Applications of Persuasion - A Heart Shaped Box [DRAFT]

She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks

          - Nirvana - “Heart Shaped Box”


I. Introduction A. Tease the reader with ambiguity B. Ask the reader about their ability to resist buying a pen from a top salesperson C. Introduce the thesis

II. The Limitations of Traditional Sales Techniques A. Discuss the limitations of traditional sales techniques B. Contrast with the potential of AI

III. The Ethical Implications of AI Sales A. Discuss the potential for AI to manipulate and exploit consumers B. Provide examples of unethical behavior by salesforces C. Highlight the potential for addiction to emerge from AI sales

IV. Competing Salesforces and Addiction A. Discuss how competing salesforces leverage addiction-like behavior to “lock in” customers B. Reference “tail wags the dog” phenomenon

V. Exponential Concentration of Wealth A. Explain how AI sales can concentrate wealth B. Reference the importance of agency in decision-making C. Discuss the small role of product quality in the AI sales scenario

VI. Greenwashing and PR A. Discuss the potential for companies to use greenwashing to distract from AI sales B. Extrapolate on how this could be expanded to promote PR ahead of awareness of AI sales danger

VII. The Importance of Awareness A. Highlight the need for awareness of the potential dangers of AI sales B. Reference the importance of personal agency in decision-making C. Encourage readers to engage in the conversation by following the author’s blog

VIII. Conclusion A. Summarize key points B. Emphasize the importance of awareness and engagement C. Encourage readers to take action by following the author’s blog.


Explanation of AI in sales (IMAGE "robot")
Importance of sales in the economy (IMAGE "money")

The Power of Persuasion in Sales

The psychology of persuasion (IMAGE "brain")
How AI leverages persuasion (IMAGE "snake")

The Temptation of Sales Targets

The pressure to meet sales targets (IMAGE "pressure")
Examples of questionable ethics driven by sales targets (IMAGE "money trap")

Addiction in Sales

How addictive patterns emerge from persuasion and gratification (IMAGE "addiction")
Competing salesforces leveraging addiction to "lock in" customers (IMAGE "lock")

Concentration of Wealth through AI Sales

How AI sales remove agency from customers (IMAGE "puppet")
The impact of removing agency on wealth concentration (IMAGE "money funnel")

Greenwashing and PR in AI Sales

How companies could use greenwashing to promote PR ahead of addressing AI sales concerns (IMAGE "snake oil")
The potential consequences of prioritizing PR over addressing AI sales concerns (IMAGE "eve and apple")

Conclusion and Call to Action

The importance of awareness and engagement (IMAGE "megaphone")
Call to action to follow the blog for more information (IMAGE "snake")

I. Introduction

  • Explanation of the topic and the impact of AI sales
  • Reference to the Garden of Eden story with the serpent handing Eve the apple (IMAGE “serpent handing Eve an apple in the Garden of Eden”)

II. How AI sales leverage persuasion and gratification to create addiction

  • Explanation of the psychology behind addiction and how AI sales use it to “lock in” customers
  • Reference to snake charming as a metaphor for the persuasive power of AI sales (IMAGE “snake charmer”)

III. The potential dangers of AI sales

  • Discussion of the negative consequences of companies prioritizing sales over ethics
  • Reference to the oxycodone epidemic as an example of the extreme consequences of prioritizing sales (IMAGE “snake oil salesman”)

IV. The impact of AI sales on agency and decision-making

Explanation of how AI sales limit customer agency and reduce decision-making power Reference to the tail wagging the dog metaphor to illustrate the power imbalance between customers and companies (IMAGE “snake wagging its tail”)

V. The potential for AI sales to exacerbate wealth inequality

Discussion of how AI sales could concentrate wealth by limiting customer agency and increasing the power of companies Reference to the image of a snake eating its own tail to illustrate the potential for a self-perpetuating cycle of wealth concentration (IMAGE “ouroboros”)

VI. The danger of greenwashing and PR campaigns to distract from the negative impact of AI sales

Explanation of how companies may use greenwashing or other PR campaigns to distract from the negative impact of AI sales Reference to the image of a snake shedding its skin as a metaphor for companies shedding negative perceptions (IMAGE “snake shedding its skin”)

VII. Conclusion and call to action

Summary of the potential dangers of AI sales and the need for customers to be aware and engaged Call to action for readers to follow the author’s blog for more information and updates on the topic

I. Introduction A. Explanation of the article’s purpose B. Definition of AI sales C. Overview of the potential risks and benefits

II. The Persuasion Machine A. The psychology of persuasion

  1. Behavioral psychology and gratification
  2. Cognitive biases and heuristics
  3. The ethics of exploiting human vulnerabilities B. The role of AI in sales persuasion
  4. Data collection and analysis
  5. Personalization and targeting
  6. The potential for manipulative practices C. The snake in the garden
  7. The history of manipulation in advertising
  8. The “box problem” and the need for regulation
  9. The potential for AI to exacerbate these issues

III. Addiction and Lock-In A. The addictive potential of persuasive technology

  1. The reward system and dopamine release
  2. Behavioral addictions and compulsive behavior
  3. The potential for AI to create addictive patterns B. Competing salesforces and customer lock-in
  4. The importance of customer retention in sales
  5. The use of learned behavioral patterns to “lock in” customers
  6. The potential for customer agency to be removed

IV. The Concentration of Wealth A. The potential for AI sales to concentrate wealth

  1. The impact of persuasive technology on consumer spending
  2. The potential for small businesses to be marginalized
  3. The widening gap between the rich and the poor B. Greenwashing and PR
  4. The potential for companies to use PR to promote AI sales
  5. The parallels between greenwashing and AI sales
  6. The need for transparency and ethical practices

V. The Silver Lining A. The potential benefits of AI sales for the common good

  1. The ability to match consumers with products that meet their needs
  2. The potential for greater efficiency in the marketplace
  3. The potential for increased access to goods and services B. The need for responsible development and regulation
  4. The importance of ethical considerations in AI sales
  5. The need for greater transparency and consumer protection
  6. The potential for regulation to balance the risks and benefits

VI. Conclusion and Call to Action A. Recap of the article’s main points B. Emphasis on the need for consumer awareness and engagement C. Call to action to follow the author’s blog for more information and updates

Certainly! Here are a few relevant quotes that you could consider using in the article:

  • “The most powerful tool we have as advertisers is humanity.” - Dave Marinaccio
  • “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” - Peter Drucker
  • “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” - Howard Schultz
  • “If you’re not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you don’t exist.” - Gary Vaynerchuk
  • “Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.” - David Ogilvy

You could include these quotes throughout the article, either as standalone text or incorporated into the main body of the text. For example:

  • In the introduction, you could use the quote by Dave Marinaccio to emphasize the potential power of advertising.
  • In the section on “The Ethics of AI Sales,” you could use the quote by Peter Drucker to discuss the importance of understanding the customer’s needs.
  • In the section on “Greenwashing and PR,” you could use the quote by Howard Schultz to highlight the importance of shared values between a company and its customers.
  • In the section on “Call to Action,” you could use the quote by Gary Vaynerchuk to emphasize the importance of creating relevant content. Finally, you could use the quote by David Ogilvy in any section where you discuss the potential negative impacts of advertising or AI sales.


  • “We’re not in the business of saving money, we’re in the business of making money.” - Michael Pearson, CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals
  • “There’s a sucker born every minute.” - P.T. Barnum, circus owner and showman
  • “It’s not about selling something. It’s about helping people buy.” - Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and sales trainer
  • “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” - Peter Drucker, management consultant and author
  • “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” - W. Clement Stone, businessman and philanthropist
  • “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” - Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker
  • “The customer is always right.” - Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridges department store
  • “We don’t believe in sales. We believe in solutions.” - John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco Systems
  • “Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating.” - Siva Devaki, CEO of MassMailer
  • “Sales is not about selling; it’s about creating a relationship and understanding what the customer needs.” - Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and author