The SECRET to salesmanship & copywriting that sales is...via Gary Halbert...
is in a word, ATTENTION.
Now, pay attention, you might learn something here...
I'm coming off a project where I groused, grumbled and even cursed (yes, I'm capable) all day long...but, I'm glad I did it because I learned...
I offered an OPPORTUNITY over at the Warrior Forum, in the sub-forum for copywriters...a chance to test their copy chops and maybe even get paid for doing it.
30 people submitted copy. TWO are in the testing rotation (which you can see at www.renewnightvision.com just put a number after index, 1 to 4 to see the copy.
Most of the copy was ATROCIOUS. And many of these people had been trained by some copy guru (who has been doing it a few years online and sells mostly Internet Marketing stuff)...
One in 10 is not very good. Why was it terrible?
The cardinal sin most committed was...their copy neither got my attention nor did it HOLD my attention.
Here is what I learned:
1) There is a generation of ONLINE wannabees who are totally CLUELESS about what salesmanship is...most would probably crap their pants if they ever had to leave the computer and go into the real world and talk to real people to sell a real product. It is no wonder the whole Internet Marketing thing is so lucrative to those who would shear the sheeple.
2) They are lazy. As copywriters. As researchers. As salespeople. Very little thinking was done. The majority followed their copy guru's formula and just filled in the blanks...mostly with some hype from their swipe files.
I saw very little understanding of persuasion and influence, very little.
3) They think copywriting is about a. Writing. b. THEIR words. c. ThEM
It was AMAZING, GLAD I did it, but will never do such a thing again.
Copywriting is about making sales. Period. SALES. PERIOD.
The biggest mistake made by these future Gary Halberts is...
they failed to get my attention and worse...they failed to keep my attention.
Now Richard Dennis was trained by Gary. And Gary was brutal...if your copy sucked, he told you...and you kept at it until it was at least good enough for it to be tested.
Gary Halbert sat at our kitchen table and sold my folks a set of encyclopaedias, which we could hardly afford.
He was a friend of a friend and the next time I ran into him was in a bar in Barberton, OH. He had a huge personality...one of those guys who could keep the whole bar in stiches, never having to buy a drink...anyhow...
Ben Suarez became a student...and the first thing Gary made Ben do was to take a job as a door to door salesman, much to Ben's chagrin.
But Ben did it. And he says it was a great experience which helped him to understand human behavior.
Dan Kennedy's only job (I may be wrong about ONLY) was selling.
Jay Abraham sold diamonds to investors, after selling himself to the diamond industry.
I bugged Dien Rice for years to go out and sell something, and when he finally did, I believe he became a much better Entrepreneur...I'll let him speak for himself on this.
To make a sale....face-to-face, you MUST hold the attention of your prospect...and in copywriting...it doesn't matter how long or short your copy is...it can be 64 pages, like Harvey Brody's copy for his course was some 30 years ago...
as long as it holds your attention.
Jay Abraham ran an ad in Entrepreneur Magazine which was, I can't remember exactly, someone will know...about 8 to 12 page long for his apprentice program ... which had a huge price tag on it for the time...
Copy can't be too long as long as it HOLDS attention. It could lose you if it is only a few paragraphs of BORING stuff.
To make a sale, face-to-face or with salesmanship in print...you MUST hold attention from beginning through TRANSACTION...THE exchange of value (money)
NO TRANSACTION...NO SALE.
Now the first and biggest mistake most salespeople make is...
to be found in the next post...along with the right attitude which works...
PS. I'd be derelict if I did not mention that Richard Dennis learned his lessons...he went on to write one of the best pieces of copy ever...and the results prove it...his DEAD DOCTORS DON'T LIE...is a classic. We are lucky to have Richard as a contributing member of the Sow Pub forum.
PPS. I bought a machine for 325 bux, which produces colloidal silver, and I am of the opinion it has been a life saver. Worth twice the price.
If you are interested, contact me via email. I'm a believer that doctors don't have the answers most of us really need.
The BIGGEST mistake salespeople make is...
Let me give you a secret. This can take you from average and ordinary, to be closing a high percentage of your efforts...you do want to make more sales, right?
To make more sales...
What??!! Heresy??? But, salesman should care.
To make more sales, Dont' Care.
See, when you walk into a business with a don't care attitude, several things happen...
it takes the STINK of desperation off of you.
it eliminates nervousness. It puts YOU at ease, eliminates any fear of rejection, any trepidation...
all of these are subconsciously and subliminally picked up by UNCONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION BY YOUR TARGET.
The don't care attitude puts you in control of these non verbal communications.
The RIGHT attitude is:
I have an opportunity for you...where YOU profit in some way...however, if you don't want to take advantage of this opportunity...I don't care...some other business will...the one that wants to make more profits.
So, if you are selling ads on giant postcards, or selling pizza cards, or selling headlight cleaning...or insurance or encyclopaedias...
YOU, the salesperson have to know, it doesn't matter...cause someone is going to buy and the quicker and faster you find out who isn't a customer...the sooner you get to help someone else who cares about his/her bottom line.
You don't have to hide the fact you are a salesperson, they know the second you walk in the door and their unconscious defenses go into action...they know you want to sell them something and they are ready with a great big fat NO. NO. NO.
But, if you project (because you FEEL it) a don't care attitude, if you are offering them an opportunity which will benefit them...and they are free to take it or leave it...because one of their competitors will take advantage of it...
It puts you on a superior non-verbal level, one which they don't even know aobut or are aware of...because it is in the Click Whirr aspect of their subconscious...
Cialdini used Turkey chicks, and played sounds...and he elicited a reaction, a primal, deeply hard wired reaction from his stimulus...
this is a great illustration of Click Whirr in action.
When you have an attitude of NO DEFEAT/NO FAILURE...how can you fail when you are simply helping people?
How can you lose when you have the prospect's best interest in mind?
Send Dien Rice 10 bux and get a copy of the Prospect as Product, even if you've read it before, it will have new meaning to you...because when you see the Prospect as your Product, then you automatically assume the correct attitude, and your posture...
your walk, the way you talk...
all the non-verbal ways of communicating with the prospect all congruent...there is NO division...
NO conflict. No stench of having to make a sale.
There is relaxed communication...there is mutual benefit...
There are more sales being made...and you become a more efficient salesperson.
The problem with Salesmanship in Print, is you can't get immediate reaction, instant feedback...you have to KNOW YOUR TARGET...
know and understand human behavior...which these 28 copywriting cubs were clueless about...
and try to anticipate objections and reactions...so copywriting is much harder...as is any REMOTE attempt at influence.
But, if you carry the right attitude into it...
What this writing is about is
Not me. Not my product. Not my service.
This writing is about YOU and how, in some way, your life is going to be easier, better, help you keep your money, overcome your pain and problems and AFTER the transaction is made...
YOU will be a happier, healthier, wealthier or just better off person than before you made this transsction.
The machinations, the process, the story itself is irrelevant to the reader...the RESULTS are what they want and keep reading for...
the focus should remain on THEM...too many copy cubs try to be cute with words, attempt blatant persuasion methods which are automatically met with an innate...click whirr reaction of HYPE, LIES AND BS.
And they leave the sales message...because...
YOU LOST THEIR INTEREST WITH YOUR CLEVERNESS,
with your shoddy attempts at persusaion because your guru copy chief told you to use big red bold letters...or something like that.
Copywriting, like face-to-face selling is best accomplished at the non verbal communication level, which few understand.
NOW, I'm giving you a FREE mini course on these things, something that would take me three months and cost you a lot of money to learn...
and as it has been noted over the years, no good deed goes unpunished, nor is FREE very valued. I've learned the lessons on that the hard way.
But, I do have 52 years of tested and proven knowledge and I dare say, you'll find few if any people at any level who have studied the persuasive arts and sciences across a more broad platform than I have.
Tens of thousands of dollars of workshops, seminars, in-services...
and pulling from 15 years of social work, from sports (golf in particular) and from businesses...and work...
this isn't theory.
Once YOU have an understanding of non verbal communication...and see it for yourself on an everyday level...and you make a conscious effort to put it to use...
To USE what you know.
To APPLY what you have learned...for mutual benefit.
For a purpose OTHER than making money...with the good for the prospect the first concept...not the second or last one...
then you will see RESULTS.
And that is what 52 years of study and research have been about...RESULTS.
Be if from Erickson's hypnosis. Cialdini's Influence. Elmers salesmanship. NLP. Non-verbal communication. Seduction.
Religion. Cults. Group dynamics. Adolph Hitler. Mother Teresa.
From the mystics, magicians and masters...I have been a student...with the one goal...
It is, of course, IMPOSSIBLE to give you a complete summary of the 52 years...but, I offer up some highlights for you...as I move on to NEXT...
there is enough here and in the archives...stuff which is useable, doable, tested and proven in the real world...to give you, at the very least, food for thought...or if taken to the real world...
applicable techniques and methods which you can use...
Now, I'm working on my screenplays, a short story or two...some comedy material (who doesn't love to laugh)...
and trying to incorporate what I've learned these past 52 years...
into my NEXT adventures.
So, open for a short while for discussion, feedback, opposing views...and then you won't have Gordon to kick around anymore (FOR you older guys who remember Richard Nixon's exit speech when losing the Governor of CA race...hopefully, I WON'T reemerge on the scene as a Trick Dick PRESIDENT...HA
sO, fire away...while you can.
My favorite Gary Halbert/Ben Suarez story...
Ben was visiting Gary who loved boats, he had several through the years...and if there was anything Gary loved more than large breasts on women...he loved his speed on the water...
So, Ben's on the boat, and Gary says,
This is really a fast boat.
Ben replied. I know.
Gary said, BullSh*t. You don't know.
Ben, Yes, it is a fast boat.
At which time Gary pulled back on the throttle, knocking Ben on his AZZ, as they skipped and skimmed across the water...and after a couple of minutes, Gary lets up on the throttle...
and looks at a Ben with wide eyes, hair standing straight up, and says...
NOW you know.
See. We all assume stuff. In fact, most of our life is spent making assumptions about things.
Like how hard something is. But is it?
You may know, like Ben knew, the boat was fast...but until you experience it...do you really know?
There is an assumption made, about beautiful women...and so guys pass on the opportunity to meet one...but unless you KNOW, for a fact, this beautiful woman has NO interest in you...you don't really know.
Just for the record, I don't hold a woman's beauty against her...we are prejudiced against beauty...in untold ways...but, likewise, some of my favorite people are and were the plain Jane's who were far more interesting...
so, someone tells you a foreign language is hard to learn...do they know from their experience...and maybe, they don't have the gift of auditory recpetion...
A person tells you writing a book is hard and is hard to get published? Do they know, or do they KNOW?
A parent tells a child she can't earn a living as a singer...and next thing you know she's a star on American Idol.
In selling, no matter what it is...from face to face with a product or service...to REMOTE selling...
the knowing is in the bottom line.
One of my attractions for Remote Direct Marketing and why I appreciate my time spent at SCI under Ben's and Rod's tutelage...was there was KNOWING...
The promotion either worked or it didn't.
There was KNOWING. Not guessing.
There is a guy, Tom Betts, some of you have met Tom...who is one of the best analysts in the business...
Very numbers guy...his job is to analyze...and see the results. I had a great time learning from Tom and the whole crew at SCI.
It wasn't the only place I worked, but, as a person who was recruited by Ben Suarez and Rod Napier, I was given unprecedented access to the shop...top to bottom...every division and it was a world class education where I actually got paid for...sweet.
My point here is...you need to KNOW the boat is fast by being on it when it is going full speed.
Otherwise, you know nothing, just a concept. An idea.
It is within the EXPERIENCE...WHEN you use your skills, knowledge and techniques and know they work...
you KNOW they work...
then you will be encouraged to continue your studies, to learn more, to apply more and to continue to improve...
But, be it copywriting, Internet Marketing, writing, selling...there is a lot of lower case knowing...and not as much falling on your azz at high speed KNOWING...
LIKE selling chattel. Sure, you know it can be done.
But, until you turn 2,000.00 into 5 k, you only know the little bit that you know.
I've heard selling scripts, screenplays and some stories is hard to do...but I don't KNOW it...not yet. I've sold a lot of writing over the years, and I consider myself to be a hack...who needs a lot of help from proof readers and editors...to get anything readable out to the general public...
I encourage you all to EXPERIENCE the thing...even if you have to fall flat on your butt to do so...and then, once you KNOW the boat is fast...you can decide wheter or not you'd rather sit on the dock and watch...or take hold of the throttle and open er up.
OK. That's about all I have to say on KNOWIING.
Wrapping this up.
Gordon Jay Alexander
PS. My favorite quote from Burt Morgan, who could buy and sell all of us, many times over...is:
It is better to get shot out of the water,
than to rot at the dock.
Loved Burt...a down to earth mega millionaire...who was one of the last of the great industrialists.
Re: The BIGGEST mistake salespeople make is...
I appreciate your comments.
Halbert invited me to work for him as a copywriter at his $7000 Seminar by the Sea in Key West in October, 1990. I was in awe of Halbert & John Carlton & so many of the attendees, including many legends of direct marketing. But ... I had been writing sales letters for about a year at that point, and I thought I knew something.
One of the seminar attendees was Dennis Haslinger, Halbert's business partner from his days in Ohio. The most profitable venture that Halbert & Haslinger did together was the famous "Halbert heraldry letter." According to the two of them, at that time, this was the most mailed piece in the history of direct mail. Here is what I know for a fact is a cleaned-up version of that letter:
Halbert Heraldry Letter
So how do I know that this is a cleaned-up version?
Because Dennis Haslinger had a deal for the 7 or 8 copywriters working at Halbert's seminar. He told us that he wanted to test a new letter against his control. He wanted each of us to write a new heraldry letter, and then Haslinger would choose the one he liked best and test-mail it. If that letter beat the control, he would mail a gazillion of them, and the lucky copywriter would get X% percentage of the gross.
So could one of us create a letter that would be mailed all over the place, at Haslinger's expense, likely creating a VERY nice ongoing income? (Keep in mind, my job was driving a bus on Miami Beach at the time.)
Trust me ... I was not the only copywriter drooling. I can't speak for the others, but the biggest reason I was drooling was ... I was new and dumb. Just like those copywriters you mentioned in your post.
Let me tell you what I saw in the REAL Halbert Heraldry letter:
I cleaned up all those stupid mistakes, of course. It was incredible to me that Halbert would allow a mess like that to go out. And if THAT junk had been so successful, imagine what MY spiffy version would do!
I made some other changes, too, of course. In the end, my version was quite different.
Listen ... I really, really blush when I tell you this, and please never tell anyone else, but ... full of myself as I was ... I told Carlton I'd bet him $100 that my letter would be chosen and would beat the control.
Carlton, smart guy, refused the bet.
Actually, what he said was, "No, I don't want to take your money."
Anyway, I gave my letter to Haslinger and never heard from him again.
It took me some time to realize that the actual heraldry letter was really targeting the market and building trust by characterizing the writer as totally UN-clever, an unsophisticated coat-of-arms enthusiast, rather than a company selling a coat-of-arms deal.
When you talk about copywriters being too clever, I think of myself correcting Halbert's stupid spelling mistakes.
Personally, I have kind of a long runway. It took me some time to figure out that was a whole bunch I didn't know.
Re: The SECRET to salesmanship & copywriting that sales is...via Gary Halbert...
"When you talk about copywriters being too clever, I think of myself correcting Halbert's stupid spelling mistakes."
Too clever is a fault of mine.
I try to remember "less is (usually) more" and that $.02 words generally pay more than $2.00 words but I'm guilty as sin about forgetting more times than I remember.
*Haven't figured out the quote function yet, but I'll get there.
Quote isn't hard....
When you want to add to, or reply to, a posting just click the 'Quote' button.
The 'Reply to Thread' screen will place a quote of the post you are replying to in your response.
You can remove some of the quote that might not be pertinent (as I did here) simply by deleting the unwanted text from within the opening and closing quote tags .... just make sure to leave the quote tags intact.
Re: Quote isn't hard....
Hey thanks, Cornell! Looks like I did it right. Now let me hit reply and see...
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