Dissecting Ramit Sethi’s Sales Techniques in his Dream Job Course

3 Comments 15 August 2012

For those of you who don’t know, I moved back down to DC six weeks ago and have been going through the job hunting process. I’m fully aware resume blasts and online applications are a waste of time, so I started looking for additional, unconventional job hunting tips that would get results.

That’s when I discovered Ramit Sethi’s Dream Job Course.

I only signed up for the free material and haven’t paid for the full course, but he has a lot of useful techniques that actually get results, including the famous Briefcase Technique which I used to get at least one job offer and several follow-up interviews.

But this post isn’t about the techniques and strategies he teaches, it’s about how he sells it to you.

It’s rare that I actually  enjoy reading sales copy, but Ramit’s copy is actually pretty brilliant. He claims expertise in behavioral psychology and the art of persuasion and it shows in his website.

Here’s how he does it:

1. He doesn’t try to sell you anything on the first day. He uses delay to his advantage.

If you sign up for the Dream Job course on this page , you will receive e-mails over the next 7 days that direct to you different types of content that relate to job hunting. Each piece of content takes roughly 30 minutes to watch or read. But, you’ll be thinking about it all day. For example, the first e-mail sends you to a page with videos on “Masters Level Interviewing.” I watched it, and then for the rest of the day I was thinking about “the question behind the question” and trying to figure out how I would answer questions in my next interview.

By spoon-feeding the content to you, Ramit allows you to imagine hypothetical scenarios in which you use his techniques to succeed. By the time he actually sends you to the real sales page, you’ve basically imagined a whole different future for yourself that could be achieved if you just had access to the rest of his course.


If you’re looking for a Malcolm Gladwell type book about the positive impact of implementing delay into decision making, pick up this book: Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy.

2. He uses push-pull attraction techniques.

I find Ramit hilarious. He will theatrically yell at people in his videos and call them idiots before offering his useful piece of advice.

More importantly, I feel like when I watch Ramit’s video that we’re on the same team.

How the hell did he recruit me to his team via an online video?

Here is what he does:

a) He’ll insult you indirectly. Obviously if you’re watching a recorded video he isn’t insulting you directly, but he’ll make fun of other people whose techniques and behaviors you may use in your own life. He’ll undermine the way you do things while still letting you keep your ego in tact (because he doesn’t insult you indirectly.

b) He demonstrates empathy. After he is done insulting the “other” idiots who haven’t followed his advice, he’ll then say in a soft voice “How many of you have ever felt like….” and talk about a common pain point. Watch this video on rapidly accelerating your career growth and pay attention to some of the examples of “invisible scripts” he cites and pay attention to his tone of voice. It’s like he is luring you in with his understanding of your pain points.

c) He plays the role of savior. After he has used used the insult-empathy loop multiple times, he will offer you a solution. He has “seduced you” and you are willing to eat up whatever he is offering.

The push-pull technique is very powerful and can actually be used outside of sales as well. Pick-up artists use it, effective military leaders use it, and religious leaders use it. Watch Ramit’s videos and see how he does it.

3. Overwhelms you with long sales copy

Here’s the sales page I was directed to at the end of the Dream Job Boot Camp e-mail series.

The key word in this technique is “overwhelms.” Now, I’m not going to read the entire sales page. It would take me a year. However, my brain shuts down when I see the page and I get the impression that there is so much useful stuff packed into his course that I’d be crazy not to buy it. The length of the sales page will shut down the rational side of my brain and I become more inclined to make an impulsive purchase. This impulsive purchase instinct was already made stronger by the week of free content he sent me.

Just the fact that it’s super long makes me want to buy his course.

4. He uses mystery branding.

Several times throughout the boot camp, Ramit referenced two wonder techniques he created:

a) The Closing the Loop Technique

b) The Negotiation ARMS Technique

I never found out what these techniques did until the last e-mail he sent out which briefly described what they did. The e-mail then asked me to sign up for a private webcast in order to find out what they did.

By creating a unique name and brand for each of these two techniques and then not telling me what it is, it creates a sense of mystery that is driving me crazy. It’s like coming to the end of a chapter in The DaVinci Code. It’s sticky. I didn’t sign up for the webcast but I do remember the names of the two techniques and I’m still curious about what they are.

Take some time to go through his website and you’ll pick up lots of techniques that you can use in your own sales/persuasion efforts.

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