I believe UFOs are real. Space aliens kidnapped me from my bedroom, hauled me to their spaceship and probed my insides. Then, they dumped me back between my sheets like a piece of meat.

What does belief in UFOs have to do with competitive advantage? Hang in there, all will be revealed in due time.

If you believe in UFOs or alien abductions I bet you feel a sense of connection with me. You understand me and I understand you. We belong to the same group, the same tribe even, and you are going to feel disappointment when you find out that I don’t really believe in aliens.

When you find someone who believes what you believe you feel connected to them. Why? Because you found someone who is, in some way, just like you.

We are magnetically drawn to people like ourselves. Our souls resonate with their souls. We want to be with them and do stuff with them because we are alike.

We see ourselves in them and feel that together we are part of something bigger than ourselves. 

In his book Influence, Robert Cialdini showed that we humans prefer to say “Yes” to people we like, and the people we like best are the people most like ourselves. So, how do you get someone to like you?

Let them find out what you believe.

Let’s say you have a widget to sell. How do you persuade someone that your particular widget is the one they should buy? The traditional way is to “sell the sizzle, not the steak,” and to be sure it will work, sometimes.

Suppose you want them to keep buying from you over and over again. How do you win their business and loyalty? In other words, how do you get them to buy into you, and not just from you?

Tell them what you believe. Give them the gift of connection. Let them feel that shock of recognition we all experience when we find someone who is just like you.

Make that connection once and they will buy from you again and again. The power of this technique is they buy from you because of who you are, not because of what you sell.

  • Beliefs reveal identity
  • Identity creates connection
  • Connection forges loyalty
  • Loyalty sustains relationship

Show and tell your market what you really believe. Let your customers see themselves in you. They will create an emotional connection to you. That sort of connection is almost impossible to break.

And that is how belief becomes your unbeatable competitive advantage.