Listen, I have found my newsletters, my
speeches and my personality seem to be like a giant meat cleaver
cutting through the sea of humanity... separating those who have any
type of contact with me into two very distinct groups. One group is
made up of zestful, hard-working, risk-taking, fun-loving Players. The
other group consists of losers unable to laugh at themselves and who
are scared witless at the idea of taking risks.
Losers (those poor souls at the bottom
rungs of the Halbert Index) have a number of common characteristics:
Basically, what we have here is a group of losers who are
permeated with a small-minded, mean-spiritedness that vacuums out the vitality
and zest of those around them. You may be interested in knowing there is a
scientific way of describing these people...
Well, so what? What does all this have to do with you, with
marketing, and with making money?
A lot. You see, as a general rule, it is always easier
to do business with and market stuff to people very high on the Halbert Index
(Players) and this is especially true in an economic slump. Why? Simply
because, no matter how bad the economy gets... these people will never succumb
to a "depression mindset." A depression mindset is a sales killer.
People who have it (more than 90% of our population) are running scared and
have totally lost the belief (if they ever had it) they have the
ability to fashion their own futures. They believe their fate is up to the
economy... or... whatever politician gets elected... or... whether or not they
can get a "good enough grade" from some employer or educational
institution. Almost everyone high on the Halbert Index is a reader and
virtually none of them are heavy TV viewers. You see, almost all real
wisdom comes from printed material and the streets; practically never does
even a smidgen of it come from TV broadcasts.
Want to know where else it doesn't come from? Schools!
Basically, our school system teaches people to obey...
not... to think. There are seven principal
lessons taught by the school systems in the United States. They are confusion,
class position, indifference, emotional dependency, intellectual dependency,
provisional self-esteem, and that "no one can hide." This is a
national tragedy. You see, genius is an exceedingly
common human quality, probably natural to most of us... and...
Our School System Works To Inhibit
This Natural Genius Rather Than Release It!
School is jail for children. The school system doesn't
need to be revamped, altered or tinkered with... it needs to be destroyed.
Consider these facts: (A) Our nation ranks at
the bottom of 19 industrial nations in reading, writing and arithmetic.
(B) The world's narcotic economy is based on our consumption of this
commodity. (C) Our teenage suicide rate is the highest in the world. The truth
is, our schools don't really teach anything... except... how to live your life
as a loser.
Doesn't that sound just like the rhetoric you'd expect from a
maverick like me? Well, it's not from me. Everything you've just read about
the school system in America comes from a new book titled, Dumbing Us Down written by John Taylor Gatto. Mr. Gatto is not only
one of the most respected teachers in the world but, he has won numerous
awards including the 1991 award of the New York State...
Teacher Of The Year!
If you've got kids, you'd better read this book. It'll open
your eyes, make you want to puke and, for sure, if you're anywhere near the
top of the Halbert Index, it'll cause you to immedi-ately consider pulling
your kids out of school. Here is what kind of children, according to John
Taylor Gatto, our school system is producing: (1) Children who are indifferent
to the adult world. (2) Children who have almost no curiosity. (3) Children
who are cruel to each other and lack compassion for the misfortunes of others.
(4) Children who have a poor sense of the future. (5) Children who have no
sense of, or interest in, the lessons of the past. (Basically, the exact
moment these kids are in is the boundary of their conscienceness.) (6)
Children who cannot deal with intimacy or candor.
Mr. Gatto has much more to say that I can summarize here but,
there is one sentence in this book that virtually leapt off the page at me. He
Richer The Kid, The Less
Television He Or She Watches!"
Whatever. Whatever. Whatever. Where am I going with all this?
Ok, listen: There are two basic types of businesses that do well in an
economic slump. The first type of company would be a well-run giant
conglomerate with monstrous purchasing power enabling it to buy and sell
staples (and other commodities Americans feel they can't do without) at the
lowest possible prices. The best example of this type of business would be
Wal-Mart which, last year, during the most disastrous holiday retail season in
30-years, posted an enormous gain in gross sales and profits. You know,
when a new Wal-Mart comes to town, the other retailers go into a panic. And
rightly so. Because... no local retailer can hope to even come close to
Wal-Mart's prices. Not only that, Wal-Mart is mostly employee-owned and thus
offers superior, courteous and concerned service. Plus, they are hyped
by none other than Paul Harvey who can arguably be considered the most-trusted
product pitchman in America.
Is it any wonder Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the
All this has created a curious and profitable niche for one
sharp guy who, when Wal-Mart announces it's coming to town, goes around and
counsels the frightened local retailers. Basically, what he tells them is...
don't even think about competing with Wal-Mart on a head-to-head basis founded
on price. Instead, he tells them, they must start offering unique customized
products along with unique customized services. I go along with this
advice. However, for you, dear reader, I want to illuminate another idea that
can make the above advice perhaps 1,000% even more profitable!
What I want to impress upon you is... if possible... you
should endeavor to confine your selling efforts to...
Players With Money!
Why? First of all, it is easier to sell something to someone
with money. It's an obvious fact that person has the money to buy what you're
selling. If you've got a $500,000 house for sale, it doesn't matter how
appealing the house is if the family you're pitching it to has a pitifully low
But there's another fact you mustn't overlook. People with
money usually means they also have an important character trait most of
the "sheep" out there don't possess. Namely...
Have The Ability
To Make A Decision!
And... without talking it over with their spouse, their
lawyer, their CPA, or their mommy. Usually, people with money got their loot
because their lives are filled with independent thought and movement.
These people with a high Halbert Index also possess another rare commodity.
Namely... the ability to recognize true value. In other words, yes, it's true
these people are easier to sell than Joe Average but... only if you offer true value!
Reflect, for a moment, on what I sell. This would
include a high-priced, rather arrogant newsletter, expensive seminars,
expensive videos, audios, printed information packages, client services, etc.
Who won't buy my material? Basically, stupid, lazy people who relate
its value to how much it weighs and how much "bulk" they receive.
Who does buy my material? The answer is easy...
Players With Money!
Want some proof? Recently I did a per capita analysis of the
readers of my newsletter by State. The ten States with the highest per
capita readership of this newsletter are: (1) Vermont, (2) Texas, (3) Nevada,
(4) Colorado, (5) Alaska, (6) Arizona, (7) Utah, (8) Washington,
(9) California, and (10) Hawaii.
The ten States with the lowest per capita readership of
this newsletter are: (1) West Virginia (by far
the worst of all. Could this have anything to do with the fact I was born
(2) Kentucky, (3) Nebraska, (4) Mississippi, (5) South Dakota, (6)
Tennessee, (7) South Carolina, (8) Iowa, (9) North Dakota, and (10) Louisiana.
These two groups of States are separated by a dramatic
difference in per capita income. Want to know the difference in the average
four-member family income from the highest State (Vermont) to the lowest (West
Virginia)? It's a staggering $14,800. And get this:
The per capita readership of my newsletter in Vermont as opposed to the
readership in West Virginia is...
Pay attention here. This does have meaning for you.
Remember what Willy Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks? "Because
that's where the money is!" So, to get to the bottom-line, here's what
I'm suggesting: If you haven't done so already...
Start Thinking About Developing
High-Priced, High-Profit Products
And Services With Enormous Value!
Start Thinking About Selling
Your High-Priced, High-Profit Products
And Services With Enormous Value
To Players With Money!
Pretty simple concepts, aren't they? But, simple or not, this
kind of thinking can separate you from the poverty of the brain-dead masses
and catapult you into the ranks of those lucky folks who enjoy total financial
freedom. However, to help you implement these concepts, I feel I need to give
you some tips on (A) What to sell to these people, and (B) How to locate
First, what are "PWM's" (Players With Money) most
likely to buy? Well, for openers, they are extremely willing to shell out
money for what they did not get in school.
Namely... an education. PWM's learn very early almost nothing taught in school
has any commercial value whatsoever. For one thing, our school system teaches
absolutely nothing about how to be an entrepreneur. And, of course, almost all
PWM's are entrepreneurs. They have to be. After all, being an entrepreneur is
almost the only way to make truly serious money either here or in any other
country in the world. So, what kind of education does an entrepreneur need? He
needs an education on "how to sell"... because... none of his high
school or college classes even touched on
this subject. So, PWM's make up the largest segment of the market for books,
seminars, video tapes, audio tapes, lectures and anything else that can help
them become more skilled in the art of selling. They also make up the largest
share of the market for information on other money-related matters... such as
management, how to invest their profits, international currency fluctuations,
stock and commodity speculations, reducing their tax burden and so on.
What else besides education are PWM's eager to purchase? They
are also eager to purchase... INSPIRATION! I don't mean phony/baloney
types of inspiration like the horseshit sold by televangelists. Nor do I mean
stupid tapes with hidden "subliminal" messages (they've been proven not
to work) that supposedly bombard your mind with positive "you can do
it" rah-rah types of messages. No, the type of inspiration I'm talking
about is the kind you get from listening to the experiences of other PWM's who
have made it big by overcoming the same types of obstacles all of us have to
face with deadening regularity. True inspiration, effective inspiration
is more than just a hyper-excitable speaker who is able to froth a room full
of people into a frenzy with empty "pump up" catchy phrases.
For example, I think guys like Zig Ziglar do some good but
mostly, they leave people all dressed up with no place to go. They get you all
enthused... but... they don't give you any specific blueprint that tells you
how to profitably harness that enthusiasm. If you want to get some real
inspiration, the best source is listening to a talk by a person who started
out with nothing except the handicap of 12 or 16 years of schooling...
and then... hearing him explain step-by-step in minute detail how he overcame
this deadening handicap and went on to become a PWM in the field of his
By the way, speakers at multi-level rallies give the illusion
of doing this but, after they've got you all enthused, they give you a
specific plan that makes them (not you) money... and... sends you (not
them) off into activities which are often illegal and always stupid. I've said
it before and I'll say it again. MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING SUCKS! Not just some of
it, all of it. By the way, I heard in a speech by Dan Kennedy the
average annual income of an Amway distributor is a whopping $32.00!
Enough of that. Simply said the kind of real
inspiration PWM's are willing to purchase is provided by articulate experts
who have become successes in their chosen endeavors and are willing to share
OK, what else will these successful, moneyed people purchase? Value.
Just because these people have money doesn't mean they are promiscuous with
it. They will spend it... but... not frivolously. Take
automobiles for instance. You won't find most Players driving Fords, Chevy's,
VW's, etc. On the other hand, I don't think many of them drive cars like
Ferraries, Maseraties and Jaguars either. Those cars represent very poor
value. They depreciate faster than a politician can make excuses, they are
extremely uncomfortable, they have frequent and enormously expensive
breakdowns and there is no place on any American highway where it is legal to
drive them at the speeds they were intended to be driven. In other words,
instead of value, what they actually are is high-priced toys usually bought
Players With Money!
My guess as to what most of the real Players buy are cars like
Cadillacs (just voted care of the year), Buick Roadmasters, Mercedes and Lexus
sedans. These are all automobiles that are safe, comfortable, luxurious and
have a very high resale value. In other words, they represent an intelligent
choice, not a stupid gesture.
What I'm trying to illustrate here is PWM's will spend... and
spend big... but... they won't spend stupidly. Another thing to
remember is, these people care about substance, not window dressing.
When I sell my information, I don't "dress it up" much. My videos,
for example, are raw. I don't concern myself with "production
values," adding chintzy canned music to the sound track or clever
graphics and cute special effects. What I do concern myself with is
providing substance and, I hardly ever get a complaint about my materials.
What else will intelligent, hard-working people with money
buy? Another big category is... services that
save time! All truly wise people realize time is the most precious
commodity they possess. And, it is this commodity they are least likely to
squander. Do you realize many people who pay to have me write copy for them
can do it almost as well as I can? So why hire me? Because it frees up their
time to get on with the crucial job of running their business.
As a general rule, nobody with wisdom ever does anything
business-related he can hire someone else who is honest and competent to do
for him. Dumb people (losers) gloat about all the money they save by doing
things themselves instead of paying someone else to do that same job. Smart
people (winners) are always ready to cheerfully cough up fungolas to buy time.
For example, I went to the last Rolling Stones concert in Miami. I sat center
stage in the second row. My tickets (obtained from a ticket broker) cost me
ten times as much as most of the people around me paid because... they were
willing to stand in line up to 14 hours to get the seats they wanted. Poor me.
I guess I blew around $8.00 per hour. What a sucker I am!
Players value time. If you
want to market to them, consider a business providing meals (good meals)
delivered to them. Consider a business that sends masseurs to their corporate
offices to give executives and employees a tension-reducing shoulder rub.
Consider a car wash business that does the job where the Player has his car
parked when he is working. Organize an executive typing service where Players
can dictate their correspondence into a phone and then have the letters
delivered to them for their signature.
The possibilities are endless.
But, where do you find real Players? How do you get to them?
Obviously, Players are different than Non-Players. They drive
different cars, live in different neighborhoods, eat in different restaurants,
attend different functions, etc. One of the biggest differences is...
Sure some Non-Players read also but, what they read is very
different. Mostly Non-Players read self-help books written by dummies with
Ph.D.'s (Piled Higher and Deeper) after their names, or publications that
offer up a lot of gossip and "quick fixes" that are laughable to
anyone with half a brain. Want to know what kind of publication is read by a
higher percentage of Players than any other type? It's... newsletters!
No, it's not just this one either. Many real Players read several
newsletters every month. Why? Because newsletters, by their very nature, offer
stripped-down, no-bullshit-info that can be grasped, digested and... implemented
very quickly. Also, make a note of this: Real Players, who are by definition
people with at least a modicum of wisdom, would rather pay $600 per year for
100 pages of real info than $9.95 for a book containing 300 pages of
misinformation and fluff.
So, one way to find Players is on the subscription lists of
newsletters. Also, Players often read financial publications such as
the Wall Street Journal, Barron's,
Investor's Business Daily, the International
Herald Tribune and the Financial
Times. Plus, they read books on selling and how to achieve
excellence. Further, Players read biographies of successful men and women who
have gamely overcome obstacles to succeed big in their chosen occupations.
Anyway, you can reach Players by advertising in such
publications or renting mailing lists of people who buy them. You can also
work with a good mailing list broker and have him ferret out for you lists
primarily made up of high-income people. These might include Cadillac, Rolls
Royce, Buick, Mercedes, Lexus and other expensive car owners. It might include
lists of people who live in expensive homes or own power boats over 36 feet
long or private, multi-engine aircraft. But, you know who the people are who
are most likely to be at the very top of the Halbert Index? It's very
They Are Business
Business owners represent about 6% of our population (there
are about 15 million of them) and it is within this 6% where most of the PWM's
reside. The others are mostly retired business owners. And... blessing
of all blessings... all you need to locate them is... a phone book.
By the way, did you know that businesses that sell to other
businesses are about 500% more likely to succeed than businesses that sell to
Look, I realize all of you can't simply drop everything you're
doing and close down your bakery or flower shop and open up a "we
deliver" car wash service. On the other hand, this issue should surely
have given you much food for thought. Food that hopefully will have a positive
influence on your future decisions.
That's it for now. Chow. I know, I know. It's supposed to be
spelled "Ciao." Whatever.
Gary C. Halbert