Book Review: Triggers by Joe Sugarman

by Doug Farrick

How to Control the Mind of Others to Make More Money in your Design Business.

Today we will be looking at Joe Sugarman's Triggers with a subtitle of 30 Sales Tools You Can Use to Control the Mind of Your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade.

For those those of you who do not know Joe Sugarman, he is a legendary copywriter and marketer, having sold millions of dollars worth of products through his ads one of which are the now famous Blu Blocker Sunglasses.

All of us are ultimately creating our designs for our customers. And we all want to influence the decision maker who will be buying our creative. This books introduces us to 30 Phscological triggers that can help us persuade and influence others.

Although there are 30 Triggers presented, and they can seem a bit overwheming together so try a few that resonate with you the most - of course you can continue to re-visit and test others when appropriate.

Let's take few "Triggers" and see how they may apply to the business of marketing/selling design.

One Trigger is Exclusivity. Having something that few others can have/own is a strong motivator. For example you can communicate to you clients (or potential future clients) that your *time* is very exclusive, that you are so in-demand that your time is exclusive and at a premum. Now this may or may not be the case but your business WILL be perceived diiferently - as something that is exclusive and propriitary.

Another is Authority. Everyone likes an authority to rely on for expertise, advice and direction. So how do you make yourself an expert authority? If you specialize in a particular niche of design (like packaging, education, brand development, non-profit, etc.) it is imperative to showcase this authority/expertise. How can you find ways to promote your authority via your bio, portfolio, testimonials, marketing, etc? Do you need to focus on a particular specialized niche rather than a generalist?

In addition to 28 more "triggers" to read, the book is also sprinkled with wonderful stories from throughout Joe's incredible careeer which really bring the triggers to life and give them a context.

At the back of the book there are Phychological Trigger Worksheets. This is nice as ech trigger has it's own page with a summary at the top and the rest of the page is left for notes. Hint: either copy the sheets first or use pencil as you will want to revisit them again and again for different projects.


Although Joe Sugarman's comes from a direct marketing background and many examples refer to this business, Triggers provides wonderful insight into the phychological factors that motivate us all.

The more you understand what is going on in your prospects mind the better chance you have of directing and influecing him/her. And, soon enough, you will be closing more sales and picking up more accounts which leads to more greenbacks in your pocket.

Book: Joe Sugarman's Triggers