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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Review: Tested Sentences That Sell - by Elmer Wheeler

I've been re-reading "Tested Sentences That Sell" by a long lost genius called Elmer Wheeler. He and his team analysed and tested 105,000  different words and approaches to selling pretty much everything on 19 million people.

As Wheeler says " the underlying philosophy of this book: that single sentences can be so constructed as to make a majority of people buy."

When you read it you can certainly see exactly what he means. He goes from selling any and all of:

  • vacuum cleaners
  • clothe pegs
  • restaurant desserts
  • Getting a job
  • Oil

You'll have to forgive me as it's difficult to be even handed about this when Wheeler has written such a practical, useful and profit inducing book for almost any business owner.

This book along with those by Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy and others really set the approach to marketing and sales.

The reason? As Wheeler says human psychology never changes.

Remember the phrase "Sell the sizzle not the steak?" that comes from the title of Wheelers first chapter - "Don’t Sell The Steak – Sell the Sizzle!"

This is the first of 5 Wheelerpoints. Each one building on the first to produce near unstoppable sales approaches.

The other 5 Wheelerpoints are

  1. Don’t Sell the Steak – Sell the Sizzle!
  2. “Don’t Write – Telegraph.”
  3. “Say It with Flowers.”
  4. Don’t Ask If – Ask Which?
  5. Watch Your Bark!

Wheeler also notes a number of modern phrases that have completely outlived their usefulness in selling situations. Do you think everyone knows them? Given the sales people who ring me I suspect not...

And as he says the "Tested Sentences That Sell" are not canned sales pitches. They're planned and are made up of several components that work together to get the sale.

This book is written with the businessperson in mind. It helps you construct "Tested Sentences That Sell" by giving you lots of worked examples.

This is a book that repays getting and reading and re-reading.

I did find things I already knew in the book but they were more than compensated by the useful things I discovered, such as "say it with flowers".  I also found the reasons why certain things work and why others just completely fail miserably now. Using the principles clearly laid out you could confidently construct your own "Tested Sentences That Sell" and start converting more prospects. Although it's an old book you can still buy it now at Tested Sentences That Sell.


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