The Magic of Making Unfair Offers

by Dean Rieck

By all appearances, Charley Hill was an average, ordinary guy.

He lived in a mid-sized town with his wife, two children, and a dog. He went to church on Sunday, coached Little League, and drove a pickup truck. He was friendly but quiet, the sort of guy you could walk by on the street without noticing.

But appearances can be deceiving. Because Charley Hill was one of the most successful salesmen in the Midwest. What did Charley have that other salesmen didn't? Not a thing. He sold the same products. Carried the same parts. Provided the same service. Yet his sales were typically two or three times that of competitors. The reason?

Charley Hill didn't believe in "fair" offers. In fact, he went out of his way to treat his customers unfairly. Now obviously I don't mean he cheated people. What I mean is that he made offers that were so compelling and seemed so skewed in his customers' favor, people just couldn't say no.

What is a fair offer anyway? A reasonable price? There's nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing very exciting about it either. An unfair offer, on the other hand, is very exciting. It's a deal that makes a purchase seem irresistible.

How do you make an unfair offer? Any way you like. But if you're a direct marketer, I suggest starting with one of these seven offers that have proven themselves over the years. They almost always raise your response rate because they all include an element that seems to lean in your customer's favor.

But don't stop with these seven offers. If a guarantee works, try a double-your-money-back guarantee. Combine a negative option with credit card payments and a free trial. Try adding a limited-time offer to any offer you're making. If you get good results with Yes/No, try Yes/Maybe and offer more information for all of the maybes, which will turn a portion of your program into a two-step sale. Do your customers like free gifts? Okay, try a free gift with a free trial. Maybe another free gift with payment.

There are countless offers you can make. Endless ways to combine them, tweak them, and pump them up to make your sales explode off the charts. Charley Hill knew that you don't need flashy products or a fancy sales pitch. You can sell just about anything to anyone if you just make the right offer. The more unfair it is and the more valuable it seems, the more you'll sell.

So. How unfair is your offer?

Copyright © 2001 Dean Rieck. All Rights Reserved.
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