Thursday, 10:07 AM
I’ve got so many marketing courses, swipe files and other goodies that I sometimes forget about a lot of the stuff.
Here’s a little gem I ran across a couple days ago.
It’s an e-mail Gary Halbert wrote in response to a prospect who contacted him about writing copy.
He wasn’t personally taking on any more clients back then so he was going to pass this client off to one of the three guys working with him at that time… Craig Garber, Carlos Duran and yours truly, the semi-handsome DD.
I was actually in Halbert’s apartment, looking over his shoulder as he wrote this. (I REALLY miss that irreverent S.O.B.!)
Halbert told me, “I want you to see my response to this guy. THIS is how you handle clients.”
Then he cc’d me on the e-mail so I would have it for posterity.
And now I’m going to share it with you EXACTLY as Halbert wrote it… with all the typos and no paragraph breaks:
I know of only three copywriters who can do the job foy you at anything even close to a reasonalble price. They were all trained by me and charge a flat fee of 7500 and all of it has to be paid up front . This is the fee for producing a killer website and I have paid everyone of them to write copy for me when I was too busy to do it myself. They will not email you or talk with you on the phone or communicate with you in anyway until they have been paid. They will not take partial payments. If you do pay the 7500 up front, your work will be done promptly and expertly. I personally guarantee their work. If they fail to produce a winner for you,I will step in and do it myself at no extra cost. What they wont do is spend one second going over your project with you until they have been paid. I taught them that. There are 1000,s of people who pretend they want and can afford to become a client and only about 1% of them who are real. Look, it is nothing to be ashamed of not to be able to afford a good copywriter but it is skanky to pretend you can when you can,t. That is a theft of time, our most valuable resourse. If you can do it, contact me. If you cant, please dont email me again. I am almost blind in one eye and until I get an operation, it is hard for me to read emails. Gary
By the way, you may not know this but Gary hand wrote all his sales letters. Then he dictated them by phone to Theresa Forti, his secretary, and she typed them. Gary never really mastered the keyboard, hence the formatting and typos in his e-mail messages. And his failing eyesight didn’t help, either.
When I first saw this e-mail I was a little shocked at how “strong” it was. In fact, at the time, it seemed a little offensive.
I get it now.
I’ve had clients and client prospects do some really nasty stuff to me.
One well-known guru deceived and manipulated me into doing work he never paid for.
By the way, this “goo-roo” (as Ben Settle calls ‘em) also lied to all his customers about the size and success of his business… AND the effectiveness of his $1,995 course. (He couldn’t even make his own course work for him… but he sold it anyway.)
And this guy is still out there selling a membership program and STILL lying about how much money he makes from his health business.
I have to admit… I’m tempted to name names but last time I checked, nobody appointed me as the Internet Marketing Goo-roo police. (It’s too much work for just one guy anyway. Wayyy too many offenders.)
I should just cool my jets because karma is going to deal with this guy… and it ain’t gonna be pretty.
Whoo! I went off on a tangent there for a sec. I guess Ryan Healy’s recent post, Internet Marketing On Life Support, still has me kinda wound up about these lying low-life Internet Marketing “gaggle of gurus”.
Back to my Gary Halbert lesson.
As a freelancer, time is your most valuable asset. And you have to guard it like the gold that USED to be in Fort Knox. (You’d be shocked and outraged if you knew who has it now.)
The minute you hang out your shingle as a freelance copywriter… or anybody who works with clients… there will be plenty of people who want nothing but to suck you dry for free advice.
And you’ll get all kinds of interesting compensation offers that are nothing more than carefully disguised frauds to deceive you into working for free.
Halbert was onto that all that. He could smell a rat a mile away.
And just because somebody has a lot of money and owns a multi-million dollar business doesn’t automatically make them a qualified prospect. Some of those guys are rats, too, who only want to rip you off.
Halbert’s posture was strong, I admit. But it worked for him pretty darn well.
I’ve seen him teach an entire seminar explaining the whole time how much “clients suck”… and why he won’t ever accept another one.
Then I watched in utter amazement as the attendees stood in line, one by one, $30,000 checks in hand, BEGGING him to take their copy job.
I only recently started accepting a handful of clients again. Out of necessity, I’ve had to adopt a similar posture. I just try to inject a little more people skills with the hope of not coming across as too much of an arrogant ass.
Anyhoo… that’s the lesson I got out of Gary’s e-mail.
What’s your reaction to it? Are there any lessons you got from it?
If so, why don’t you scroll down a few inches (or centimeters for the rest of the world) and jot your thoughts down in the comments box below.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
All the best,