The Boron Letters - Chapter 21



Monday, 11:24 AM

July 2, 1984


Dear Bond,

Here I am again sitting down to write and not knowing what I am going to write about. Yesterday was the hardest day I've had here so far. Nothing special happened, it's just that I started really longing for my freedom. Today my road work was so hard that I had to divide it up into three sections and run both in the morning and again between 10:30 and 11:30 in order to be able to finish it.

I'm tired.

Oh well, kids in Africa are starving so let's get started. I still am stuck to let's see. Hmn? Maybe it's time we talked about propositions. Propositions are very important. They are the "deal" you are offering. For example: One deal might be that if you buy one item you get another item free. Another example of a proposition is the one used by the record and book clubs. It goes like this: "You can have any 10 records you want right now for only 99 if you agree to buy an additional record every other month for the next two years." Another very common "deal" or proposition is: "If you buy right away you will get a big discount." And another is: "I'll give you a discount if you buy more than one." And, of course, the most common proposition of all is simply: "If you give me X dollars I will give you X product!"

Propositions are very important in DM and MO selling and a very important ingredient in making your propositions work is the "reason why". In other words when you say in effect, "Have I got a deal for you!" you need an explanation as to why you are offering this good deal.

You see, if you don't have an explanation, your "deal" won't be believable and you may not get the sale.

Here are some common explanations for good deals:

"I'm going out of business."

"I just had a fire and I'm having a fire sale."

"I'm crazy." (all used car dealers)

"I owe taxes and I've got to raise money fast to pay them."

"I've lost my lease and I've got to sell this merchandise right away before it gets thrown into the sheet."

"I've got to make space for some new merchandise that is arriving soon so I will sell you what I have on hand real cheap."

And so on. All of these explanations work and that's why they are used all the time. However, there is a far more compelling "excuse for a deal" and if you can find a way to use it you can dramatically increase your sales volume.

You know what? I just thought of something else you can do to make your copy more effective so I am going to take a detour here and tell you about it before I forget. Don't worry. We'll come back to propositions in a minute.

Anyway, a couple paragraphs back I wrote: "and if you can find a way to use it, you can dramatically increase your sales volume."

Now, compare that to this: "and if you can find a way to use it, you can make yourself a bushel of money!"

Isn't that a lot more powerful? You bet! The words "dramatically increase your sales volume" do not even begin to conjure up the visual imagery of "a bushel of money."

So, write like that. Bring your story down to earth and hit 'em where they live. (In their hearts and their pocketbooks!)

Well, Bondo, I just came up from my visit with you and Eric and it sure was good to see both of you. You know, a lot of people believe it would be better for all concerned if I never had a relationship with {name deleted} again. And, they may very well be right. But I can't help it; I love her and I miss her like crazy.

And, as you probably know, Eric told me she's seeing another guy now. I can't blame her. We are broken up and I always told her anyway that I didn't want her to wait around for me.

But boy it sure hurts.

And, once again, I'm writing about it because it releases me a little bit. You know, kiddo, you can't always control what happens to you in life but you do have a lot of control over your responses.

So what do I do to deal with this hurt? I write. I do my road work. I do my chores. I don't snivel. And mainly:

I Just Keep On

Keepin' On

What else? I mean, unless you're going to take the pipe there really is no other rational choice.

And so, we'll talk about that extraordinarily effective excuse for a deal. Here it is:

I Am Offering You

This Deal Because You

(By Virtue Of Some Unique Circumstance)

Are So Special

This bears a little explanation. Listen to this: Once upon a time I wrote a letter to sell a family crest wall plaque. This letter contained a photograph of the wall plaque just like I have talked about doing and what that letter told my reader was something like this:



Dear Mr. So and So,

I thought you would like to see what the So and So family crest looks like in full color so I am sending you the enclosed wall plaque.

The reason we have the So & So wall plaque in stock is because we needed to take some pictures of our products for publicity purposes and So & So is one of the family crests we used when making our samples.

However, now that we are finished with our PR campaign we have this plaque in stock with your family crest.

And, since we can't sell this wall plaque to anybody unless they are named So & So we have a very limited (as you know, there aren't many So & So's) market for it.

And, therefore, since your name is So & So we'd like to offer it to you at a true and honest discount of X percent!



Did this approach work? Wow! Did it ever! Like...

40 Million In Sales!

You know, I'm sad and it's hard right now to keep on keepin' on but that's what I'm going to do.

And so, as you can see, in that last example I found a way to show my customers that he was unique and valuable to me. Now, let's see if we can come up with some other ideas along this line: For example:

"I'm offering you this special deal because your trade in is a 1976 Gas Sucker and I have a customer who wants that car. Therefore, I'm willing to break even on the sale to you make my profit from the other guy."



"Since you are one of the world's leading gynecologists we feel you are in a unique position to appreciate this picture book of unusual______"



"Since you have proven yourself to be an astute judge of art, we are willing to send you these paintings at half price but only if you will give us your opinion in writing."




"A mutual friend of ours, Tom Smith, said I should write you because, he says, you are the best judge of value of a book like this that he knows."


Onward. Onward. Onward.

I'm hurting and the radio is playing "Amazing Grace" by, I think, Linda Ronstat. Damn! Life gets tough sometimes!

Here's more. How about this opening:


Dear Mr. So & So,

I have attached a dollar bill to the top of this letter for two reasons.

First, I needed some way to get your attention because, secondly, I have a very important message for you and every other real estate agent in L.A. County.




Dear Mr. So & So,

Did you know there are only 117 So & So families in the entire U.S.?

Yes, it's true. And, because you are one of them, blah, blah, etc., etc.


I Love You And Good Luck!




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