You’re about to discover the influence and persuasion strategies used by travel MLM company, inCruises.
If you’re considering joining inCruises, I suggest reading this information before making your decision. It may help you avoid making a decision you would regret later on.
Or if you’re already a member of the inCruises MLM program, this information might shock you.
I have carefully studied the marketing materials used by inCruises to attract new members. I identified the most influential techniques they use to persuade potential members.
Whether you’re in the network marketing industry or not, understanding these techniques can be extremely powerful in your business and throughout your life.
In this article, you will learn…
- A mental shortcut used by every human on the planet to make decisions
- A concept studied by psychologists called ‘emotional contagion‘
- How inCruises differentiate themselves from other MLM companies
- A technique that comes straight from the playbook of politicians
What is inCruises?
InCruises are a Multi Level Marketing company (MLM) that was founded in 2016.
According to their website, the company has attracted over 200,000 members in the four years they have operated.
The company claims to help people save money on cruises along with their business opportunity that allows members to earn money.
Michael Hutchison is the founder and CEO of inCruises. Hutchison worked with Tony Robbins from 1987 – 1995.
Is InCruises a pyramid scheme? Many people do feel that MLM’s like InCruises do fall under the category of pyramid scheme. In November 2021, InCruises did receive a warning from Russia’s Central Bank who said that InCruises did exhibit signs of a pyramid scheme.
The Bandwagon Effect
Humans use a lot of shortcuts to make decisions and form opinions.
By using shortcuts, we’re able to save time and mental energy. There are many shortcuts we use to make decisions but one of the most common is known as the bandwagon effect. Also known as social proof.
You probably use the bandwagon effect almost every day to make decisions. Even if you’re not consciously aware of it.
For example, you might use the bandwagon effect when deciding what movie to watch. You want to find a movie that you will enjoy, but you don’t want to spend hours assessing movie reviews for the 100 recently released films on Netflix.
So you use a shortcut that is likely to lead to a good decision.
You make your decision, based on what other people are watching. You might pick the movie that you’ve heard your friends talking about. Or you might watch the movie 365 Days, because you see it’s the number 1 movie on Netflix right now…
If you’re using YouTube, you’re more likely to watch a video with 5 million views than one with 500 views.
In another post, I show how business coach Kerwin Rae uses Facebook video views to leverage the bandwagon effect.
We automatically equate popularity with quality. If something has been accepted or endorsed by a lot of other people, we tend to believe it must be good.
How Does inCruises use the Bandwagon Effect?
Sales and marketing professionals know that people use popularity as a shortcut to decision making.
They also know that they can use it to their advantage. If they show you how popular their product is with other people, they know you will be more likely to buy it.
InCruises uses the bandwagon effect to their advantage by emphasizing how many people have already joined their program.
In the screenshot above, they highlight that over 200,000 people have already joined inCruises.
They also state that they are the fastest growing vacation travel community in the world. This sends a message to the prospect that a lot of people have already endorsed inCruises by joining them.
People will subconsciously believe that those other 200,000 people must have had good reasons to join inCruises and will therefore feel more confident in joining the company as well.
You will see the bandwagon effect often applied in the network marketing industry to persuade potential members. But it’s also regularly used in other industries for the same reason.
SAAS company Basecamp use the bandwagon effect to influence potential customers on their sales page…
Knowing that 5,254 companies have signed up for Basecamp in the last week signals to the prospect that this must be a quality product because so many other companies have signed up.
What Is Emotional Contagion?
Have you ever noticed how being around happy people makes you feel happy?
Similarly, being around someone sad is likely to make you feel sad.
Psychologists have studied this phenomenon and called it emotional contagion. Your emotional state largely influences the emotions of people who you communicate with.
In his book Never Split the Difference, Former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, talks about the importance of smiling during a negotiation. He says that when someone sees you smile, it triggers the mirror neurons in their brain.
The mirror neurons make you mirror the behavior of someone else. So if someone smiles at you, you’re likely to smile as well. This puts you into a positive state, which is better for the negotiation.
This is sometimes referred to as the law of state transfer. In the YouTube clip below, author and speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger explains how state transfer is applied in sales.
Top salespeople know that if they can convey positive emotions, it will put buyers into a positive state and make them more likely to lower their defenses and buy a product.
How inCruises Control Your Emotional State
InCruises want you to be excited about the opportunity to join their company.
They know if they can convey a sense of excitement when presenting the opportunity, the viewer is also likely to feel that excitement.
In the video presentation on the inCruises website, CEO Michael Hutchison uses his body language, vocal tonality and facial expressions to create a feeling of excitement..
Throughout the presentation, Hutchison conveys excitement through his voice, which is transferred to the viewer. This is a subtle but extremely effective way to influence people.
To further elicit positive feelings, positive and upbeat music plays in the background throughout the presentation.
This tactic works in the short-term by putting the viewer into a positive state as they watch the presentation. But it also has long term benefits.
The viewer subconsciously forms an association between those positive feelings and the inCruises brand. In the future, when someone sees the inCruises logo or other branding materials, they will automatically associate it with feelings of happiness and excitement.
InCruises becomes a source of positive emotions. Obviously that increases it’s appeal to prospective members.
In his webinar, inCruises member David Husson also uses his voice to generate feelings of excitement throughout his presentation.
Husson emphasizes his level of excitement while using terms like “unprecedented business opportunity,” and “unlimited earning potential.”
These words and phrases are used strategically to amplify the feelings of excitement in the viewer.
The concept of state transfer is something you can apply in all areas of your life, particularly in business and social settings.
“The One” Psychological Technique
It’s said that 99% of people who get into network marketing will lose money.
InCruises knows that much of its audience has likely had poor experiences with MLM companies in the past. They have probably lost money.
They also know that people tend to be skeptical of MLM companies and they need to fight an uphill battle to win their trust.
Even convincing someone who has positive feelings towards network marketing to join is a challenge. This is simply because of the sheer volume of network marketing opportunities available.
InCruises are competing against Amway, World Ventures, Herbalife and countless other MLM companies. They need a way to differentiate themselves.
They want potential members to believe that this is “the one!”
“This one is different from all the other network marketing opportunities out there.“
This tactic is often used in marketing and even book publishing. You will see book titles like “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need.”
As I explain in my guide to marketing psychology, the prospect of finding ‘the one’ is very seductive to people.
Everyone knows there are bad products, bad books, bad people and bad MLM companies in the market. And deep down, everyone fears being seduced by one of these bad eggs.
When someone is convinced that they have found ‘the one,’ they feel a sense of relief. It’s a weight off their shoulders.
This is why savvy marketers will go to great lengths to convince consumers that their product is superior to all competitors on the market. The effect is strongest when a business is able to subtly discredit their competitors, while also showing why they are the best.
The same effect applies to dating and relationships. People are thrilled when they believe they have found the one.
How inCruises Applies The One Method
InCruises need to convince their prospects that their opportunity is superior to all others on the market.
In the video presentation on their website they claim that inCruises is a recurring income and lifestyle opportunity like no other.
During his webinar David Husson refers to the inCruises partnership program as an unprecedented opportunity on numerous occasions. In the slide below, you see Husson talking about how inCruises are breaking industry records.
Husson goes on to say that what they have put together “is one of the most spectacular opportunities, in the direct sales space, in the travel space, bar none.“
This signals to the viewer that this is something different. Perhaps this could actually work.
They also use member testimonials to amplify ‘the one’ effect. In a video on the website, one member claims that inCruises is unlike anything else he has seen during his 27 years in the industry.
Another member says the value of the inCruises membership is unbeatable. She goes on to say “I don’t know of anywhere else I can go and the company doubles my money.”
Each of these testimonials reinforces the idea in the viewer’s mind that this opportunity is different. This strategy is so powerful that it can persuade even those who are highly skeptical of MLM companies.
The Framing Technique
The framing technique is something you’ve probably seen used a lot by politicians and PR companies.
The goal of the framing technique is to alter people’s interpretation of an event or a situation. Something that is perceived as a negative, can be ‘re-framed’ as a positive.
This is commonly referred to as ‘spin’ in politics. Politicians will often put their own ‘spin’ on certain events in a way that influences the public’s perception of that event.
We call them ‘spin doctors.’
Another common example of framing and spin is used by businesses promoting ‘be your own boss’ opportunities. This includes network marketing companies.
Most people believe that a traditional job is their best opportunity to make money and grow their wealth. And generally, the data supports this belief. You are more likely to earn a consistent income from working for someone else.
But to sell their ‘be your own boss’ opportunities, MLM’s and other businesses need to re-frame the traditional 9-5 job. Watch how London Reel founder, Brian Rose does this below…
This is basically the same script used by everyone promoting ‘be your own boss’ opportunities.
The ‘re-framing’ effectively alters people’s perception of the traditional 9-5 career path. Just by putting a different spin on the issue.
How The Framing Technique is Applied
InCruises uses the framing technique numerous times to alter people’s perceptions. In their presentation they actually highlight the fact that only 2% of the world has ever been on a cruise ship.
Most people would likely interpret this as a bad thing. Why would you want to promote a product that has such limited appeal?
But they frame it as a good thing by highlighting that the “upside potential is enormous.”
The fact hasn’t changed. It’s still only 2% of the world who has been on a cruise. But the viewer’s interpretation of the fact has likely changed because of the way it was framed.
InCruises also understands that many MLM members feel uncomfortable in recruiting new members into the MLM. They know that people view recruiting as a sleazy practice.
To overcome this perception, inCruises uses the framing technique to change the way people view recruitment.
During the video presentation on their website, they talk about enriching people’s lives by sharing this opportunity with them. This simple re-frame creates a major shift in perspective.
If successful, the viewer now sees recruitment as an act of generosity instead of something sleazy.
The Verbatim Effect
When you listen to a speech, watch a presentation or read a book, you’re unlikely to remember all of the details that were presented to you.
Instead, you will just recall the gist of what you heard.
This is known as the verbatim effect.
Difficult and hard to understand messages are most likely to trigger the verbatim effect. For example, imagine if you attended a lecture on the effects of high sugar consumption.
The lecturer could give you a detailed explanation of the physiological response to consuming sugar. They could tell you about all the hormones in the body that are activated by sugar. And they could give you all sorts of facts and figures about the effect of sugar.
A few days later, you will have forgotten almost all of that information. All you’ll remember is “sugar makes you fat.”
Humans just can’t remember high loads of detailed information. But we can remember the gist of it.
Knowing this, MLM companies like inCruises will make their compensation plans very difficult to understand. You will often see complex compensation diagrams in MLM presentations, like this…
These companies don’t want you to carefully scrutinize or remember all the details of the compensation plan. They just want to trigger the verbatim effect.
InCruises and other MLM companies will focus on the high earning potential in their companies. They want the prospect to walk away from a presentation thinking ‘I can earn a lot of money through this.’
People will forget most of the smaller details of the compensation plan, that if reviewed carefully, could be discouraging.
What Can You Learn From inCruises?
Firstly, if you’re reading this article with the intention of joining inCruises, I would suggest you carefully do your research.
I wouldn’t personally join inCruises or any other MLM, but if you think it could work for you, don’t let me stop you.
Just be aware that they are using the persuasion techniques described in this post to manipulate your perception of their company.
That being said, if you’re already in the network marketing business or any other business, there is a lot to learn from the marketing used by inCruises. The techniques and strategies described in this article can be very powerful when applied in any business.
These concepts I have discussed should only be used to promote quality products and services. If you don’t believe in the product you’re promoting, it will be very difficult to genuinely display excitement, for the emotional contagion effect to work.
People will see through you.
Unfortunately, the framing effect, the bandwagon effect and other techniques can be abused. Manipulative companies and salespeople will use them to make a bad product appear better than it really is.
If you’re interested in learning more about influence and persuasion, check out some of the other free content on my blog. I have reviewed marketing campaigns from some of the world’s top companies and influencers.
You can learn how they influence people through their marketing and the concepts you can apply in your own business or life.