Selling With Shock, Awe, Theater and Drama
If you can’t make your numbers and are stuck, maybe it’s time to present your story and product with more flair and drama.
Pushing for the Listing
Daryl Hardy who publishes Success Magazine sold real estate between the ages of 20 and 24. in getting expired real estate listings, he says he was determined that people were either going to love or hate him.
Using his “shock and awe” campaign, he said he would show up on the prospect’s doorstep at 6 am to ask for the listing. If he didn’t get it, later in the day an assistant delivered a package he called “Da-Bomb” because it was “big and stuffed complete of combustible materials.”
But Wait, There’s More!
Hardy describes the rest:
“Then in the early evening an assistant would show up and hand them a SOLD sign and say, ‘This is a gift from Darren Hardy; you will need this soon after you hire him to sell your house.’
Later that evening I would stop by in person and ask for the listing again. If the listing nevertheless hadn’t been secured I would then have something hand-delivered or mailed to them every day for at the minimum two weeks along with a daily call from me personally.”
The Man who Used Theater and Drama
Someone else who knew how to get attention was the late Gary Halbert who called himself “the world’s greatest copywriter.” A lot of people say he was. But Gary was very direct and plain speaking which ticked off some people.
He said advertising is too often missing two important elements: theater and drama. He wrote an advertising campaign for the wife of actor Ernest Borgnine, Tova. She was launching a new perfume line and Gary needed a emotional way to meet her. So he focused on the book she had just written:
“I wrote a complete page newspaper ad: ‘New book by Tova Borgnine hits best seller list.’ I had it typeset just like it was a real newspaper ad. Had it framed in a gold frame. Had it wrapped in silver foil with a bow and had it couriered to her office. She opened it up and called me 20 minutes later. I made millions of dollars from that association. You’ve got to stand out from these people. You want to make your marketing more impactful. Wham, wham, wham.”
Launching the Perfume
To kick off the sale of Tova’s new perfume, Gary insisted that instead of using a boutique that might keep up 150 people, she rent the complete bottom-half of the Century Plaza Hotel. Then he wrote a complete page ad for the Los Angeles Times promising a free bottle for the first thousand people. More than 7,000 people showed up on a weekday afternoon.
That set afloat got mentioned in Time magazine and generated millions of dollars’ worth of orders from big department stores. Halbert said the set afloat was so successful because of a terrific big idea implemented perfectly. The ad began with a mythical headline which he claimed was the greatest ever written:
Wife Of Famous Movie Star Swears Under Oath Her New Perfume Does Not Contain An Illegal Sexual Stimulant!
So when thinking about how to stand out in the marketplace, look for ways to make what you’re saying—and selling—-more dynamic.