||A 130-Year-Old Sales Technique (a la Robert Louis Stevenson)

A 130-Year-Old Sales Technique (a la Robert Louis Stevenson)

This sales technique is 130 years old.

In April’s lesson on great sales techniques, we talked about the “reverse negative close,” also known as the “takeaway close.”  At that time, we didn’t have an example this good or we would have used it!  Essentially, this technique takes the pressure off the prospect, while at the same time, letting him know “this product is not for everyone. ”  At the same time, it appeals to something that you’ve noticed is a “trigger” to him.
The takeaway close

On the road home from Infusionsoft University, we were listening to the excellent audiobook of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island by exLibris, and we noticed that Stevenson used this technique very masterfully and eloquently in 1883.

Keep in mind that Stevenson’s effort was to sell books to young boys, who would probably rather have a baseball or other toy than a book.  Here’s the passage –

To the Hesitating Purchaser:

If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
If schooners, islands, and maroons,
And buccaneers, and buried gold,
And all the old romance, retold
Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of old,
The wiser youngsters of today:

–So be it, and fall on! If not,
If studious youth no longer crave,
His ancient appetites forgot,
Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
Or Cooper of the wood and wave:

So be it, also! And may I
And all my pirates share the grave
Where these and their creations lie!

In aviation, you can appeal to your audiences’ desire for exclusivity, convenience, smart business decisions, or perhaps even adventure.  After all, we’re all kids at heart.

If only we were all this eloquent!  But even in plainer, modern language, you can see how this technique could be used.

How well do you know your own “Hesitating Purchaser?” Do you know enough to create a statement that indicates “this product is not for everybody” in a way that is likely to make him even MORE attracted to your product or service?