Wednesday, [3:24] PM
Ever heard of Joe Polish?
If you’re a serious student of marketing you have.
Joe’s a master marketer who, like me, was trained by the late, great Gary Halbert and has been hired by the who’s who in business… including Bill and Shawn Phillips back when they owned the HUGELY successful supplement company, EAS.
Anyhoo… I had a brief but interesting conversation with Joe at John Carlton’s Action Seminar back in 2009.
I asked him what he looks for in the copywriters he hires.
His reply was not at all what I expected.
I like to work with copywriters who not only write killer copy… but understand basic courtesy and know how to say ‘thank you.’
The break was over and Stan Dahl, John Carlton’s partner, was shuttling everybody back into the seminar room… so I didn’t have time to ask Joe to clarify. I have to assume this has been a fairly common problem or Joe wouldn’t have brought it up.
And I’m pretty sure I know what he was lamenting… but we’ll talk about that in just a minute.
A couple years ago I raised my copywriting fees from $15,000 per package to $25,000 to $50,000 (depending on the project) plus royalties. I mostly did that to discourage people from hiring me.
You see, I very rarely do any client work. In fact, since November 2009 I have politely turned down every single copywriting gig offered to me… including some potential 6-figure gigs. I now pass all those on to the copywriters in my “Marketing Camelot.”
But just a couple days ago I got a call from a client I wrote three or four packages for a few years ago. (Even though I’m on another continent, the handful of people in my inner circle still know how to reach me.)
He offered me a very unique and interesting copywriting gig for a product I know to be the best of the best… something I really believe in and personally use every single day.
If it were anybody else I probably would have politely declined and immediately made the gig available to the copywriters who subscribe to The Doberman Dan Letter.
But the fact that he’s a good honest guy I now consider a friend and truly enjoy hanging out with… AND owns a growing business on track to doing $100 million a year within the next three years… well, he had my ear.
Long story short: A big fat 5-figure check is waiting for me in a FedEx envelope back home at the UPS Store.
Most importantly, here’s what I said after we finalized the deal:
“Thank you for the opportunity!”
Ya know, I never ONCE heard Gary Halbert say “thank you” to a client.
That wasn’t Halbert’s style.
I swear, that guy could get away with saying the most obnoxious and arrogant things… and most people would just laugh and say, “Oh, that Gary!”
It worked for him… most of the time.
But for me, people skills and basic courtesy, like saying thank you, are what works best.
I think what Joe Polish was saying is this:
There are a lot of rookie copywriters out there promoting themselves… who have read a few books, attended a couple seminars or maybe bought AWAI’s course… but have little to no REAL experience in this business.
They’ve read Gary Halbert and Dan Kennedy’s stuff about client management and didn’t understand the REAL message. The only thing they erroneously took away from it is arrogance somehow translates into confidence… and that creates the kind of “posture” that will attract clients.
They couldn’t be further from the truth.
The steely-eyed, ace-up-the-sleeve, derringer-in-the-boot, quiet and calm “gunfighter confidence” only comes from being an honest to goodness…
And no matter how hard you try, you just can’t fake that.
Like Alan Ladd in the movie Shane… a gun recognizes another gun.
Somebody with a successful direct response business didn’t get to that level by faking it. He has paid the price and made huge sacrifices most people will never be able to understand.
He’s a real “gun.”
And a gun recognizes a phony even before you utter a single word.
Better to stop trying to fake your way to looking like a gun and be honest about your lack of experience… than to look like a complete idiot in front of a REAL gun and lose out on lots of profitable future opportunities.
You see, a top gun doesn’t need to put on airs. His or her track record speaks for itself… and THAT is what creates that gunfighter confidence.
A top gun doesn’t have to utter a single word. Confidence automatically radiates from his eyes.
And another gun recognizes it instantly.
A dumb rookie does stupid stuff like acting arrogant, bragging and not saying thank you, thinking that will make him a gun.
Nope. Not now… not ever.
A top gun can be quiet, warm, kind and courteous… and say things like “please” and “thank you”… because he doesn’t have to try and CREATE any kind of “posture.” His track record and experience say everything that needs to be said.
Don’t get me wrong. Being a rookie doesn’t mean you have to go around groveling and begging for gigs.
But don’t go around acting like an arrogant dick either, thinking you can pass yourself off as a gun. That will cost you a LOT of gigs… and will seriously hurt your reputation, too.
You see, the direct response community is a pretty small little clique… and we all talk.
Arrogant dick-heads (both rookies AND top guns), if they piss off the wrong people, can very easily find themselves black-listed… by EVERYBODY.
Yes, if you’ve got some chops… even if you’re a rookie… what you can do for your clients is pretty important. But you’ll attract and KEEP a lot more clients by being friendly and courteous, instead of an arrogant ass bragging about skills you don’t really have.
Oh… one more thing.
A “thank you” every now and then could do your career a world of good…
…ESPECIALLY if you’re ever hired by Joe Polish.