Dear reader,

I ain't just whistlin' dixie when I say this persuasion secret is ancient.

No sir.

This persuasion dates back to 384 B.C.

But, more importantly, this persuasion secret is just as relevant (and effective) today as it was back then.

You see, over the years, many things have changed, and will continue to change, but the one thing that hasn't changed is human nature.

In other words, what persuaded people thousands of years ago is what persuades people today. The caveman who successfully talked his neighbor into swapping caves is no different from the modern-day realtor who sells a client on buying a house. The same “persuasion chops” are needed.

Alrighty, enough preamble.

What is this ancient persuasion I speaketh of?

It’s this:

The "Aristotle persuasion" method.

Now, if you promote a product or service, it behooves (isn’t that the most pretentious word ever?) you to know Aristotle’s persuasion break down of persuasion. Actually, you should know it like you know your name. It’s that important.

Because, let’s face it, to get your clients, customers, and prospects to pony up, it takes some serious persuasion. Especially for fresh prospects who don’t know you from Eve, right?


I’m glad we’re on the same page.


Let’s dive into Aristotle’s theory of persuasion.

Aristotle concluded that “persuasion” involves three crucial elements.

They are as follows:

(1)Ethos (credibility) (2)Pathos (emotion (3)Logos (logic)

Now, dear reader, listen closely:

To successfully persuade a prospect (or anyone, for that matter), you must have ALL three elements in play.

Think of it this way: persuasion is like a three-legged stool. So long as you have all three elements (legs), your communication will hold up under your prospect’s skepticism and doubt. But miss just one element, and your communication comes crashing down. The prospect’s skepticism will be too much to bear.

Now, I ask you, what chance does a two-legged stool have of holding up a fat man?


And so it is for a marketer or business owner who has one (or two) elements missing from Aristotle’s persuasion theory. They have about as much chance of persuading a prospect to buy as Bill O'Reilly has of getting Joy Behar to make him a sandwich.

It ain’t gonna happen, Bubba.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the three aforementioned elements, starting with Ethos, shall we?

Ethos (credibility)

To put simply, Ethos is about how credibility.

More specifically, the credibility of the person who’s doing the persuading. The more credible someone is, the more persuasive they will be.

It’s that simple.

For example, if you’re looking to invest in stocks, and your mate Bob at a bar recommends a certain stock you should buy, you may or may not take his advice. But….
..if Warren Buffet told you about a certain stock you should buy, guess what you’re doing?

That’s right. You’re buying that stock!

Such is the level of Buffet’s credibility concerning the stock market.

Now hear this:

Out of the three elements of persuasion, I believe, Ethos is by far the most important and has more bearing on the outcome of a sales pitch.

You see, you can use pathos (emotion) and logos (logic) to stir a prospect's emotions and get them nodding in agreement like a bobblehead, but at the end of the sale pitch, they won’t pull the trigger because they don’t perceive you to be an expert.

And if a prospect doubts whether you’re a stone-cold expert, you can bet dollars to donuts they’re gonna doubt whether your product or service can really help them.

You follow?


Because this element of persuasion (ethos) is vital. Without credibility, you’re dead in the water, my friend.

Look, here’s what most marketers and biz folks don’t get:

before a prospect judges a product or service, they are judging the person or company who is pitching the product or service.

Persuasion starts with WHO is delivering the communication.


I can’t stress that point enuff.

Hey, listen, I’m gonna wrap up now, but stay tuned for my next article, okay? That’s when I’ll drop science on the second element of Aristotle’s persuasion theory – Pathos.

Until then…

Stay cool.


Author's Bio: 

Michael Jordan plays basketball, Steven Spielberg makes movies, Kelvin Dorsey writes emails.

Everyone has a talent.

If you're looking for someone to teach you sales, copywriting, or email marketing, Kelvin's your Huckleberry.

Kelvin is the author of six books. His most notable is titled 81 Days To Becoming an Online Sales Machine.