Want Greater Influence? Smuggle Donkeys

Do you want prospects to take action more quickly? The fastest, easiest and most reliable way to influence your audience to take immediate action is to be transparent in your marketing.

transparency and donkey smugglingWhether you’re writing a sales letter, a video script, an email or even meeting a prospect in person, nothing is as persuasive as the truth. People can sense the truth. And when you’re not telling the truth, they can sense that, too.

Master salespeople are magicians of persuasion. They’re transparent. They tell on themselves. They show you exactly what they’re doing, but it’s so natural, so organic, and so seamless that you often don’t notice.

When teaching my students about this elusive aspect of truth, I like to share the 13th century Turkish fable about a merchant named Nasraddin Hodja.

Hodja crossed the Turkish border every single day on his donkey, which always carried a big load of straw on its back. The border patrol knew that Hodja was smuggling somethinginto the Far East, because he was becoming more prosperous each year.

So day after day, month after month, year after year, the customs officials would search Hodja and the donkey. They even burned the straw from time to time. But they could never figure out what he was smuggling.

After 30 years, when Hodja finally retired, one of the customs officers bumped into him at a bazaar.

He approached Hodja and said, “I’ve retired. So now will you tell me now what you were smuggling in the straw day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year? For nearly 30 years we found nothing, yet you obviously became a wealthy man.”

“Yes, of course,” Hodja said, “But do you promise not to turn me in?”

The customs officer agreed. “I give you my word. Now, who or what was it that you were smuggling?”

Hodja looked at him straight in the eye and said, “Donkeys, my friend. I was smuggling donkeys.”

To become a master influencer, be as transparent as Hodja. What does transparency look like? Let me give you an example.

An e-business tool that I’ve often recommended, especially if you’re making less than $100,000 a year, is www.MarketersChoice.net. That is my private reseller link. If it offends you that I’m going to make any money on that referral, then you can go directly to www.1shoppingcart.com to purchase the same tool.

That is transparency. It’s very different than me saying, “You must go to www.MarketersChoice.net. There is no other place that you can get this,” which is not true. There are many private resellers.

By being transparent about the fact that I am a reseller, I end up generating more sales, because I’m telling the truth. I’m essentially smuggling donkeys, because I am. I’m telling you flat out what I am doing.

Another way to demonstrate transparency is to do what is known in copywriting as “showing your warts.” It means proactively telling prospects about the flaws or shortcomings of your product or service rather than trying to hide or gloss them over.

What has your experience been with being transparent in your copywriting and sales? Share your thoughts below! ~ Alex

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