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Episode #27

The one about Gary Halbert

Episode 27:

  • Joe and Dean share their experiences with Gary Halbert
  • Dean talks about beheading as a focusing tool
  • Joe shares his biggest lesson from Gary
  • PLUS: notes from spending 2 days with Gary Halbert locked in a room

Dean: Hey, everybody. It’s Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish.

Dean: How are you doing, Joe?

Joe: I’m doing good. How are you doing?

Dean: I’m doing great. You want to tell us about your tooth troubles before we start?

Joe: Yeah, I fractured a tooth a couple weeks ago, and I’ve had to go to the dentist several times, and nearly had to get a root canal today. But I drove to the dentist, and he said, “Let’s kind of sit on it for a couple of weeks, see if it heals up. If it does, then we can avoid a root canal. If it doesn’t, then we won’t.” But, yeah, I fractured my tooth in 3 different places, so I’ve got a crown on it. I don’t know why we’re talking about this on I Love Marketing. I was just thinking like, “Thank God for modern dentistry, because before they had like anesthesia and things to numb you and the ability to make crowns, what did people do?”

Dean: They pulled them out. They pulled the tooth right out.

Joe: But think about the pain, the sheer pain. Just like the pain that someone would experience by not having and utilizing the marketing techniques that we so willingly share on, on a weekly basis

Dean: That was a brilliant segue right there.

Joe: Did you like that segue?

Dean: I like that. Steer it right back on track.

Joe: Exactly. We’re going to talk about one of our friends, mentors, interesting all-around crazy person, unfortunately not with us on this earth anymore. But that’s Mr. Gary Halbert. Because lots of people that I talk to that listen to I Love Marketing are always talking about, “Ah, it’s great to hear your story from the very beginning podcast, about what you learned from Gary.” And we’ve talked about Gary, and we quote him all the time. There’s so much wisdom with Mr. Gary Halbert, that me and you talked about this before this episode, and said, “Let’s just kind of talk a lot about Gary Halbert principles.” Although most of it was born in the direct mail world, so much of the psychology is applicable to online marketing and Internet marketing and social media, and whatever other silly electronic forms of communication that people can come up. It still is a way to communicate effectively, and using feeder and impact and all that sort of stuff, which is what Gary was about. So that’s kind of what we’re going to talk about today.

Dean: Yeah. Some of the things that I learned from Gary certainly were about direct mail, but some of the things were about psychology and about just the dynamics of how people interact with sales messages, whether they’re direct mail or whether they’re any type of message.

Joe: Yeah, and Gary really was a detective, he was a scientist, he was a marketer.

Dean: He was absolutely curious. That’s the thing. Every time, the very things that he would write about, I know you got these phone calls, I got these phone calls, that would start up and say, “Listen to this.” He wouldn’t even say, “Hey, it’s Gary, or anything.” You’d pick up the phone, and he’d go, “Listen to this,” and he’d start reading one of his letters that he had just finished. And it might be for something crazy. You never knew what he was going to be writing about.

Joe: He did. He wrote about a whole variety of subjects. Of course, I’m the first always to say that you were either on Gary’s good side or his bad side. And you wouldn’t want to be on the guy’s bad side, because he could get pretty frigging vicious with people he didn’t like. I saw him destroy people with copy, with letters, that he felt were unethical or he didn’t like him or slighted him in some way, or whatever. Gary was really poor at times at customer service and follow-up and that sort of thing. What I liked about him though was he was always very admitting of his flaws. Like totally open book about how screwed up he felt he was, at times. He was one of these guys that helped me through some of the worst times of my life with personal crises and things like that. He just had such an understanding of looking at things outside of himself. It’s kind of the famous sort of person that is so good at helping other people but no good at taking their own advice in many ways, and he was like that. He had so many great sayings. One of them was, “Some games in life, the only way you win is you don’t play.”

Dean: Wow.

Joe: I constantly think about projects and people and deals to get into and new technologies to adopt. I had a 45-minute conversation with Dan Kennedy on the phone, just me and Dan just talking privately. Dan was talking about email and how he never has used email and how he doesn’t have a cell phone, and he doesn’t even look at a computer. He just doesn’t do it. He’s written about this in various books and everything. He just knows the temptation of computers for him will cause him to waste a lot of time.

Dean: Not computers, but the Internet.

Joe: The Internet. Yeah, yeah. Not computers. He uses a computer to write. But he made this interesting statement. He goes, “The Internet and computers,” he said computers and even iPods and stuff, and Smartphones, he’s like, “in a lot of ways, they replicate the same sort of addictive effect of slot machines in Vegas, where people start to go shopping, and that leads you down the trail.”

Dean: You can’t break away.

Joe: Gary was very much aware of that sort of stuff before the Internet even became what it is today. He had some very interesting perspectives on that. He also knew that, at a very deep level, that all human beings are secretly wanting to be led. You can lead them in good ways, and you can lead them in bad ways, and that marketing is all in the application. It’s all in the character of the person. More than anything, I learned that marketing is about psychology.

Dean: Absolutely.

Joe: I’ve got some notes and stuff that we put together because, over the years, I did a really phenomenal consultation with Gary, way back in 1997; which, to this day, is some of the best Gary Halbert advice that has ever been recorded. I recorded this consultation that I paid him $11,500 for 2 days back in 1997, just to sit down and talk about stuff. John Carlton was there, Pamela Yellen was there. A couple of other marketers were there, and we sat down.

Dean: Yeah, Terry Hunefeld.

Joe: Terry Hunefeld, yeah.

Dean: Terry Hunefeld was there. And the interesting thing is I was almost going to be there with you. We had just done a Main Event in California, and I was going to go. I was going back to Florida, but it went have meant going back to Florida and then coming back to Denver, because you did it in Denver. Right?

Joe: Yeah. It was right when I was doing some consulting with Bill Phillips. At the time, he owned EAS and Muscle Media magazine, and all that sort of stuff.

Dean: Yeah. So those tapes are incredible. They’re great.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. I ended up recording the 2 days. There’s so much wisdom that came out of it. A lot of it, I’ve summarized into notes and into reports and things that have been created just to capture some of the best stuff from Gary. A lot of it is just common sense, but common sense is not common for a lot of people. They just totally don’t get the obvious. There’s a picture that I took from a chapter in Dan Kennedy’s book, No B.S. Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses, and many of the people that listen to I Love Marketing, they’re brick-and-mortar businesses and stuff. It has this kind of this little border and it says, “Big companies agenda for advertising and marketing,” and then it has 7 parts of their agenda. There’s one that says, “Your agenda,” that only has one thing.

I just wanted to read this, because this is so much how Halbert would think too. Me and you both agree with this. This is really profound, and you can get this out of Dan Kennedy’s “No B.S.” book. Anyway, it’s, “Big companies agenda for advertising and marketing: 1) to please and appease its board of directors, most of whom know zip about advertising and marketing but have lots of opinions; 2) Please and appease its stockholders; 3) Look good/appropriate to Wall Street; 4) Look good/appropriate to the media; 5) Build brand identity; 6) Win awards for advertising; and 7) Sell something.” And then your agenda, there’s only one: “Sell something now.”

Dean: Right, exactly. What your agenda should be. That’s absolutely true, isn’t it?

Joe: Yeah, it’s like that’s the agenda of all of your advertising and marketing is to sell something now. So many people get so caught up in stuff. Gary would always talk about his newsletter is like a big meat cleaver that would cut through the sea of humanity. He wrote about that the very first newsletter I read in 1992, way back in 1992, almost 20 years ago. Yeah, we’re going to talk about, let’s kind of get into it. I’d like to just rattle off some things. Gary Halbert’s continuity keys: 1) get attention; 2) convert fresh, wanted, finished, timely sort of leads – so, convert these people that are new, that want your stuff, do it in a timely manner; 3) keep addictiveness and stickiness, so that you bond with people, and they will keep coming back. He said, “People will do business with you the first time because they want what you have. They will keep doing business with you because they like you.” So, part of it is just bonding with your clients. But again, you know how I typically go on tangents on I Love Marketing here, Dean, so I wanted to kind of give you an opportunity to sort of direct this anyway you’d like. And if not, you’re just welcome to let me go with this.

Dean: Well, I think that it will be valuable is we’ve both had so many lessons that we’ve kind of learned from Gary, specifically. I think it would be good to kind of go a little back and forth and kind of share some of the lessons that we learned. Because I would say that perhaps one of the biggest lessons that I learned from Gary was not even really about direct mail, specifically, or about copy or anything like that. The biggest thing that I’ve used a lot is the idea that he used when he came up with the A pile versus B pile, when he was really going through all that testing and discovering what the ideal direct mail package would be. The way that he did, it was imagining that he could only mail one letter, and he had to get an order, or he was going to be beheaded.

So, you think that thought for a second, and you think about the way that he thought that through. For people who are not familiar with Gary’s A pile, B pile idea is that people sort their mail over the garbage can, and they put their mail into 2 piles. The A pile is all the things that look like personal letters, like bills, like things that are important directly to them. And the B pile are things that are unimportant, junk mail or things that you know what it is, subscription notices or all of those things. And the things that get opened first and read are the things that are in the A pile. So, when he had that whole thought process of, “If my life depended on me getting an order here, would I risk my life on sending something bulk mail?” He answered, “No, I wouldn’t risk my life on sending something bulk mail, because if he moved it might not be able to get to him. It could get thrown out.” So, that was his idea of, “If my life depended on it, I’d send something first-class. And I’d make sure that instead of using an indicia or using a meter, that I’d use a real stamp and probably 2 or 3 stamps, so that they’d know for sure that it’s a first class letter and it’s not bulk mail.”

Then he said, “I wouldn’t risk my life on putting teaser copy on the outside of an envelope, because I wouldn’t want to just get that wrong idea.” So, what he did was make it look just like a personal letter, only to that one person. He wouldn’t want to tip people off that we’re mailing this to a bunch of people, to not make it look like a mass mailing. Make it look like one letter for one person. That way, you’ve got 2 of the most important things for a direct mail package to be successful. You’ve gotten it delivered, and you’ve gotten it opened. If you break those things, if you don’t get your letter delivered, and you don’t get it opened, then there’s no chance that they’re going to place an order or that they’re going to buy what it is that you’re selling.

Joe: Yeah, no matter how good the offer or whatever it is you’re selling, it’s got to get delivered and opened first.

Dean: Yeah. When you really think about that, even as important as the breakthrough is, we all know now to make something look like an A pile letter; the very best thing is a hand-addressed envelope with live stamps, that looks like a personal letter. But that thought process that got him there was really that thought of, “What would I do if my life depended on it?” Not just if I’m trying to save money and get the most cost-effective response. He’s always into getting the most impact that you can. Using that carried on into what he would put in the envelope. Because as soon as you’d open the envelope, that’s why he was such a big fan of grabbers, is to kind of once you open that envelope to suck you into the envelope.

There’s probably nobody who’s mailed more dollar bill letters than Gary Halbert, or been responsible for more people mailing dollar bill letters, where you put a real dollar bill at the top of the letter. And that’s, for sure, going to get somebody to open it and look at it and at least say, “What’s this about?” So he started using dollar bills, using rubber bands, aspirin, anything you could possibly think of. He had a great way of getting somebody’s attention with that and sucking them right into the letter. And then once you start reading the letter, the job’s almost done.

Joe: Yeah, and again, if everyone listening is only thinking, “Well, I don’t even do direct mail, so how does this apply to me?” you missed the whole point, what you just said, Dean. It’s the same thing, if you’re going to send an email to someone. If they never open your email, it’s relevant.

Dean: Well, that’s exactly right. That’s where I use that thinking a lot in the emails that I send, because it’s the same thing. It’s so easy, when you’re emailing thousands of emails at the same time, or hundreds of thousands of emails, that you kind of think about the forest that you’re mailing to. You think about everybody. You think about the group that you’re mailing to. But the reality is you’re mailing to individuals. So you start thinking about what would it take to get this one person to open this email, and get that one person to click through to the link, or respond to this email. It’s exactly the thought process that when we were talking about more cheese and less whiskers a couple of episodes ago, the email that went to the restaurants, that said, “Do you do birthday parties?” That’s an email that you would send to one person, and that’s kind of like the modern-day equivalent of Gary’s thought is that people scan their email over the garbage can, literally, over the delete button. You’ve got to look at the subject line, and everything about that email that makes it seem like an A pile email. That’s the modern-day equivalent of what he was talking about.

Joe: Yep, exactly. I have this thing right here, and you mentioned the dollar bill. I have this page that we took kind of from the XXX Howard tapes that I recorded with him. It’s, “Emergency lifesaving solution. It will bail you out of any financial problem you have.” And this is what Gary’s advice was. “Mail a $1 bill letter to your existing list and follow it up with a telephone call. Record the calls until you catch yourself at fever pitch. Use that as a training program for anyone else who’s going to work for you. They will hear you selling at your best. That’s how you get somebody to do it. “But first, you need to send a $1 bill letter. Simply mail a letter with a stamp, with a personalized letter, and a $1 bill. If you follow-up with a telephone call, your sales will increase by a factor of 5.”

Now, here we are in the Internet age, and I can assure you that, if you do that, it will most likely work with of course the caveat that you have to be offering something that people actually want, and it has to be a right fit. But if you already have an existing client base, as an example, that have bought something from you, that have already shown that they are interested in what it is you have. Because they have either bought it, inquired, or consumed it on some way shape or form, then you simply go out to people and you make another offer to the same thing, or more of the same thing, or a similar, or whatever it is. Whatever problem they have that your company can solve, you write about it, and you put a dollar bill on there, and you mail it to them. Then you follow up and say, “Hey, I sent you a letter with a dollar bill attached to that. Did you get it?” And as Gary would say, “Yada-yada-yada, if you can’t…”

Dean: Yada-yada-yada. He loved that.

Joe: Yeah, remember he would say, “If you can’t take it from there, you’re hopeless.”

Dean: Exactly.

Joe: And, of course, it’s because he didn’t want to do anymore of the work of figuring it out. He was right in so many ways, because the key is to get it delivered and opened and read. You need to open up someone’s mind. That’s where it starts.

Dean: Yeah. That right there has been one of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned ever, period, whether from Gary Halbert or anybody. That’s certainly been very impactful for me. Whenever I go through that process, I think that through. I take that provocation of what if my life depended on this? What if I was going to be beheaded? How would I write this, or how would I approach this situation?

Joe: Uh-huh. Yeah, John Carlton always refers to it as “gun to your head marketing,” where if you had to make this work and your life depended on it, you would do things differently. That always begs the question, when people are very promiscuous with their emails and with their messaging, and they just throw it out to people, they can deliver it to a ton of people. People always make a big deal about how many emails are sent or how many people visited their website. I’ve always loved the definition of hits. I think Gary is the one that probably came up with this term of what does “HITS” really stand for. And it’s, How Idiots Track Success. I can’t tell you how many people come to me on a regular basis, “Oh, yeah, I just got 10,000 or 50,000 hits to my website.” “Well, did you sell you anything?” “No.” “Did you capture any leads?” “A few.” “What has it done for you and your clients? Why did they come there? What did they see when they got there?” It’s just like whatever. Some games in life, the only way you win is you don’t play. You don’t play the non-direct response game. You can play it, but it’s just not a really good use of time or money or energy.

Dean: You don’t play the name recognition game, or the repetition game.

Joe: I will say something that it’s not completely on par with talking about Halbert. It’s just what’s kind of going through my head right now, based on a couple conversations I had earlier in the week. I talked to – I won’t mention his name – a very, very famous author, and a very large blog following, profound smart guy, who writes about marketing and also doesn’t want to be positioned as a “marketer.” He has spoken at TED. He’s done a bunch of stuff, but he doesn’t want to position himself as a “marketer” and make claims and make offers and all that sort of stuff. I really like this person’s work. I think it’s pretty profound and stuff. But I also felt a real disconnect with this whole field of marketing, not wanting to be associated with “marketers” and salespeople and be viewed that way because of marketers sometimes have a bad rap when people have marketing.

One of the things that me and you originally talked about, for lack of a better word, because both of us are not brand people. We tend to follow kind of Ogilvy’s sort of philosophy on brand building. It’s the personality of your product or service. But just to spend money to get your name out there, but not spend money to get your name out there and get a response back is a waste of getting your name out there. Most small business owners aren’t Coca-Cola or McDonald’s or Virgin, like my friend, Richard. They don’t have these global organizations that can go out and build a “brand.” I know a lot of people that are way, way, way more famous and well known than me or you, that make way, way, way less money than me or you. You can’t deposit name recognition in the bank. Basically, we talked about rebranding how people think of marketing. We believe marketing not only is it an incredibly noble profession, it is so damn important, because the greatest inventions, the greatest problems, solutions, everything from medical breakthroughs to innovations. To everything from helping humanity and all different kinds of form, from disease and homelessness and dictatorships and everything, it boils down to communication and marketing. However people want to disguise it, things that move the world, things that move the dial, are done by marketers. They’re done by salespeople.

There are just still way too many people that hide the fact that they love marketing, and they make excuses for it because someone will point to some unethical marketer and they try to give the entire industry a black eye. Just because there’s some crappy junk food, does that mean food is bad? You don’t see people running around saying, “Oh, that evil food.” Evil food, well, try surviving without food. You’re not going to do well. Try surviving in business without marketing. I always want to bring up that when you listen to these, I Love Marketing calls, of course, we believe that all money earned ethically is a byproduct of value creation. We talk constantly about don’t promise things you’re not going to deliver. Take care of people. Treat them well. The lifetime value of your client is predicated on delivering a great experience and great products and services, and treating people well, so that they refer you and they want to do business with you over and over again. That’s a given. That’s how both me and Dean think about all this.

The point is, be proud of being a marketer. If you run across people that are anti-marketing, sometimes you can have a communication with them and they kind of get it, and they understand where they were wrong. But for the most part, they’re a lot of people out there that just don’t get it. They don’t get it, and they have like a chip on their shoulder when it comes to marketing. They’re not worth trying to convince after a point, because you can only throw so many energy at people like that. I’m just very proud to be a marketer, very proud to be a salesperson. Those are the most important people in the world in order to make something happen. If you find someone that’s like a great inventor or a great doctor, and they don’t have great marketing skills, but you can use your marketing skills to assist them and help them, you can really impact. You can save lives. You can reduce human suffering, and you can make a lot of money. Anyway, I just always want to bring that up, that marketing is a great thing. Whenever you have people talking shit about it, then set them straight.

Dean: You know what was funny to hear Richard Branson talk about marketing and his immediate first thought about marketing is that it starts with the product or the service; that you’ve got to have something that’s really worth shouting about. That’s sort of what you’re saying there, that bottom line; you really have to be proud of what it is that you have.

Joe: Absolutely, because who wants to…

Dean: That makes the marketing easier.

Joe: Yeah, who wants to sell something that they don’t believe in? See, that’s marketing, in a lot of ways. A lot of people have had jobs where they’ve been put in a sales position, and they’re talking people into things they don’t really believe in. You should always run away from it. We were having a conversation with Marie Forleo where she’s talking about, “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.” You’ve got to really look at what you’re selling. And if you’re not like, “Hell yes, this is really awesome,” or someone is coming to you and they want to do a joint venture with you and you can’t say, “Hell yes,” about what it is they’re selling, even if there’s a lot of money, run away from it. That’s not good energy, and all money is not created equal. There’s a lot of ELF money (Easy, Lucrative, and Fun), and there’s a lot of HALF money (Hard, Annoying, Lucrative, and Frustrating).

So, only stick with an ELF business; ELF marketing, ELF people, ELF projects. Stay away from HALF projects, HALF people, that sort of thing. That should be a criteria. That’s one thing that again, going back to Gary, Gary always wanted to figure out how to make things easy. Let me rattle off some tips of his, because these are just things to think about. We can come back and talk about any of them, if any of them stand out. “Use believable reasons.” You’re always going to give people reasons why they should do business with you, but you want to give them ones that they actually believe, because there’s a huge difference between believability and credibility. “Use stories.” Always use stories. He also said, “It’s not just the writing of copy, it’s the salesmanship that you’ve got to understand. I learned what I do knocking on doors, selling encyclopedias. That’s where you learn how to do it.”

I recently had a kid that wanted me to mentor him. I spent a good deal of time with him, and he’s a great guy. I really like him. He really wanted to become a better marketer. I told him, “Pick up the phone and sell stuff to people.” Now that goes against write a sales letter, because marketing is supposed to eliminate selling. Marketing makes selling easy and, ideally, unnecessary. We talk about that quote all the time. So, in some ways, it’s counterintuitive for someone to think, “Well, I’m going to write a sales letter because a sales letter can and clone me going out and doing an actual sales presentation.” However, there’s something that you learn about talking to someone on the phone or doing face-to-face selling that, once you learn how to overcome objections, once you really learn how to listen to people, involve yourself in a Socratic conversation. Use technique if you need to use technique in order to engage them, that you can then apply to all of your other forms of marketing and replicate yourself.

So many people want to run around thinking they’re just going to write a letter or shoot a video and kind of keep a wall up from them talking to a real human being, and then all of a sudden they’re just going to want what you want so bad that it’s just going to flip the switch. One of the best ways to improve your marketing is to improve your ability to sell face-to-face or on the phone. Because if you can make that work, then you have a starting point where you can and clone yourself; which is why Gary would say, “Record yourself at concert pitch, transcribe the recording of yourself successfully selling on the phone or face-to-face. Then you have the rough draft or the actual draft of the sales letter, or the consumer awareness guide, or the free report, or the script for a webinar, or a teleseminar, or a video, or a social media campaign, or a launch broken up into 40 different pieces.” All of that can be dissected.

But in order to have an operating marketing model, it’s good to understand the anatomy of a successful sales pitch. I told this individual, I said, “Pick up the phone and sell some stuff.” I pointed to some things that he was trying to build a whole marketing campaign around. A lot of what he was doing was just fake work. He was preparing to make a sale using marketing, instead of just going and saying, “Well, can I successfully do this? Does anyone even want this? Or am I going to spend all this time trying to set up the website and do all this stuff, the setup stage?” which was all a cop out. It was a form of avoiding really doing the hard work. He didn’t do it. Will he still be successful? I hope so. Is he still a friend of mine? Yeah. Will I still have conversations with him? Yeah. Will I spend as much as time and emphasis with him like I was doing before? No. Will he probably listen to this I Love Marketing Podcast? Yes. Will he hopefully get his ass out there and sell something and learn how to accelerate his goal of becoming an “information marketer and teacher” and all that? Only if he ever picks up the damn phone or goes out and sells some shit to people.

Dean: You can’t really shortcut that process almost, can you? I think that the reason that you and I have such a deep understanding of marketing is that we have both had that experience of being face-to-face with people.

Joe: In a lot of ways, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, they make really great salespeople. That’s why there’s a lot of phone centers and stuff in Utah. When you’re thrown out there for 2 years to go and talk to people and get rejected over and over again, it kind of teaches you how to interact with other people, and even try to sell them and convince them and engage them in a conversation over something that the vast majority of people don’t even want to talk to you about. We’re not even telling people to go on a mission. We’re saying literally, if you have something that people want, go out and talk to them, and don’t try to shortcut it. Yeah. Me and you are information marketers. And there’s one thing that me and you have in common: both of us were not information marketers first. You had to figure out how to make real estate work. I had to figure out how to make my carpet cleaning business work.

I had to first learn how to sell. I then, with that sales background, learned how to apply that to marketing, so I could can and clone my sales process and actually eliminate selling, because face-to-face selling is one of the biggest wastes of time on the planet, once you learn marketing. But, if you don’t even know how to do it, it’s really rare. Not that it never happens, because there are situations where people that are extremely introverted that just learn how to write really great copy, and they never have to talk to anyone. And they can send out a sales letter. They can set up a website. They can assemble other people. Not that that’s not doable, but I’ll tell you if, given the choice, I will always put my money on the person that’s literally had to sell anything door-to-door, even starting with newspaper subscriptions as a kid or painting on curbs or having a lemonade stand or selling Kirby vacuum cleaners. Even stuff that people like find as annoying sales presentations, the training that you get out of that. If people are still having to struggle figuring out how to market, in a lot of cases, go and work in a phone room for 2 weeks. It sounds like insane advice, but it will be some of the best advice that I think you could ever give somebody.

Dean: Yeah. I’ll tell you the thing that really switched me out of the cold calling and prospecting and having to go out and individually look for prospects, was I shared the story of using the direct mail postcards to generate leads, and that’s a concept that I learned to go deep with from Gary Halbert. This whole idea of using baby steps to just start by getting the name, address, and telephone number of everyone who’s likely to be your customer and doing the lead generation. I think that I had such an appreciation for it when I actually learned it and saw how that could replace that prospecting that I was doing. I think there’s this real depth of appreciation for it when you know what it’s like to go out and manually generate those leads or generate that business, just like you out door knocking and handing out, talking to people about getting their carpets cleaned. It’s a whole different thing.

Joe: Yeah, I can even say that even the people that have tried to knock off selling stuff to carpet cleaners, that have never cleaned carpets themselves and never had to go out there and sell jobs and hustle jobs themselves, they just don’t do as well. People that want to be gurus and experts and teachers and seminar speakers, but they get up, and they talk about things they’ve only done in their dreams, or that they read in someone else’s book, or attended someone else’s seminar, and they’re like, “Hey, I want to do that.” We always have this conversation, not me and you always, but me and like several other people, where someone comes to a seminar and they see hundreds of people in a room that all paid $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, whatever, a person. I’m doing a $10,000-a-person event in New York in August for 2 days, and I don’t do cheap events. They look around the room, and everyone does the addition, but no one does the subtraction and realize that, yeah, there’s actually a lot to this.

It’s not just a simple business. And to put on a good event, there’s a lot going on backstage. A lot of people aren’t willing to do that. They just want to go, “Boom, I want to be a guru. I want to be an expert. I want my name on the cover of a book.” Well, have you actually done anything? Have you really done what you are telling other people to do? I understand the mindset of carpet cleaners really well. Why? Because I’m one of them, even though I’ve not cleaned a carpet in a long time. And every once in a while, I’ll go, and I’ll clean a carpet with one of my clients and stuff, just to kind of keep myself in the loop, more so for photo shoots and blank marketing campaigns. I used to be the Arizona director of the Carpet And Fabricare Institute in Arizona. I used to bring the educational classes. I got really involved in carpet cleaning. I set up, where people can go and type a zip code in anywhere in the United States, and they can find an ethical carpet cleaner that 100% guarantees his work. I’m very involved in the carpet cleaning industry. And I understand the mindset of them because I was one of them.

So, if you really want to help people, you should really understand what those people are going through, and you should really understand how to go out and sell stuff to people. Then, once you have successfully done it, here’s how not to be a dumb ass. Once you’ve learned how to sell successfully, then put that into marketing. Can and clone yourself, replicate it, write a sales letter, record a video, put up a website, improve the copy and communications and the offers, build a list. Do all those things that marketers do. If you don’t know how to do all those things, the beauty of I Love Marketing is we have already. Go through past episodes, if you haven’t listened to them. Listen to the interview we did with Tellman on how to build the list. Listen to the interview. Look at the past list of people that we’ve done interviews with and the topics that me and Dean have talked about, because we cover many of these subjects in depth.

If you’ve been one of our faithful listeners of I Love Marketing, go back and listen to a couple of the first episodes, or read through some of the transcripts, because the stuff that we said in the very beginning of I Love Marketing is golden. There’s so much great content. And it’s free. We’re not even selling you anything there. We have an event coming up, we have some things we recommend here and there, but this is pretty much valuable content that’s just free. You’ll hear it differently. If you went out – and when I say “you,” I’m talking to you listening, the person that’s hanging upside down on an inversion chair with an iPod in their ear, that’s how I think most people listen to I Love Marketing – and sold something for the next week or 2, or you actually sent a dollar bill and you then followed up with 15, 20, 100 people, you’re going to hear all of the advice that we’re giving on these calls differently. I think you’ll just get enhancements out of that. Dean, can I share 7 Halbertisms?

Dean: I’d love it.

Joe: Okay, 7 Halbertisms. 1) Advertising should be, and marketing must be salesmanship multiplied. Capture yourself selling, and then engineer it so many people go through it. 2) Marketing is a matter of impact, theater, and drama. 3) This is all about arithmetic. We are in the arithmetic business. 4) The longer and more bold the guarantee, the better. While you wait to get the money, bond with them. 5) Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Everything else is a diminished return on your time. Marketing is the ultimate delegation, replacement of a sales force. 6) There’s no growth without injury. People will do anything to remain in their comfort zone. Information is very important, but you’ve got to do it. 7) The first condition of success is the feeling that you deserve success. If you don’t have that, you’ll never have success.

The second thing is that you have to believe success is possible. One of the ways to believe that success is possible is to go and prove that you can actually do it, and keep doing it. Anything worth doing in life is worth doing poorly. I didn’t come up with that, but I’ve heard that. The first time you walked, you did it really poorly. The first time you tried to play a guitar, you did it poorly. First time you tried to play golf or drive a car or use a computer or ride a bike, you did it poorly. But you kept doing it; you kept getting good at it. If you suck at marketing, if you keep at it, if you keep learning, if you keep taking action, if you keep applying, you’re going to do that. I read a book that John Carlton recommended a while back, called Constructive Living. One of the things that was in the book, he talked about that a lot of people read books on self-help, and they want to have higher self-esteem, higher confidence. So they try to gain knowledge to learn how to think better about themselves, how to be more confident. But they’re like, “If you actually go out and do behaviors that give you confidence, that’s the best way to become confident, is to go out and actually create it.

So to be confident in your marketing, it’s the same thing. I mean it’s the same thing. Not that it won’t come, and not that there isn’t such thing as luck, because there is. There are such things as luck, however, I would tend to put my emphasis on things that you can control. And your luck will get much better if you actually just go out and take action and are doing sales and learning marketing and swinging bats and all that stuff anyway. See, it’s kind of weird. After I go to a dentist, I get in sort of a weird kind of cranky mood, because my mouth was hurting earlier. I feel like today I’ve just been kind of like bitchy and talking…

Dean: Well, don’t take it out on me.

Joe: Yeah, I’m feeling very hurtful right now.

Dean: Oh, man.

Joe: I really think if we can get everyone on I Love Marketing to go to Amazon and buy like The Jerky Boys Greatest Hits, and create a gigantic surge of resurgence to The Jerky Boys, and then if they actually like that twisted form of humor from years ago and they actually made a post of, “I heard about The Jerky Boys on,” we could create a brand new movement bringing back The Jerky Boys.

Dean: Bringing back The Jerky Boys?

Joe: Maybe we could even do Stretch Armstrong. Remember those little toys as a kid?

Dean: Yeah, exactly.

Joe: Why is Stretch Armstrong not around anymore? I don’t get it. You’ve got to imagine a Stretch Armstrong is more important to a kid than like a Smartphone.

Dean: Now, all the kids want their iPod Touch.

Joe: Yeah, what about the Stretch Armstrong like iPhone App? And if there’s someone that’s younger than probably like 30 right now listening to this, they’re like what the hell am I talking about? “What’s a Stretch Armstrong?” They maybe find one on eBay or something. Okay, so Dean, how are we going to wrap this up?

Dean: Well, I want to share a couple more, though. I feel like we’re just getting started here.

Joe: No, no, we are. We’re going to talk about Halbert, but my big takeaway from today, or the big takeaway I want to have for our listeners, is get your ass out there and sell something, and record your stuff at concert pitch. That would be one great thing. If you’ve not done it in a while, call people and talk to them and record yourself. And tell them, say, “I’m going to make an offer to you, but I’m going to talk to you about something we’ve got going on. You mind if I record it?” Most people are going to be like, “Yeah, that’s fine.” Or if you can do a live presentation, record yourself and listen. Then transcribe it and then cut all the fat, waste out of the conversation, and then hold onto those golden nuggets of things that are persuaders. In our conference that we’ve got coming up, we’re going to go through the profit activators, which is going to be freaking awesome. But again, you want to look at what are your persuasive abilities, and how can you then integrate that into marketing. So, yeah, go ahead. Do some of yours.

Dean: We kind of touched on it a little bit with the lead generation, because he was a big fan of 2-step marketing where you would run a lead generation ad and then follow that up with a sales letter or with more information or a sequence of things to try and bond with people, and present whatever it is that you have for them. One of the ideas that he shared, it’s all tied to great analogies, he talked about how these little tugboats can move big ocean liners. Do you remember when he would talk about that, about how it seems unlikely? How can this little tugboat move this big boat? How it starts is they shoot a little rope out of a little gun up into the ocean liner, and somebody up on the top grabs it, and they start pulling that in. And as they’re pulling, the rope gets a little bit thicker and then it gets a little bit thicker, and then it turns into the big chain that is attached now to the tugboat. With that sort of a grip on it, it can move that ocean liner in any direction.

But it couldn’t start out shooting the big chain up over the bow. They had to start by just throwing the thinnest rope that they could throw up over the top there. And as it’s reeling in, it’s getting thicker and thicker and bonding more and more. That sort of analogy or metaphor or whatever the literary device that is, is really an incredible visualizer for what you’re doing with your prospects. You’re starting out with just the loosest thing, just the lightest kind of bond to them, an offer for a consumer awareness guide or an offer for a free report. Which now, every time you communicate with them, that bonding gets a little bit stronger and you’re able to direct people into a place that you want them to go. That was pretty profound for me, to kind of think about that.

Joe: No, no, it is. So I guess what you’re saying is we’re giving people a bunch of little like ropes, so they can get the little tugboat pulling the ocean liner.

Dean: That’s exactly right.

Joe: That is powerful.

Dean: It’s powerful stuff.

Joe: What do you think The Jerky Boys would say about that? People that don’t know who The Jerky Boys are, are like, “What is he talking about?”

Dean: Exactly. What is he talking about? There’s going to be a big thing on Amazon and The Jerky Boys are going to come back in resurgence.

Joe: Yeah. We are starting to get Oprah power here on I Love Marketing. We have enough people listening, where if we tell someone to go buy a book, it’s going to turn people into bestsellers and stuff. It’s not even about Joe and Dean anymore. This has become a movement. I mean there are I Love Marketing little meetings that are going to be popping up on I think there’s going to be a national holiday soon that’s going to be the I Love Marketing Day, which it should be. Certainly, I could see several holidays that should be replaced with I Love Marketing as the day, because that would be a heck of lot more impactful than some holidays.

Dean: The I Love Marketing Day.

Joe: What’s that?

Dean: Let’s just set the holiday right now as September 21st forever, the I Love Marketing Day.

Joe: Yeah, September 21st, 2011, the official I Love Marketing Day. Where are you going to be?

Dean: I’m going to be in Phoenix.

Joe: If you really love marketing, if you’re one of those passive sort of listeners that really just kind of this is your morning entertainment while you commute to work on your Segway, that’s not as important as someone that’s going to actually be at the official launching pad in Arizona on September 21st.

Dean: The official launch pad of I Love Marketing Day, September 21st. I love it.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. I do, too. Let’s see what else I want to share here. Let’s do this. There’s so many little cool things I got from Gary Halbert here. I’m going to read this one thing. Master checklists; what people want. This came out of a book that Gary very much liked by Vic Schwab, How To Write A Good Ad, by Vic Schwab. On page 22 and 23, “What people want.” I’m just going to rattle through some things, and none of this is going to be overly profound, but it will be a good thing for people to hear. Better health, greater strength, vigor, endurance, the possibility of a longer life; more money for spending, saving, and giving to others; greater popularity through a more attractive personality or through personal accomplishments; improved appearance, beauty, style, physical build, cleanliness. Security in old age, independence, provision for age or adversity; praise from others for one’s intelligence, knowledge, appearance, and other evidence of superiority; more comfort, ease, luxury, self-indulgence, convenience; more leisure for travel, hobbies, rest, play, self- development, etc. Pride of accomplishment, overcoming obstacles and competition, desire to do things well; business advancement, better job success, be your own boss, reward from merit; social advancement, moving in better circles, social acceptance, keeping up with the Joneses; increased enjoyment from entertainment to food, drink, and other physical contacts. People also want to be good parents, have influence over others, be social, be hospitable, be gregarious, express their personalities, resist domination by others, satisfy their curiosity, be up to date, emulate the admirable, appreciate beauty, be proud of their possessions, be creative, acquire or collect things, be efficient, win others affection, be first in things, improve themselves mentally, be recognized as authorities. And they want to save money, time, work, discomfort, worry, doubts, risks, embarrassments, offense to others, boredom, personal self-respect, and prestige. Now, why did I read all that stuff? Well, that is a checklist.

And if you have that checklist, which you now have because we transcribe every one of these I Love Marketing calls, you can either go and get Vic Schwab’s book, How To Write A Good Ad, definitely worth reading, it’s on page 22nd and 23rd, you can see what I just read there, or you can just look at the transcripts on this particular episode. Whenever you’re writing something, sneak to these things, because that’s what people want. That’s what you want. And what’s cool is every single thing I read here, everything, you’re going to get when you come to our I Love Marketing conference. Actually, I’m kidding. I don’t think it’s going to give you security – yeah, it will give you security in old age. Will it increase enjoyment? Yeah, it will do that. Social advancement? Certainly. You’re going to be able to keep up with the Joneses more when you make more money than them. Better health? Possibly.

Dean: All that stuff.

Joe: Possibly better health. More money? Certainly. Greater popularity? Absolutely. Improved appearance? Well, if you can buy nicer clothes, it can probably help you there. Can we make you cleaner? I don’t know if we have I Love Marketing soap. Praise from others for one’s intelligence and knowledge? Absolutely. More comfort, ease, luxury, self-indulgence? For sure. More leisure? Absolutely, because we like having fun in what we do, definitely. Pride of accomplishment? Overcoming obstacles and competition? Yeah, we’re going to teach you how to slaughter your competition. And business advancement, better job success, be your own boss? Well, certainly. And if you already are your own boss, you’re going to be a much better version of that. I think the I Love Marketing conference is pretty much going to provide many of these things.

Dean: All you need.

Joe: Because that’s what people want. So the question is if you want these things, get your butt out to Phoenix. That’s sort of a subtle plug. We did talk about Gary Halbert. There’s so much more. I mean I touched on 1/10 of 1% of Gary Halbert, what you can do in an hour, but I did do 2 days of consulting with Gary, and I’m not going to use this call as a plug. I’ll subtly use it as a plug for that. What I mean is I’m not going to pitch people right on this call. If anyone is interested in Gary Halbert, let’s setup a special. I did this XXX Halbert Program. We called it Triple X because there’s like a lot of profanity being thrown around, so it is adult language. But if you are interested in that, we will setup a I Love Marketing page, where you can find out more information about the recordings that I did with Gary and various other stuff from Gary. Should we just put that

Dean: Yeah, let’s do. I don’t know what. We’ll put it right under on this episode here.

Joe: Yeah, we’ll put it right under them. So why don’t we do How about that?

Dean: Okay. If you want to do that.

Joe: Or should we do it forward slash? I mean we’re doing this live right now, so you’re hearing how me and Dean, actually – it’s probably not the most organized way to drive someone, but I think it’s kind of funny.

Dean: I know. I can’t think of any reason why we wouldn’t do XXX.

Joe: Yeah, so let’s do that.

Dean: It would be fewer and descriptive, even, to do Gary Halbert, but let’s do both.

Joe: We’ll do both. So if you go to, or, then you will find information about getting more stuff from Gary right there on that page.

Dean: Let’s do that.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. So I’m going to give you the final wrap up here, Dean. Because I always talk too much.

Dean: I know you do. One of the other things, the stories that Gary would tell are always the ones that were sort of the most impactful for me, because he made his points by setting the stage, by telling stories. And he told stories very similar to the way he wrote copy. It was engaging just to listen to him. I think that the point that he was making with this particular story was that it’s more important what you say than how you say it. I think that that means that don’t get so caught up in how you say something and the words that you choose to say something, but focus more on the substance of what it is that you’re actually saying. He would always use the example of let’s say that your wife is pregnant and she is about to go into labor. And you’re in a meeting at work, and she can’t reach you on your cell phone, so they call the office. Somebody comes in to tell you that your wife has just given birth and you had triplets. It doesn’t matter what words you use to say that message. The point is that you’re going to be very excited that your wife just had a baby and you had triplets. There could be a dozen ways that somebody could say that. They could say, “Guess what? You just had a baby, and you had 2 more babies.” There’s so many different ways you could say it. But the point is you’re conveying something that’s powerful.

Joe: Exactly.

Dean: Good words can’t mask the message that you’re saying. If you’ve got a really good message, it almost doesn’t matter what words you use to convey it. But any words can’t cover up or gloss over a bad message. So if you’ve got a bad offer or an offer that’s not compelling, no matter how you say it, people are going to see right through it.

Joe: Yep, exactly. That’s why if someone really wants it and you’ve really got a great offer, you’re much better off with a great offer and mediocre copy, than great copy and a lousy offer.

Dean: Right, that’s another way of saying that same thing.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I’d love to have everyone give their feedback, because we do get requests for more Halbertisms and talk more about Gary Halbert. Basically, if you really like hearing more about Halbert and love the psychology, we’ll continue to talk about him and bring it up, because there’s so much to learn. As wacky as Gary was, I actually have an enormous amount of gratitude for Gary, what I learned from him. He gave Dan Kennedy his first copywriting job. Gary has impacted a tremendous amount of people, like Bill Phillips, and just tons of people. Some of the greatest marketers credit Gary Halbert with so much of their learning. He was brilliant. So, I want to continue to keep his greatest marketing lessons out there in the world, because they are definitely applicable. Gary created enemies along the way, too. There are a lot of people that didn’t really like Gary at times.

I will say that Bill Phillips, the single largest contributor individual for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, having granted many, many wises for Make-A-Wish, the idea of the Make-A-Wish model that I gave Bill that he used starting in 1997, actually came from Gary Halbert. So indirectly, these marketing techniques have helped grant wishes for hundreds of Make-A-Wish kids; well over 600, at this point, which is cool, because the average wish costs between $6,000 to $8,000 to grant. There’s a lot that has been done. So, these marketing things don’t just apply to for profit. Any form of communication, you can use this marketing methodology with. So, get yourself out there. Sell something. Record yourself in concert pitch. Transcribe it. And remember, some games in life the only way you win is you don’t play. So only play games that are worth playing, that are ELF. And please give us your comments on I Love Marketing. I’m sorry if I sound a little cranky today, but Dean is a very hurtful person.

Dean: I try my hardest.

Joe: Yes. And right now, go to Also, if you’re listening to this right at the time it came out, then go to our website and click on the button about the I Love Marketing very special day, September 21st and 22nd taking place in Phoenix, Arizona because it will change your life. That’s all I got to say, Dean.

Dean: There we go. I’ll be there. I’ll be there.

Joe: You better be there. Dan Kennedy will be there, and some of the top marketers in the world, the world, will be there.

Dean: That’s it.

Joe: So, make it happen.

Dean: Alright, guys. Let’s wrap up. Thanks for listening and we will talk to you next time.

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