No B.S. Trust-Based Marketing by entpress

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									                              CHAPTER                 5

               How NOT to Be
              Another Salesman
                                  Dan Kennedy

I      can’t think of a bigger handicap in selling than
     to be seen as, perceived as, thought of, or felt as another
     salesman. This must be avoided at all costs!
          People are threatened by salespeople and feel
uncomfortable and anxious in their presence. There are four chief
reasons for this: one, they’ve been conditioned since childhood to
feel this way. What most people hear from parents, educators, and
other adults about salespeople and about selling just isn’t good.*
Two, they’ve had bad experiences before, being pushed into

*Note: this generally does not apply to people whose parents were in selling as careers
or as extra income endeavors and had a good attitude about it. Such people make
far better prospects. However even they, and other professional salespeople, instinc-
tively put their guard up in the company of a salesperson.

58       NO B.S. Trust-Based Marketing

     buying things by aggressive salespeople that have subsequently
     been disappointing or even embarrassing. Three, they doubt their
     own decision-making ability, judgment, and willpower. Four,
     they may, at any given time, be trying not to spend money, and at
     those times any salesperson is at odds with their purpose.
         For all these reasons, it is useful and beneficial not to be felt
     as a salesperson. Conversely, there’s rarely any benefit to being
     seen as another salesman. So, if there’s no benefit, but there is
     likely harm, clearly you want to avoid this. Yet, most salespeople
     are as easily identified as salespeople as is a stranger, arriving in
     a small town.

                 If It Looks Like a Salesman, Walks Like a
                 Salesman, and Quacks Like a Salesman,
                            Hey, It’s a Salesman!
     How do you spot a salesman in the forest, at 50 yards away?
          Assume I am on stage, speaking to a large group, and you’re
     there, in the front row. Suddenly there’s a commotion behind you
     and a man rushes down the aisle and onto the stage. He is dressed
     in matching blue shirt and pants, black shoes, and his belt has
     a holster and a handgun. He quickly puts handcuffs on me and
     hustles me off the stage, out of view. What do you assume he is?
          Now assume you are leaving a theater, among the last to
     leave, walking down a dark side street to a parking garage a
     few blocks away to retrieve your car. Out of the shadows steps
     a man, wearing a hooded black sweatshirt, black jeans, a piece
     of lead pipe in his hand. As he moves toward you, what do you
     feel? Alarm, of course. You feel threatened. And what would you
     like most at that moment? To be somewhere else.
          If you don’t want people assuming you are a threat to them,
     you can’t appear as a salesperson. If you don’t want to elicit
     alarm, you can’t seem like a salesperson.

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     One of the financial advisors in Matt’s group brought his
newly remade packet of professional literature to our coaching
meeting, and asked my opinion. I “vomited” all over the very
first page his prospects were to see when opening it. This page
proudly presented all his plaudits and awards from several
different financial companies, for achieving “Top Producer” and
“Million-Dollar Producer” status. With this, he shot himself in
the foot—twice. Not only did he announce, “I’m a Salesman,”
he trumpeted the fact that he is a Damn Good and Persuasive
Salesman. This has the same affect as encountering a big, scary
bear in the woods, then hearing the bear announce that he’s
desperately hungry. How fast can a timid hiker run in the
opposite direction?
     A friend who was a car salesman once told me that it
seemed people always got anxious and nervous when he took
them into his office, even if they’d been relaxed and friendly
with him out on the lot looking at cars. He chalked it up to
unavoidable anxiety about “talking turkey” about a car to buy
and its price. When we went into his office, I immediately saw
another reason for everybody’s sudden leap in blood pressure:
they were seated, backs to the door, facing him at his desk, and
above him, on the wall, a row of framed certificates and plaques,
and a shelf of trophies—all attesting to his prowess at devouring
his prey: top salesman awards. I had him take all his trophies
and plaques home and replace them with oversized framed
photos of happy families posed with him and their new cars,
and re-arrange the office so everything was at an angle, so the
customers’ backs weren’t to the door. Years later, my colleague
Sydney Barrows (, co-author with
me of the book Uncensored Sales Strategies, coined the term Sales
Choreography® for all this, and she is the reigning expert on
creating environments most conducive to low-anxiety, high-trust
selling in offices, clinics, showrooms, and stores.

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         Anyway, here are . . .

                  The Top Ten Ways People Know You’re
                         a Dangerous Salesman
         1. The shelf of trophies, the wall of plaques or equivalent
         2. Being too easily and readily accessible
         3. Being too pliable
         4. Being too eager
         5. Being “pushy”
         6. Obviously trying to hurry the prospect
         7. Being over-confident and glib, with a quick-triggered
            answer to everything
         8. Pushing products from a pushcart (vs. diagnosing needs,
            offering custom solutions)
         9. Evading or altering questions
        10. Using sales tools

          We’ve already addressed #1. Points 2, 3, and 4 are interesting,
     because they’re such common mistakes. Most salespeople and
     businesspeople think they should, or, worse, must be instantly,
     easily, and always accessible. The problem with this is how badly
     it lowers your status, which makes you untrustworthy as an
     advisor. I teach: there’s no long line waiting patiently to consult
     the wise man at the bottom of the mountain. Positioning matters
     to trust. A lot. So, there must be a process that people go through
     to gain access, and some delay in getting access, unless your
     business phone number is 9–1–1. Similarly, the person so pliable
     that they agree with any request quickly loses customers’ trust.
     If you quote four weeks for production and delivery of high-end
     furniture and the prospect says “Geez, I was really hoping to
     have it all tomorrow,” and you hastily acquiesce, you more likely
     killed the sale than made it. Or, if you do close that sale, you

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may leave such an aftertaste of distrust you won’t sell furniture
for the other rooms in the home or get referrals. And, should
you surrender to a promise you can’t keep, all future benefit of
the customer relationship is lost. Excess eagerness telegraphs
need and desperation, and needy salespeople make prospects
nervous. Any or all of this behavior stamps SALESMAN in red
stencil on your forehead, and you might as well add: NOT TO
     Points 5 and 6 are more classic, obvious errors. One of the
all-time great sales trainers Bill Gove used to give a speech titled
‘“People Love to Buy—But They Fear & Hate Being Sold.” People
have to be given the opportunity to come to trust at their own
pace. A good experience I like to give sales and marketing people
is a visit to the stables at the racetrack where my racehorses live
and work. When a group of strange visitors arrive, some horses
immediately come to their stall gates and crane their necks to see
them, eager to be petted and fed carrots. Others stand a few steps
back, cautiously evaluating the person approaching their stall.
Others stand far back and must be patiently coaxed forward, and
the impatient person who tries reaching for their halter to pull
them forward fails. A similar but even more dramatic experience
I can’t give most seminar attendees is a trip two hours south, to
the farms, to go out into the fields and try to get loose horses
and, especially, babies and yearlings, to come forward. Prospects
behave much the same way toward salespeople and buying
     Point 7 is another counter-intuitive caution. Many think
that the more memorized their presentations, the more swift
and certain their responses to every question and objection, the
better. But the fact that you’ve heard “Objection #22” six million
times during your career should be kept to yourself. For the
prospect, it’s an original, personal concern. The glib response is
perceived as a hasty, thoughtless, practiced response—not to be

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     trusted as authentic or sincere. Points 9 and 10 link to this. People
     are quite familiar with “objection handling,” and with sales tools.
         Let’s do some quick comparisons:

         SALESMAN has a brochure. An EXPERT has a book.
         SALESMAN has a fancy slide presentation. The DOCTOR
           engages in dialogue, diagnoses, and prescribes, often mak-
           ing his points on a pad of paper.

         SALESMAN has a scripted, polished spiel. When inter-
           rupted, he often picks back up where he left off, like a
           tape recorder with a pause button. An ADVISOR gives
           thoughtful responses.

         SALESMAN has products. The CONSULTANT has solu-

         SALESMAN has a “close” and tries to close the sale. The
           DOCTOR has a prescription. The CONSULTANT has an
           Action Plan.

                Trust-Based Marketing Requires Selling via
                  Media Without Screaming “Salesman”
     In print and direct-mail media, we use a number of different
     formats to diminish the appearance of salesperson-in-print.
     These include: advertorials, tear sheets, magalogs, newsletter-
     logs, and mini-books, (described and shown in a special online
     file, a free extension of this book, accessible at www.NoBSBooks.
     com/Trust); in broadcast, infomercial formats that mimic news,
     or documentary programs, or talk shows; online, webinars.
     In Matt’s business, we did very well for a time repositioning
     free workshops for retired and soon-to-retire investors as “An
     Evening with the Author.” This does not mean this media is
     neutered and not permitted to deliver strong sales messages. Just

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because we title it as a book or present it as special report does
not mean it can’t really be a sales letter.
    In 2011, acquaintances of mine—very astute financial/
investment information publishers—conducted one of the
most successful ad campaigns ever for a newsletter. You most
certainly saw it, heard it or received it in the mail. It directed
you to an online video presentation, two hours in length (!), at When the invitation to view the video
was presented and the video began, it did not wear salesman
clothes, and it did not announce that its purpose was to sell you
a newsletter. It presented itself attired as a Paul Revere sounding
an urgent alarm, a bold and heroic truth teller revealing secrets
you desperately needed to know, for you and your family’s
sake. I am told this campaign brought in over three-quarters
of a million new subscribers in just 12 months. That may be
an industry record. All astute marketers studied it. And since
subscribing to a financial newsletter is the purchase of advice
and guidance, pure and simple, this campaign lived or died by
    Also in 2011, the publisher and membership organization of
entrepreneurs I’m most closely associated with, GKIC, conducted
one of the most successful online info-product launches to date—
generating millions of dollars of revenue, for a home study
course on influence and persuasion, titled “The DNA/Game-
Changers System,” and simultaneously attracting thousands
of new members. You can see a condensed replay of the entire
launch campaign online, and get more information about GKIC
at What is significant is that
two forms of trust-based marketing fueled this campaign.
One, hundreds of affiliates were organized to promote the
viewing of my free online videos to the lists of people they
had trust relationships with, and these affiliates included such
highly-respected business experts as Tom Hopkins and Brian

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     Tracy. We borrowed/rented their trust relationships, a tactic I
     discuss in several other places in this book. Two, we delivered
     a series of my content-rich, provocative, and entertaining video
     presentations over a period of days plus a climactic, “live” multi-
     hour broadcast in advance of the offer; in fact, there was no
     way to buy the product until after these videos. This facilitated
     fostering trust in me and in the value of my information before a
     proposition was ever made.
          If you compare these examples to the way most people
     attempt to attract buyers for most goods and services, you’ll
     see a clear and profound difference. Most hold up a product,
     service, or proposition and holler, “Come buy this—and here are
     all the reasons, features, benefits, discounts and incentives to do
     so,” and then they fight to overcome a great deal of resistance,
     including clutter, competition, skepticism, and price issues. In
     my product examples, we said, “Come and see some fascinating
     and valuable information available nowhere else.” Then, with
     trust brewing, we presented an offer.
          You may be quick to argue that you are not selling financial
     or investment newsletters or business how-to materials. Were
     this a four-day seminar instead of a 200-page book, I could regale
     you with examples nearly identical to the two I just cited, from
     clients or GKIC Members in the following businesses:

         •	 Acne	Treatment
         •	 Animal	Remediation	(Google	it!)
         •	 Back	Pain	Relief	(Chiropractors)
         •	 “Better	Sleep”	Beds	&	Mattresses
         •	 Charities
         •	 Cosmetic	Dentistry
         •	 Cosmetic	Surgery
         •	 Dental	Implants
         •	 Disney	Vacations	&	Cruises

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    •	 Dog	Obedience	Training
    •	 Estate	Planning	(Attorneys/Law	Firms)
    •	 Financial	Services
    •	 Genealogy
    •	 Health	Clubs	&	Gyms—Fitness	Programs
    •	 Investments
    •	 Juicers	&	Other	Kitchen	Appliances
    •	 Karate	Schools
    •	 Lama-Farm	Investing	(yes,	really)
    •	 Life	Insurance
    •	 Marriage	Counseling
    •	 Mobility	Devices	&	Home	Remodeling	for	the	Handicapped
    •	 Nutritional	Supplements
    •	 Ophthalmology
    •	 Parenting	Courses
    •	 Quilting—For	Fun	or	Profit
    •	 Reverse	Mortgages
    •	 Sheds	(Custom	Backyard	Sheds)
    •	 Trout-Fishing	Excursions
    •	 Vacation	Home	Rentals
    •	 Weight	Loss
    •	 Wine-Tasting	Parties	@	Local	Wineries

    The Power of the Principle of the Delayed Sale
Most of these named businesses require and involve establishing
trust in the provider before successfully presenting a proposition.
By first being a provider of information, the trust-based marketer
intentionally (and courageously) delays presenting propositions
and asking for money, in favor of building authority, affinity,
credibility, fascination, and as outcome, trust. This is what I
call “the principle of the delayed sale.” I have not yet found a
business where it can’t be beneficially applied. But . . .

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           . . . the sales impulse is damnably difficult to resist.
          I tussle with corporate clients often, advising them to
     deliberately delay the sale in favor of developing trust with new
     customers or clients, even to the point of holding leads back
     from a sales force or dealer network until the prospect can be
     developed. Few companies’ leaders have the intelligence and
     backbone to engage in such restraint. And for anyone who is
     doing the selling, when someone with a pulse and a wallet
     appears in person, by phone, even as visitor to a website and
     reveals interest, the nearly irresistible impulse is to leap upon
     them and try to rip out their wallet immediately, lest they escape,
     or get eaten by a competing beast.
          If for no other reason this impulse should be resisted, it is
     because delaying the selling fosters and builds trust. That reduces
     all resistance, including, importantly, price or fee resistance; it
     expands price elasticity. It makes the selling and buying less
     stressful for you and the client, which better facilitates referrals
     at a faster pace, which reduces advertising and marketing costs,
     and boosts profitability.
          If you ask Everte Farnell, he will tell you how powerful
     delaying the sale has proven for his businesses, remodeling
     and construction, and animal remediation (www.evertefarnell.
     com). If you ask Sean Greeley, who sells area-exclusive business
     development services to operators of gyms and fitness centers at
     fees as high as $100,000.00, he will tell you that he deliberately
     delays these sales (
          And, let me tell you what has always occurred in my
     office, even in earlier days when I was still proactively seeking
     speaking engagements, consulting opportunities, and writing
     assignments, and we fielded a good number of cold, fresh
     inquiries from potential clients calling with typical new client
     questions—like: Is he available to do “x”? How much does he charge?
     If anybody in my office answered such questions or gave in to

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pressure to put the caller through to me or promise them a return
call, they were shot. Not fired. Shot. My process has forever been
deliberate delay of the sales conversation. In the most recent
ten years, it goes like this: My assistant instructs the prospective
client to submit a one-to-three page memo via fax describing
their business and matter of interest that she will forward to
me with my weekly in-bounds for review. Then either she or I
will follow up with them. In most cases, when I get that memo,
I draft a letter of response and have it sent with a package of
selected, relevant books and other materials. My letter typically
addresses fees and other compensation issues. If the inquiry is
about my copywriting services, my letter explains that all new
client relationships begin with an initial day of diagnostic and
prescriptive consulting, at my standard base fee. Ultimately, the
letter invites next steps by the potential client, often scheduling
the day via my assistant; sometimes getting a brief, preliminary
telephone appointment set with my assistant, almost always
one to three weeks out. In the interim, the client is encouraged
to get familiar with my work via the materials sent and certain
websites. By the time I am actually speaking with or meeting
with a new client, he has had to make two successive requests,
set a specific phone appointment or pay a fee and travel to the
day with me, and read and possibly view or listen to information
from me—and he is virtually pre-determined to retain me if he
can. Trust in me has been strengthened three ways:

    1. I did not behave like an eager salesman.
    2. I had a set, definitive process in place for moving forward.
    3. I “forced” the client to become (more) familiar with me in
       advance of any sort of sales conversation.

   I have known many people in many different businesses
who were too fearful—who believed it could not work in their
businesses, who thought they would lose people, who believed

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     they had to be immediately accessible—to try the delayed sale
     principle and prove it to themselves. I admit, bail bondsmen,
     hospital emergency rooms, and tow truck operators are on
     a short list of businesses where delaying the sale isn’t often
     practical; these businesses can, however, develop an informed
     customer in advance of need.
          The micro-mechanics of this are one thing. The critically
     important objective is, as Matt Zagula puts it, to show up like
     no one else. This ties nicely to a key principle from my Renegade
     Millionaire System: the majority is always wrong, so opportunity
     often lies in the opposite direction. Each time I have personally
     entered a new field of endeavor, or developed marketing for a
     client about to do so, I made a point of thoroughly understanding
     all the industry norms, customary practices, commonly-followed
     advertising, marketing, and sales models, and then strived to find
     utterly contrarian, opposite strategies. In every instance, I want to
     show up like no one else, and definitely like no salesman in the field.

                      Tactical Exercise: Differentiate or Die!
     Differentiate or Die! is the title of a book by the great ad man
     Jack Trout, but it has broader application than advertising.
     Differentiation, preferably to the extreme of a category of one,
     is evermore important in an increasingly cluttered selling
     environment. Two good tactical exercises are:

         1. List every industry norm and customary advertising,
            marketing, selling and other business model or strategy
            in your field that your clientele would experience with all
            your competition, and creatively seek differentiation.
         2. List every way in which your customers or clients would
            spot a salesman in their forest, and creatively seek dif-
     Dan S. Kennedy and Matt Zagula, No B.S. Trust-Based Marketing, © 2012, by Entre-
     preneur Media Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of Entrepreneur
     Media, Inc.
chapter 5   /   how   Not   to be aNother salesmaN

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