them from:
    • Standard project, standard employee
      • “This project may not be for you” – standard effect;
    • Project that is for top performers looking to increase project management skills, for an employee that is specifically looking for that
      • “This project may not be for you, it’s only for top performers looking to increase project management skills” – much bigger effect;
    • Besides just qualifying, you can also make it sound more exclusive;
      • “I don’t know if this is for you… this is only for the top 5% of performers”;
  • You can polarize this technique to obtain a clearer answer:
    • “John, I’m not sure this project is for you. It’s for top performers that want to progress in their career. It may be for you, but maybe not. What do you think?”;
    • “Hmmm, I don’t know, really”;
    • “Really? I’m sure you must know. I think this sounds like a no-brainer if you match this description, and a clear “no” if you’re not a match. Which side are you leaning towards?”;
    • “To be honest, it doesn’t really seem for me”;
  • A variation for more casual and friendly situations is accusing the other person
    • “I’m sure you won’t even remember our product. You probably are talking with 20 other people with similar ones”;
    • “Oh, no, of course I will remember it! For sure”;


  • False modesty
    • Whenever a friend or colleague says, “Oh, I have this opportunity, but I’m sure you’re not interested in it, it’s not for everyone”, they are using precisely this;
  • Dating
    • Dating instructors would use a technique, back in the day, to get someone to remember you, which would be the accusation angle;
    • Saying something as, “I’m sure you won’t even remember me, you’re probably talking to 300 people today, I’m just another one”;
  • “Very, very exclusive”
    • Another example is using the exclusivity angle;
    • “This may not be for you. It’s not for everyone. It’s only for the most exclusive and sophisticated clients”;

Commercial/Known Uses

Key Takeaways

  • Exclusive confirmation is almost a reverse of intent labeling. You’re daring the person to make explicit their desire. And if they don’t, you know something’s up;
  • In friendly situations, you can use the variation of accusation. You downplay yourself on purpose to try and get the other person to chase you and prove themselves;
  • You can use a mystique of exclusiveness by saying something like, “This isn’t for everyone. It’s just for the most exclusive and sophisticated people“;
  • Even if the person says no, it’s not the end. If they don’t chase, you know there’s an objection present, and you can simply follow-up by asking what’s wrong or challenging them further;