Dan Kennedy – Ultimate Sales Letter Chapter 5

  • selling is manipulative
  • Intimidation
  • ROI – Sell Money at a Discount
  • ego – keep up with the Jonses
  • Strong Guarantee
  • Be a Storyteller

all successful selling
is by nature and necessity
manipulative, and must apply pressure
to get decision and action. The only
things people buy entirely of their own
initiative and decision are basic
commodities like soup, cereal, and toilet
paper at the supermarket, and goods or
services that respond to emergencies,
like plumbing repair. Even then, toilet
paper makers use labels, size variation,
and price gimmicks, and plumbers often
sell good-better-best options of toilets,
pipes, and water heaters. Even their
selling is manipulative. Certainly all
other selling is.
The sales letter is handicapped by
having to apply sales pressure from a
distance with no interaction with the
prospect, but is assisted by having the
best possible pressure crafted and
delivered perfectly without human
variables. The sales letter writer needs
to put as much pressure as possible on
the reader to buy and buy now, because
it is easy for that reader to do otherwise
— there’s no salesman sitting across
from him staring him down and blocking
his escape route!
Technique #1: Intimidation

intimidation = take away selling

I consider Robert
Ringer’s bestselling book Winning
Through Intimidation to be one of the
most useful business books I’ve ever

that the hardest
deal to make is the one you desperately
need or really, really want to make.
Somehow, the other person always
senses that, and it scares him or her
away. On the other hand, the easiest
deals to close occur when you feel that
you don’t need them and really don’t
much care whether they come to fruition
or not. This is called “taking a position,”
and it applies equally well to selling in
Limited Number Available
… if your response is received after our
supply is exhausted, it will not be
accepted and your check will be
returned uncashed.
Most Will Buy
the “band-wagon

You Will Buy Only If …
challenge to the reader’s ego and pride.
it takes a very special
individual to fully appreciate the value
You Can Buy Only If …
Many use an
“application process” to make people
qualify to buy.
Only Some Can Qualify …
It appeals to the person’s
desire to be part of an elite group, for
approval and recognition.
These five applications of
Intimidation Technique are part of a
broader context I teach as Takeaway
Selling. It does what its name suggests:
show the prospect something interesting,
appealing, or desirable, then snatch it
away and have it play hard to get.
entire lesson on this can be found in my
book No B.S. Sales Success in the New

Technique #2: Demonstrate
ROI — Sell Money at a
in business-
to-business sales letters, it’s very
important to talk about, promise, and if
possible, demonstrate ROI.
Demonstrating ROI puts you in the
position of “selling money at a
would assume you
were a counterfeiter, so you’d need
experts there to attest to the authenticity
of the product. Then you’d need to make
it easy to buy, maybe by accepting Visa
or MasterCard.
It sometimes pays to exaggerate our
ROI promise, then bring the reader back
down with copy like this:
… and even if I’m only half right, you’ll
still pocket over $ …
This creates a feeling of
reasonableness, conservatism, even
objectivity — all reassuring to the

Technique #3: Ego Appeals
“keep up with the Jonses”
offer is convincingly portrayed as a
status symbol
What Excuse Do You Make When
Asked for Your Fax Number — and
You Haven’t Got One?
Can you afford to appear “behind the
times” to your clients, customers,
vendors, and associates? Or is it
important to you to be perceived as
successful, savvy, in tune with the trends
leading the American business scene?
It has been used to sell
car phones when they were new, cell
phones when they were new, websites
when they were new. And whatever the
next, new technology is that comes
along, it too can and will be sold at
some point based on Ego Appeal. Again,
this is not limited to tech products.
this is not limited to tech products.
You’ll see it used, for example, to sell
the newest innovations in golf clubs or
tennis rackets, automobiles, etc.

Technique #4: Strong
practical experience continues to prove
that, one, a guarantee boosts response,
and two, the better the guarantee, the
better the response.

cynicism, fear abound
Basic Money-Back Guarantee
You might say
“delighted” or “thrilled” or even use
fancier language, rather than “satisfied.”
You could opt for a folksier approach:
“return the widget for a full refund — ho
hassles, no hard feelings.”
Refund and Keep the Premium
Say the same
thing twice or even three times! For
example: “Receive a full 100 percent
refund of every penny you paid.”
Free Trial Offer
Make the Guarantee the Primary
Focus of the Offer
Income tax savings guaranteed — or
your money back! If, in the first three
issues of my newsletter, you haven’t

Restaurants guarantee lunch served in
fifteen minutes.
Often, we’ll offer $10.00, $20.00, or
$50.00 if the recipient reads the entire
sales letter and feels his time has been

In this case, I
paid out less than $200.00 from mailing
to nearly 4,000 prospects, but I brought
in over $100,000.00 in profits.

Technique #5: Be a

I usually incorporate interesting
stories in the sales letters I write and
encourage others to do the same.

they tell his personal life story, a
dramatic, classic rags-to-riches story.

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