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Persuasion Secrets of a Sicilian Mafia Don: Part 2

“When did I ever refuse an accommodation?” – Vito Corleone, The Godfather Part 1

The other day I replayed an old audio from Clayton Makepeace.

Makepeace is (or at least, was) the world’s highest-paid copywriter – earning Mafia-sized money. 7 figures in a year. He said something which got me thinking:

Whenever he gives something away in his copy – something useful – response has always increased.

It’s also one of the great persuasion secrets of Don Corleone – the Godfather’s underworld anti-hero. Last week I wrote about how Don Corleone uses a special two-pronged offer to get people to act.

However, this overlooks the fact that Don Corleone was also astoundingly generous. Any Italian who lives within Corleone’s long reach can come to him and have their problems solved.

Corleone is rich…

…But he never performs these favours for money. He only asks for their friendship and, perhaps, will expect them to return the favour. Generosity is used strategically to play a long game and get what he wants.

This is not the same as giving away piles of free content and hoping your readers will someday return the favour.

Often (and I’m just as guilty of this myself), you will see businesses throwing a bunch of stuff at readers…being generous…but not making that generosity relevant to the sale.

How can you overcome this in your sales message? It’s simple.

Tell them the ‘what.’ Hold back the ‘How’

Last month I wrote some copy for a Canadian entrepreneur.

He wanted to teach people his favourite business which is 1. easy to set up, and 2. makes a lot of money fast.

However, his copy lacked punch because he was afraid to give too much away.

His favourite business, by the way, was Facebook Remarketing.

“Why not just tell them that?” I said.

That alone is valuable information. Something to make them go “Ah-ha!”

“Then you can sell them on how your course delivers the results faster. How it helps navigate the obstacles on the way to success.”

Notice this technique gives away the ‘what’ without giving away the ‘how.’

The ‘What’ gets the reader excited. The ‘How’ is left out until they buy.

That’s all for now. If you want to hear Don Corleone’s third persuasion trick, stay tuned. That’s coming up next week. And I promise it’ll be better than The Godfather Part III.




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