5 Lessons from the Possibly One of the Greatest Copywriters of All Time

Below listed are five of the best lessons that appeal and have value in my life from Gary Halbert. There is undeniably more than five from the Greatest Copywriter in the World, yet let’s keep it simple and be a starting place.

1. The Letter - If you haven’t heard of his most famous letter; Coat of Arms, him having to hire over 40 people to cash checks from it daily; stop and have a read.

Now we are all on the same page, let’s proceed. This letter is personal, so personal for a man in the 70’s. No internet to actually specify who the letter went to, just “Macdonald” or “Smith” etc. It doesn’t look like junk mail trying to sell you something, making it non-threatening and it proceeds to strike up human curiosity without a doubt.

I took away from this that you need to make people understand you are trying to help them, not sell to them. This letter, all 381 words, took Gary 18 months to write and even for such simple language, each word is there for a reason. In Gary’s prime there was only magazine adverts or the mailbox making social media an insane game changer, good and bad. You can reach over 1000x more people, more even, but you also have more competition, for the attention of a potential client.

2. Every Market Is a Market, - so why are you being so generic in your potential clients? You have to break through to capture someone’s attention. We, as salespeople, have so much to compete with, in regards to technology and the internet. Therefore, if people give you their attention for a few spare minutes, you owe it to them to know about their industry, market and themselves. You need to find a way to reach this person on another level other than being another salesperson.

People think mainly these thoughts before purchasing anything; will it save or make me money? Will it save me time? Will it improve my life? And most importantly, will it bring me happiness? Halbert mastered his skill but he wasn’t born with it, he learned. He understood how to unlock a market and relate to them therefore excelling in being able to relate to each person on a personal level.

3. You Can Only Sell One Thing At One Time – you will distract your target market in any instance and by that I mean don’t send an email or direct social advert/message with lots of instructions for that person to do because at the end of the day, they will do none. Learn that direct market, not generic, and talk and focus on one point for them. And of course, be polite.

People need constraints otherwise nothing happens. Ticking clock, pressure, more than one constraint as well. Not just for your clients or future ones, yourself too. Self-discipline to one’s self is truly a learned skill. Prioritise and stick to that one thing, don’t try to be a hero and multitask. Pick up the habit to not interrupt your flow and pick it up in editing. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

4. The Florist – more sales means more business, right or right? So how are you able to reach out to people on another level like I constantly point out? Well the Florist is an example situation; instead of walking in an asking them if they would like to boost their business, ask them if they do weddings. Why? As soon as you mention that trigger word, weddings, the florist lights up. Huge amounts of money is thrown on flowers at a wedding. That’s a starting key point for you to turn around and say how you can achieve them to get more exposure to brides to be, the list goes on.

Understand the conversations inside their head and don’t be fluffy in your communications. It’s about the person not you, consider their market pains. So you need to be asking yourself, what results are you able to deliver to this particular industry to aid their stress in their market. If you can’t write about their pains and gains on their market, you have to learn more about said market and try again. Then proceed to think of your product or service – is it a pain reliever or gainer creator?

5. Wow Facts – collecting facts for each industry, people in that industry and how they communicate with each other. And before you go ahead and open up a notes page on Word or Spreadsheet, first of all, kudos for being organised but you need to actually write this down. You will never look at it again and will most likely forget around 80% of the information you gathered.

Take a blank journal and list them all down in categories; who they are, their values as an industry, what they do, what people they mainly deal with and is it the same as the ones they are selling or providing too?

Now for a bonus lesson, number 6. Gary Halbert knew so much he didn’t want to just take that hard-won knowledge to the grave, he trained his two sons, Kevin and Bond Halbert from an early age - Bond from the age of 11 in the trade. They’ve continued that legacy, and built on it, generating a large string of successes in their own right. If you have any interest in learning and harnessing this amazing ability, you might want to check them out at an upcoming event in Australia.

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