Simple Writing System Basics — “Making The Sale” Lesson #3
How To Sneak Past Your Prospect’s
Natural Skepticism and
Reluctance To Buy.
“The most ripped-off and respected copywriter alive.”Howdy…
I’ve long since misplaced it, but I once owned perhaps the sneakiest and nastiest “how-to” book I’d ever seen.
It was all about getting revenge.
Safely and without paying any consequence.
I shudder to think that book is still in print somewhere. Lord knows we already have enough psychopaths out there nursing grudges.
Still, it was a pretty fascinating read.
Most of the tactics involved non-lethal methods that would only wreck your enemy’s marriage or get him fired.
You know, like planting phony love letters where your opponent’s wife would find them… or having disgustingly raunchy magazines sent to your rival’s office in his name. That sort of thing.
I’ve never used any of these dirty tricks… but I’m glad I’m aware of them.
Because a new wave of this type of terrorism is upon us. And knowing how the slicksters operate gives you the best defense you’ll ever have.
Consider this: A close friend just recently had some twerp send him threatening emails under a stolen identity.
This is where knowledge is power. What could have been a truly confusing and nasty situation was defused, because my friend was hip to this possibility, and had an uber-geek track the real culprit down following the cyber-trail of the email.
The bad guy was flabbergasted at being caught. And the person whose identity had been stolen never knew the drama was even taking place.
So there’s a practical side to having otherwise unhealthy interest in dirty tricks.
Which I do. (There was a TV show on cable that featured hidden video that people took of their roommates and friends and spouses and such… and it will shatter your world-view seeing what otherwise normal people do when they think no one else is watching.)
(Yes, they do look through your stuff.)
Anyway… one of the least obnoxious tricks I read about in that “revenge” book was to give someone a $50 gift certificate… toward a brand new Cadillac.
If you do this for the right kind of guy, you can ruin his life from that point forward.
Because some people will see that Cadillac as “almost” theirs (at least the first $50 of it)… and bankrupt themselves trying to come up with the other $67,950.
And it’s almost a great marketing tactic.
In fact, here are 3 variations based on it:
First variation: “I’ve just put $50 in your account here.”
I’ve used this as a headline for quick messages to house lists. Instead of discounting the product by $50, or half-off, or whatever… I just convince the client to open a special account for everyone on their list.
And into this account, put a $50 (or whatever) credit.
Which can only be used for products the client sells. It’s also perfectly legitimate to make the “money” good only for the product you’re trying to sell at the time.
Put a time limit on it. The “money” is only in the account for the next 11 days, say. Then it’s gone. If you act fast, you get $50 off your order.
And if you dawdle… you lose it.
Now, that’s an All-Star bribe.
It’s also a prime example of the “take away” tactic that all great salesman use.
Here’s another version…
Second Variation: “I have one set aside here in my office with your name on it.”
If you can, put the prospect’s actual name on the box or the product.
It’s earmarked for ya, Bucko. Got your name on it. Sitting here. Waiting.
But there is such a limited quantity, that… if you don’t call in and claim it (and pay for it) within, say, 11 days… well, we’ll have to take your name off of it…
… and give it to the next guy down the list.
Imagine a friend calling you and saying he’s just put a thick, juicy fifty-buck imported Kobe steak on the backyard grill for you… and it’s yours, everybody there knows it’s yours… but there are 15 other people at the party and not enough meat to go around.
So, if you aren’t there in 11 minutes, he’ll be forced to give your nice, juicy, succulent, mouth-watering steak to someone else.
That’s dirty pool.
And great marketing.
Third Variation: “There’s just one small catch to this offer…”
This is a classic paragraph that many top marketers insist on putting into every pitch.
What this wording does is to provide a small, reasonable, and non-hassle “condition” to the offer.
Which serves to make it all the more believable.
See, when non-world class marketers create an offer, they often go too far. They remove all risk, make the price as low as they can, and guarantee everything under the sun.
Which, when read by a skeptical prospect, can sound “too good to be true.”
There is genius, however, in taking the promise down a notch. So it, very suddenly, isn’t too good to be true.
This “catch” or “caveat” is usually a version of the classic take-away technique: “There’s just one small catch to this offer. It’s a small matter, and very reasonable. But it may affect your decision. You see, this deal is not for everyone. If you are afraid to…”
And then you list all the reasons many people would, logically, not be “right” for the offer. Scaredy cats, cheap bastards, cynics, and looky-loo’s, for example.
The “take away” is one of the most powerful tactics you will ever have in your bag of tricks. It’s just stunningly effective at riveting the reader’s attention.
“Hey,” You want him to say to himself. “If I don’t get on this, like, right freakin’ now, he’s gonna give it to someone else!”
Can’t have that, can we.
That’s plenty for this lesson.
I hope you’ve gotten a good, healthy taste of what I offer people who come to me for advice in marketing and writing.
Don’t forget to jump back over to the Simple Writing System Express Course.
There’s a lot more specific info — including tactics you can use — waiting for you. And it’s the place where you’ll learn how and when you can immerse yourself in my Simple Writing System.