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    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART TWO:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: The Perniciousness of Persuasion

    My dear Wormwood,

    How have you progressed with influencing the Patient to pitch his goods and services? I have heard rumors that your intended victim has learned from “the Enemy” (www.Salesfish.com) to focus more on the needs and problems of his prospects, instead of on the features of what he’s trying to sell. If this is true, it spells potential disaster for our plans to destroy his business. I will expect a full report…

    But before you fall into melancholy over what may prove to be a wretched first stab, I do have another sweet strategy to sabotage the Patient’s sale. You remember we talked about how so many salespeople are still trying to wring the juice out of dusty, old sales techniques—how delightfully pathetic! One of the best ways for a sales strategy to stagnate is to inject it with an unhealthy dose of persuasion.

    Don’t get me wrong…there is an art you might call “persuading without persuading,” and we must steer the Patient away from that skill set. It involves being genuine and other-person centered—but, more on that later.

    No, the kind of persuasion I want you to inspire in the Patient is pushy and based on the assumption that the prospect before him is a good fit to begin with. We want the Patient’s eyes to roll back in his head and his mouth to engage with all the reasons why the prospect needs what he’s selling. Have him lead with persuasion before he even determines whether his audience is the right one. Fill his head with rank quips about how the ultimate salesperson could “sell catsup to a person with white gloves,” or a freezer to an Eskimo. To mention more clichés, this will have the Patient banging his head against a wall, trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip…etc.

    Should the Patient get the notion of qualifying or disqualifying prospects and audiences prior to continuing his efforts, then we are in trouble. (And by “we,” I mean you. Rest assured, I will place the blame on you, my beloved Wormwood.)

    Persuade the Patient to persuade their prospects and we will be that much closer to our objective to kill the sale.

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape


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