“Why … would you even SHOW me that?” said my wife, reeling in horror.
She was visibly unnerved. She staggered back from the computer screen, and clutched onto the door frame.
“Really … did you need to do that?”
(This was kinda amusing … she’s a doctor, so I wasn’t expecting her to react THAT strongly.)
“Yes, I needed to show you that … because I wanted you to have the same reaction I did,” I said. “And your reaction is …?”
“Our kids are NEVER going on a trampoline.”
I’d just shown Hayley an image that I’d looked at myself, minutes earlier.
It was a gruesome photo of a guy with his foot almost completely torn off, after an accident at a trampoline park.
(I’d actually seen this on Reddit, where it was posted in a medical sub under “Foot broken in trampoline park”. UNDERSTATEMENT. OF. THE. YEAR.)
Words don’t do the disgustingness of this photo justice … I mean, you could see the shiny white bone in both his leg and his foot, now literally 180 degrees out of place.
My immediate reaction was … to try not to pass out.
My next reaction was … “I am never letting my kids go on a trampoline again.”
Now, I probably could have arrived at this conclusion logically.
I mean, I went on trampolines plenty as a kid. Not those pansy (okay, safe) ones with poles that flex and netting all around them. I’m talking the mesh death traps with a foot of metal springs on each side and gaping holes between them. And even as a kid, it always struck me that it would be incredibly bad if I misjudged a single jump and landed on one of them.
(As I subsequently found out, I’m not alone in this view — many ER doctors and gymnasts swear they’ll never allow their kids near a trampoline for this exact reason.)
Yet all it took was one glimpse at a horrific image for me to instantly make up my mind.
This is one of the most powerful persuasion techniques in existence:
Giving people a gruesome vision of the fate that awaits them if they make the wrong choice.
Seeing a severed foot was enough to burn the lesson “trampolines are dangerous” into my brain.
And smart marketers can (and should) take advantage of this technique, by painting a picture of the horrors awaiting their customers if they don’t use their product.
(Of course, you should only do this ethically, with a product that can actually save your customers from this fate, otherwise you are just a charlatan.)
I was tempted to use the technique on you now … but I will have mercy and spare you for today.
Instead, I’ll simply point you to where you can go when you come to your senses, and realise that what I can do for your business might actually justify my exorbitant rates …
Till next time,
P.S. If you also wish to persuade yourself about the dangers of trampolines, the image is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/medizzy/comments/fn6tgz/foot_broken_in_trampoline_park/
Fair warning, I promise you will never un-see it.