There Are Two Kinds of People In The World


There Are Two Kinds of People

You've likely seen the tweet that says something like, “If you bought something that's normally $1,000 and you paid $750, you didn't save $250, you spent $750.”

Now maybe you wouldn't spend the $750. But if we change the numbers, you might get caught. Because most of us see a big discount (like 25% or 35% off), and convince ourselves to spend the 65% or 75%.


Because the presentation motivates us. It not only captures our attention but it pushes the button in our brain that convinces us to choose the deal.

Only, here's the thing. You may have read all of that and said to yourself, that stuff never tricks me. And you'd be right.

Because not everyone is motivated the same way.

Some people are “towards” people and some people are “away” people. You're motivated towards a goal, or motivated away from a result. And since there are two kinds of people, one single approach to a presentation won't likely win over everyone.

How Can You Tell Who is Who?

Imagine you're a freelancer or agency owner who is talking to a prospect. You're likely going to ask the question, “How would you define success?”

You do that because of years of learning that you need to make sure to align your work with the goals of your customer.

But you've also likely heard and maybe even internalized that your prospect was either a towards person or an away person. Simply by how they answered the question.

Towards answers sound like this:

  • We want to be the market leader
  • We want to drive growth by double digits
  • We want to eliminate the competition

Away answers sound like this:

  • We need greater efficiency in our ad spend (stop wasting money)
  • We need to lower our attrition / churn (stop customers from walking away)
  • I don't want people putting us in that category (stop being compared to xx)

One person is telling you where they want to go. They're moving toward something. The other is telling you want they want to eliminate or stop from happing. They're running away from something (in a good way).

One is motivated to make something happen. The other is trying to make something not happen.

Why Is This So Important?

This isn't just a big deal for freelancers and agencies selling services to their customers. It's also for product marketing folks. Because they want engaging content for everyone.

What's true is that we all have a default when we look at something. We think of our products guided by our own internal approach (towards or away).

But if you let your approach guide your way in marketing, you'll likely lose half your audience.

How You Say Things Matters

Imagine you're talking to someone (or writing case studies) about your recent successes. You could say them like this:

  • 75% Year over Year (YoY) increase in traffic
  • 15% Revenue increase YoY
  • 50% Increase in Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

We would likely think those are all awesome results.

But away people can be hesitant about believing everything they see boasting only the upside. They might be more cautious.

So how might you shape the same results differently?

  • Eliminated 80% of website performance issues (driving high traffic growth)
  • Streamlined delivery process, driving 15% savings to the bottom line
  • Reduced ineffective marketing channels (increasing ROAS by 50%)

It's the same story, shaped differently.

And that's my point today. There are two kinds of people. They listen and hear things differently. But that doesn't mean you can't reach them both. You just need to learn how to tell your stories in two different ways.

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