W-A-Y West of Jewfish Creek

Dear Friend & Subscriber,

"There 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 now!

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 know... "What should I do?"

"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 customer.

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 creative."

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.

Or whatever.

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 "concert pitch."

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 Vivant.

Your memo should read something like this...

Please sign up to our email list to read the second half of this letter.

It's 100% free and we will send you lots of free goodies, including the letters in the chronological order they were written.

And we'll never share your name with anyone, ever.

Here is where you can sign up.

If you are already signed up just click the link below, and enter your username and password, to instantly continue reading this letter.

I hear you are looking for a good, seaworthy, sportfishing boat...

Thanks for your support



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Copyright 2003 Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.