How to Use Someone’s Past Experience to Your Advantage

Most people make decisions based on their past experiences, cultural background, and beliefs. Ultimately, every experience a person has gone through, significant or not, will play a role in how a person makes a decision today, in present time. Now this concept can be used both in your favor, or against you, depending on your approach. Have you ever read something once and then decided to read it a few more times because you were so compelled to take action? This time will be like that time, let me explain…

Several years ago, I learned a technique that allows you to get a person to think about a feeling they had in the past and use it toward your advantage in present time. The phrase “has there ever been a time when you…blah blah blah” triggers your client to think of a time when they “blah blah blah”. After you authoritatively use that phrase and obviously replace the blah’s with what I teach you below, your prospect will begin to think of that time in their mind and have that particular feeling in present time. Keep reading, even if you’re a bit confused.


There are actually several different variations to this phrase, lets go over a few of them:

  • Has there ever been a time when…
  • Have you ever…
  • Do you remember when…
  • If you think for second, you can probably remember…

Obviously you can change it, mix it, or do whatever you want, but you get the idea. Ultimately, you want a phrase that simply gets your prospect to think of a general incidence int the past. The key word is general. In fact, the more specific you are, the less chance you’ll have at this working. So be as vague as possible.

Instead of:

Has there ever been a time when you were talking to someone about xyz and they turned you down?


Has there ever been a time when you felt rejected?

The difference between the two is obviously the vagueness. It’s important to be vague because your prospects aren’t your friends. Unlike your friends, you have no clue what kind of life, incidents, situations, and scenarios your prospects gone through. Does that make sense?


So after you get the prospect to actually think of that time when they felt that particular way, you need to link that feeling to the current situation or scenario. To do this, you use the phrase:

This time is like that time, let me explain:

Then you simply explain to the prospect how their past experience is just like this current situation. After that, you want to amplify the pain of the mistake they made in the past so they won’t make the same one again in the future (present time).

Whether you are beginning to feel a bit confused or not, let’s go to the next section.


So ultimately, this technique is most commonly used to handle objections you get from prospects your trying to sell xyz to. Whether you’re selling a house, selling a car, or selling vacuum, this concept works in ANY selling situation.

Let’s give you an example of one of the most common objections that anyone selling anything has heard of: “I want to wait…”

Client: I want to wait

You: You want to wait, I completely understand. Let me ask you, has there ever been a time in your life when you wanted to do something, but waited, and then did it anyway. And then, you ended up spending more time or money then you originally wanted to? (SHUT UP and let them process this)

Client: well, yea sure, who hasn’t”

You: This time is like that time, let me explain…

You would typically use this technique toward the end of your presentation. Sometimes you can use it toward the beginning, but you just need to remember, being vague is key.

Do you understand what I mean?

See what I do is I take techniques like this one (has there ever been a time when) and combine it with other techniques, concepts, and strategies, and I use it to become persuasive communicator.

You need to understand that your communication is your biggest weapon. The people who have the ability to persuade someone to do something are the ones who are able to become successful at a faster pace. The saying, it’s not what you know, its who you know is the perfect example. Knowing how to sell myself to important people has gotten me further than just working on a particular skill/trait.

So I’m curious, now that you’ve been able to learn a technique that you can apply in your business right now, how will use it? Have you read something this compelling before, but  disregarded it, and continued to live the same average life you’ve always lived? This time, make the right decision and follow my advice, you will be glad you did.

In what type of scenarios will you use the (has there ever been a time…) technique?

5 thoughts on “How to Use Someone’s Past Experience to Your Advantage

  1. Bikini Clothing

    I see this technique also being very beneficial in written materials such as a sales piece or a squeeze page (if online marketing is your business). Pre-emptively draw out the objections, bring out the pain of the reader before they're even thinking about their pain, and then explain how your product is going to clear that pain.

    I would add that it doesn't always have to be a negative feeling (obvious, I know). You could use this technique to bring out the positive feelings of a good decision. Perhaps some parting words to help prevent buyer's remorse later?

  2. AJ Kumar

    I actually do mention that above. This is an amazing tool used to prevent buyers remorse. And yes, this technique is VERY powerful for sales pages, no doubt.


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