Find Out, After The Break!

How to sell more by telling your customers to wait!

This is a tried and tested principle which is used everywhere – yet most business people don’t even think to consider it in their own marketing and selling. Those who use it to great effect, sell a lot more by effectively using this technique.

The Zeigarnik Effect was discovered in 1927 by Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, and simply states that we remember interrupted tasks best. The reason for this is that tension is created inside us when there are unfinished tasks.

The entertainment industry knows and exploits this to the full. Unfinished tasks include… the episode cliff hanger – what’s going to happen next? News casts often start by listing some of the main stories to come later. Radio stations use competitions to keep you glued to the end of the show.

Quiz shows use this shamelessly – have you ever watched “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” Remember the long, drawn out selection process before the quiz show host says “Find Out, After The Break!”

And you have to find out. You can sit and wait, through the ads, because you had no idea how much you actually wanted to know that answer until right that moment!

Basically, we people hate things to be incomplete. We want closure. Just think how difficult it can be to move on in your personal life when things are left unfinished. Arguments, personal relationships…

So how can we use this in marketing? Quite simply, we can leave people hanging, wanting them to know more, simply by not telling them everything but letting them know they have to act to know more.

And your response can go through the roof!!

For instance, in your direct mail you can promise a report that “reveals the single biggest mistake managers make that almost ensures that teams will fail, no matter how well you treat them”. As a team manager, wouldn’t you want to have that report?

Or if you’re an estate agent holding a presentation on buying in Tenerife, you could for instance promise “In this presentation we’ll make public for the first time the one reason owners can make more money and be happier buying in Tenerife than anywhere else in Spain!”

Compelling, isn’t it?

Last week we covered headlines – notice how the example headline we used can compel the reader to read the information it’s pointing to? The headline said “How A Housewife Made €250 For 5 Minutes Work in Los Cristianos!” Wouldn’t you like to know how someone can make €250 in 5 minutes? Wouldn’t you read that story? Trust me, so would many others too.

Are you starting to see the hidden power of the Zeigarnik Effect? Don’t you think you’d be crazy not to use this technique as often as you can?

But, beware! You cannot fool your audience. They’ll take the bait the first time, but not the second if you don’t offer something of real value. We use the Zeigarnik Effect all the time because it’s so highly effective. And here you are, reading, and hopefully getting a lot of value.

But where do you start?

After reading all of this, work on using the Zeigarnik Effect in all of your advertising, sales letters, brochures and all other marketing material for even better results.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Restaurant: ‘Come inside and find out…’. Drinks Supplier: ‘How a British Bar got more customers when they bought XYZ Product’. Jewellery Retailer: ‘The Dirty Little Secret That Turned A Husband Into His Wife’s Hero’…

Start small and experiment. In the first week we discussed having a SYSTEM – create your own system and experiment with different phrases until you find something that works for YOU!

Here’s how to best take advantage of the Zeigarnik Effect: visit our website, go to the ‘Canarian Weekly Articles’ and you’ll find a little gem of a present that will knock your socks off. What is it? Well, you’ll only find out when you visit the site…

Next week: How To Generate Word of Mouth Advertising and Referral Business

For more information call Jennie on 902 789 660 or visit

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