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Marketing for sales success like a legend

marketing pour vendre : exemple de la lettre postale de Gary Halbert

The education system has given you the promise of working hard to get a good job. Even if this model worked for generations, today we can ask ourselves: Is it still valid ?

For many young graduates, a degree is no longer enough to get the stable job we were promised. Many young graduates finally realize that their jobs are meaningless. They find themselves doing jobs they don’t understand themselves.

Finding a stable job is no longer really happiness. It has even become a golden prison for some. Even if the situation seems comfortable, it can deprive you of your freedom to choose your workplace, your colleagues, your boss… And you can’t necessarily choose to work from home or to travel.

In popular imagery, the salesman is seen as someone willing to sell anything, even his mother. A mass manipulator who uses his financial means to hypnotize the population and convince them to buy his product.

There are 4 preconceived ideas in the world of marketing :

  • First misconception “Marketing is about selling you products or services that you absolutely don’t need: It’s ignoring the importance of our psychological and social needs. Need means a pain or a problem that the client wants to solve. The need is subjective, for example, when a person seeks to acquire a rolex to fulfill a need to belong.
  • Second misconception “Marketing is an overlayer of your product to be added after you have finalized your product : This is confusing “advertising” or “communication” with “marketing”. The latter comes from the word “market” for market, which translates the idea that all companies or individuals are potential customers for your product. Marketing brings together all the activities that are necessary to understand your market and meet its needs. You now understand that it goes much further than just “advertising” or “communication”.
  • Third misconception “My product is so great that it doesn’t need marketing” : It is a mistake not to clearly identify a need or even a target market, which will result in designing a product that does not ultimately meet any market.

Click HERE to find out how to recognize whether or not you have a product that meets its market “Product Market Fit: What is it ?

  • Fourth misconception “Marketing alone creates the need : It’s believing that marketing would be an irresistible mental technique that could convince anyone to buy anything. It’s a kind of brainwashing. In reality its mission is much more subtle. It plays on your existing prejudices and hidden needs.

The success of a copy-writer turned legend

A rather unexpected and remarkable entrepreneurial success story began in Ohio in the midwestern United States in the 1960s. A young man had set himself a strange goal, to say the least. To convince complete strangers to send him money in the mail.

The young man’s name was Gary Halbert. His initial success was to offer family crests by mail. He had managed to build an empire that made him a multimillionaire. He became a leading figure among the “copy-writers“. He employed more than 700 people and mailed many products in the 1970s and 1980s. He knew how to innovate in the art of marketing for sales success his products.

A copy-writer like Gary Halbert fights fair since he pays out of his own pocket to send his letter and tries to convince in just a few words. If he fails, you’re free to throw his letter in the trash (or his web page, if he could have made one). If he succeeds, then he will have earned his pay.

The only judge of a copy-writer’s performance is: the end customer. All practitioners of this type of marketing for sales success a product or service accept to be judged by the harsh reality of the market.

How can such a success be explained ? We have to go back to the source of decision making: our brain. It has changed very little since the appearance of man. Steve Jobs compared the computer to a bicycle for our mind because it allows us to amplify the effort to go farther, faster while spending less energy.

Without really transforming us, technology amplifies our natural tendencies

We are finally beings who are able to develop very good tools.

marketing for sales success : technology is a tool that helps us in marketing to sell successfully

Our technology is evolving much faster than our DNA. For example, 10,000 years after the invention of agriculture, our genes are not quite adapted to our new food. There are still people who are intolerant to cow’s milk and gluten even after all that time.

It is easy to believe that the spread of technology has made our world less human, while on the contrary, by amplifying our psychological biases (negative or positive), our world has become ultra-human. It reveals more indignation in the face of injustice, egocentricity, the quest for status, shared values, creativity, etc…

You can compare the technological revolution to a tsunami, the tidal wave is going to take a lot of things with it. As an individual, you have a choice. By ignoring the wave, it’s as if you’re waiting to be crushed. Even if you try to run away, you risk being caught. Or you decide to ride the wave like a surfer. It’s important to have even a basic understanding of marketing for sales success a product or service.

When you start your business, there are many factors to take into account such as :

  • The technical aspect
  • The financial aspect
  • The logistical aspect
  • etc…

The factor that will determine your success will depend on marketing, which is not just advertising, communication campaigns or sales videos.

An American psychologist named Abraham Maslow proposed in 1943 the famous “maslow pyramid” which clarifies our needs in 5 categories :

  • Physiological needs : Drinking, eating, having a comfortable place to sleep.
  • Security needs : To be in good health, to have a stable income, to be protected from possible external attacks.
  • Belonging needs : To be loved by one’s family, appreciated by your colleagues, collect likes from the platforms you know Instagram, Youtube, etc.
  • Esteem needs : You feel, in your eyes, better than the average person. Feeling valued at work, in the eyes of others, or driving a better car than your brother-in-law.
  • Needs for accomplishment : Sacrificing yourself for others, expressing your creativity or finding faith.

The art of marketing for sales success in 3 steps

Gary after multiple failures, had realized that everyone opens a personal letter. So he decided to send a simple letter by taking an envelope from the stationery shop and sticking a real stamp on it, even if it cost him a bit more.

This stroke of genius set him apart from all the other advertisers of the time. He had been able to see the solution through the only person who really mattered to him: the recipient. Thanks to Gary’s innovation his letter could be opened, read and the strength of his offer could do the rest.

His letter was short (361 words) and quite simple. In a few lines, he relied on 3 rather powerful psychological biases :

marketing for sales success : Using Curiosity in Marketing to Sell Successfully
  • First psychological bias “curiosity : If someone has information about you, you won’t be able to resist the temptation to find out.
  • Second psychological bias “the ego : By proposing a reproduction of the family coat of arms, Gary has raised the family’s esteem. Thus, recipients can proudly display their emblem in their homes.
  • Third psychological bias “belonging : Being part of a family clan was for millennia a pillar of social identity. Moreover, genealogy remains a fairly widespread hobby and also a business on the Internet.

The use of these 3 factors had succeeded in creating a fairly persuasive cocktail that subsequently translated into millions of dollars in sales.

Through Gary Halbert’s story, anyone can learn sales and marketing skills. There are 3 steps to get there :

  1. Understand the basics of what the social sciences teach you about human psychology
  2. Observe what works in other entrepreneurs to analyze and replicate it.
  3. Test what you learn on your own in your own projects.

Among the best marketers, 2 personality traits stand out :

  • curiosity
  • empathy

To be successful in entrepreneurship, you need to study the hidden motivations in human behaviour. To do this, you need to observe your client and take him as he is.

Choose a customer you want to serve or a need you want to encourage

To practice marketing for sales success, it’s in 3 steps :

  • Understanding your client’s real needs
  • Present your product as a credible solution to your needs
  • Put your message in front of the right people

To go further…

Stan Leloup In : Votre empire dans un sac-à-dos: Décodez la psychologie humaine pour trouver une idée de business, vendre sur internet, gagner votre vie depuis votre ordinateur [Online] Paper book format available in french on : < >

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