W-A-Y West of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
I Was At 15,000
Feet, Both Engines On
Fire And My Parachute
In The Laundry. . . .
You ever feel like that? You've got a
marketing emergency on your hands and you've got to solve it right
Listen: I get calls nearly every day from
people who need instant marketing solutions. They're not
copywriters and they have no advertising experience. They
don't trust ad agencies (and rightly so) and they haven't the
luxury of enough time to become grounded in marketing theory
by reading Robert Collier, Claude Hopkins and so on. In fact,
they have no desire to become marketing experts. No. It's just
that every "expert" they've ever hired has
disappointed them and, since I'm usually too booked up to do
any new jobs on a "right now" basis, they want to
should I do?"
it by numbers," I tell them.
Here's what I mean. Look: If you have a good
product or service, you probably already know exactly how to
sell it when you are talking to someone during a
"one-on-one" situation. Whether you are talking to
someone in person or, perhaps, on the telephone, it probably
doesn't matter; my bet is you know exactly what words to use
and what buttons to push to most impress your prospective
Am I right? Aha, I thought so.
However, here is a curious fact: most people
who are very good in a personal selling situation "freeze
up" when it comes to transferring their sales pitch to
the printed word.
Or else they struggle to "get
Forget that rubbish. Here's a better way. The
first thing you do is you begin to record
(with the other party's permission) all of your conversations
whenever you are talking to one of your prospects on the
phone. Keep doing this until you are able to forget
you are doing it. Why? The reason is simple. You see, at
first, when you are aware
that what you are saying is being recorded, you will stifle
yourself. You'll try to make sure what you are saying is
grammatically correct. Or you'll try to be clever. Or more
dramatic. Or less dramatic.
But if you keep doing it long enough, you'll
eventually forget about the damn tape recorder and you'll
revert to being your own natural wonderful self and you'll
deliver your usual compelling sales presentation.
And hopefully, after awhile, we'll have a
recording of you talking to a prospect when you are at
Goody. But what's next? This: What we do next
is take that recording to a typist and have it transcribed.
Then, after it has been transcribed, we take a copy of that
typed transcription and number each one of the paragraphs. By
the way, for our purposes, a paragraph is one or more
sentences that express a single idea or aspect of a subject.
O.K., now let's say we have the first draft of
our "sales-pitch-in-print" and it contains 47
paragraphs and you have duly numbered them 1 through 47.
Next, we carefully go over each one of these
paragraphs and give each of them another
number that is based on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the
highest. What we are doing here is "ranking" each
paragraph as to how much favorable influence that paragraph
has on our prospect. For example, let's say we are pitching a
31 foot Bertram sportfishing boat (one of the best) and we
know from previous experience that our customers are very
interested in the fact that the boat has a wide beam and a
hull configuration that makes it extremely seaworthy and very
uninterested in the fact that it comes with matching
curtains and towels.
So, let's say the paragraphs about the
seaworthiness of the boat get a rank of 8 and the ones about
matching curtains and towels get a ranking of 2.
Whatever. So, what we've got now is a
"sales-pitch-in-print" that is 47 paragraphs long
and wherein each paragraph has been rated for wonderfulness on
a scale of 1 to 10.
Now, what I want you to do next is to cut out
all those paragraphs with a pair of scissors and divide them
into three groups. The first group will consist of those
paragraphs that describe the benefits of owning a Bertram and the second group will consist of
those paragraphs that tell "interesting
facts" about the boat. The third group will be those
paragraphs that don't say anything
about the Bertram or else paragraphs that do not advance your
sales presentation in any way whatsoever.
Now, throw the third group away and arrange
the other two groups in rank from 10 on down. Next, throw out
all paragraphs with a rating of 5 or less. Next, rewrite the
remaining paragraphs. But BEWARE: don't change them much.
Just more or less "clean them up." Take out the ers
and ums, the redundant words and sentences and sort of tighten
up your sentence structure and grammar.
Let us press on. What I'd like you to do now
is try to forget you are trying to write an ad or a sales
letter. Instead, what I want you to do is to concentrate on
writing a memo.
A long memo.
Write it to someone you can easily visualize
in your mind's eye, someone who is a good prospect for a good,
relatively cheap sportfishing boat. Someone extremely
good-looking and modest.
Someone like me, Sir Gary of Halbert, Ace of
Space, Prince of Print, Count of Cable and all around Bon
Your memo should read something like this...
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I hear you are looking for a good, seaworthy, sportfishing boat...
Thanks for your support
Copyright © 2003 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights