Thursday, January 13, 2011

Con Artist or Great Salesman?

- by Dave Cottrell
I recently watched a bit of a movie again called Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, a Paramount production of a John Hughes comedy starring John Candy and Steve Martin.

John Candy played the role of a chatterbox shower curtain ring salesman, while Steve Martin played the part of a humorless businessman. Both men were trying to get home for Thanksgiving, but everything seemed to be against them.

Short of funds, and desparate to get home against all odds, the salesman hawked shower curtain rings as anything but what they were in an airport terminal for $5 to $10 a pair.

Who would pay that much for a pair of shower curtain rings? Nobody! But Candy's character didn't sell them as curtain rings. He sold them as what appealed to the emotion and ego of the marks - I mean prospects...

People bought them as earring, nose rings and what have you, because the quick talking, softspoken, polite, friendly con man - oops, there I go again - I mean salesman, spoke to their emotions rather than their intellect.


What is the difference between a con artist and a great salesman?

Con artists appeal to the emotions of their marks. They concentrate on the benefits to you of buying into what they're selling. Very little is actually said about buying - the emphasis is steadily and repeatedly on the benefits, building up the excitement until the mark is practically pleading for the way to turn over the cash.

Great salesmen do exactly the same thing.

This kind of emotional buildup is what is commonly known as hype. It hypes up your emotions - that is, it leads you to a point of emotional hyperactivity that overrides your reason if you let yourself get carried away, and ends up with you having less money than before.

Here is where the line gets drawn between the con artist and the great salesman. The con artist takes your money - you end up poorer - and that's it. The salesman, on the other hand, exchanges something with you for your money, meaning that you have something in your hand to replace the money.

Here is where due diligence comes in. You need to keep your emotions in check or you won't be able to tell the difference between the con artist and the salesman. Their methods are identical.

You need to stay calm and focus on the value being delivered. Once you part with your money, it's too late. You can try to go after the crook, but it takes time, you may never catch him, and likely you will never get your money back anyway.

Always take the time to find out if the offer is legitimate BEFORE turning over your money.

When you're sitting at your computer and the hype is set in type on your screen in front of you, you have a great advantage. You can decide right now that whenever you see something that really appeals to you on that screen, that you're going to save it, leave that website or email, and look at it again tomorrow.

I can almost hear some of you saying, "Well, I can't do that because there's a time limit, and it will be over tomorrow!"

Guess what... trust me on this... it WON'T be over tomorrow. Just go looking for ANY product or service that's being offered right now with a deadline (and maybe even a counter that's counting down the hours). Do what I said, and bookmark it, close it, and come back after the deadline. What will you see? Exactly the same counter with a brand new deadline!

The fact is that I can get the software to create a deadline for everyone who comes to any of my pages. A good one, which I can get for absolutely free, will set a cookie on your computer and start it's own special countdown for you. There are so many variations of what you can do with this software, but just remember this... It's a TRICK, designed to raise your emotional level of imminent loss if you don't act quickly.

Always remember: if an offering really is good, it will still be there another day. If it's not, it wasn't any good anyway. The "Deal of a Lifetime" that just can't wait is HIGH RISK. Don't go there.

Dave Cottrell is opinionated, compassionate, and passionate about people, marketing and online business. He does a lot of digging, experimenting and research, and writes like crazy about a wide variety of topics and subjects. He is the owner of many websites and blogs; you can read his rants and find out more about him at This article can be shared freely as long as this box remains intact. Copyright © 2011 David H. Cottrell. All rights reserved.

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