Love him or hate him, you have to admit it. Rush Limbaugh is a phenomenon.
He doesn’t promise riches, better health, social status, to ease your workload, or get you dates.
In fact, he never offers anyone one single benefit or presents a single “Reason Why” listening to him or reading him will improve your life in any way.
And yet, 20 million Americans religiously tune into his radio broadcasts. Hundreds of thousands subscribe to his newsletter. And masses rush to bookstores and snap up every book he writes.
In short, Limbaugh has broken every “rule” of effective marketing. And he’s become a billionaire (or darned close to it)!
How does he do it?
A year or so ago, he himself gave us the answer in his newsletter:
“The first year of my radio program callers would tell me how thrilled they were that there was finally somebody in the national media who expressed what they believed.
“For decades, conservatives had seen their values laughed at, impugned, run down. My radio program validated thinking that existed all over America….”
Put simply, Limbaugh makes millions because he offers his followers something they value more than money: Validation. And the emotional release it brings with it.
Until they discovered Mr. Limbaugh, his devotees were frustrated with politicians, the media, and the direction in which they felt our culture was headed.
But they had no voice. No power to change things. And, worst of all, no outlet for their frustration and anger.
The Astonishing Power of Powerlessness
Nearly all of us feel powerless at some time or another. That powerlessness causes frustration and even anger to well up. And unless we find an outlet for those negative emotions, they gnaw away at us.
Psychiatrists have long known that the feeling that we are not in control of things that directly impact our lives is a major cause of both aggressive behavior and depression.
And medical studies have even linked the frustration, anger, and rage that powerlessness causes with weakened immune response and frequent physical illness.
That’s where Limbaugh comes in. He understands that millions of conservative Americans disagree with and are worried about the direction our government and/or society are taking — and feel powerless to “make things right.”
And his magic is in providing a much-needed OUTLET for those pent-up negative feelings.
- By acknowledging his audience’s deepest and most intense emotions, he validates them.
- By expressing their feelings in ways that get heads nodding and listeners laughing, he gives his followers desperately needed emotional release.
- And his followers reward him handsomely by buying just about everything the man produces or plugs!
In short, like any good businessperson, Limbaugh provides a product that brings value to people’s lives and that they’re willing to pay for.
And although his product is both invisible and intangible, the emotional release he delivers is worth far more to his followers than the money they pay to get it!
Adding an Emotional Overlay to Your Sales Message Pays HUGE Dividends!
Now, you gotta ask yourself: If Limbaugh can make a gazillion samolians selling nothing BUT emotional release…
How much more money could you make by including an element of emotional release in your next promotion?
Every single grand-slam homerun promotion I’ve ever written has that one thing in common. Each one acknowledged, validated, and put my prospect’s sense of powerlessness — and his negative emotions about his powerlessness — into words.
And by doing that, each of these blockbusters:
1. Provided an emotional outlet for my prospects that made them so eager for more that they bought my product and…
2. Positioned my ersatz author NOT as a salesman, but as the prospect’s friend, advocate, and champion — and, in the process, completely neutralized my prospects’ “anti-salesman” defenses.
And you know what? This simple technique can work wonders for YOU — no matter what you’re selling!
- Put your sales copy into the voice of an advocate who acknowledges and validates your prospect’s sense of powerlessness, his frustrations and his anger…
- Who provides an OUTLET for those pent-up frustrations by expressing them in ways that get the prospect’s head nodding and even get him chuckling…
- And then does something even “The Great Rushbo” can’t do. He demonstrates how the product will permanently relieve the prospect of those negative feelings…
And you’ve probably got a HUGE winner on your hands!
Four Steps to Breakthrough Bliss
Creating a sales message that harnesses this powerful technique is as easy as 1-2-3-4.
1. Identify the enemy — and make it personal!
No matter what you sell, there’s somebody out there in the same, a similar, or a competing field who’s doing your prospect wrong.
In alternative health, it’s probably dimwitted mainstream doctors and drug company fat cats.
In the investment field, it could be greedy brokers, idiotic self-appointed experts, and “talking heads” on TV shows.
In the personal finance field, it could be money-hungry bankers, heartless tax collectors, and everyone else who assumes that your money is really their money.
What enemy is making YOUR prospects feel powerless, insulted, frustrated, and angry?
Whoever it is, personalize the enemy. It’s not half as much fun lampooning hospitals, drug companies, banks, and the IRS as it is skinning the jerks who run them!
2. Identify the things “the enemy” does that frustrate or anger your prospect, insult his intelligence, or render him powerless.
Does the enemy hide important information from your prospect? Does he lie to him outright? Does he treat your prospect as if he’s a dunce?
Is he arrogant and self-important — an authority figure just begging to be brought down a couple of pegs? Is he a sneak thief who nickels and dimes your prospect half to death?
List as many offenses as you possibly can.
3. Pinpoint how YOU feel about these kinds of people — and how you would feel if someone did these things to you.
Then express those feelings more articulately and with greater emotional power than your prospect possibly could.
4. Position your figurehead and his product as being the solution to the negative things the enemy does AND the balm that soothes the negative emotions your prospect has about them!
Make your author righteously indignant. And explain why he is absolutely livid about the way the prospect is being treated.
Say everything your prospect would just LOVE to tell the enemy. If you feel it’s appropriate, call him names.
In a promotion based on the Vioxx scandal, I had a sidebar with the headline: Modern-Day Murder-for-Hire Ring BUSTED!
Beneath that headline, I had pictures of the CEOs of Merck and Pfizer. Then the story (taken from The Wall Street Journal) about how they knew all along that Vioxx, Bextra, and Celebrex would kill people, but promoted them anyway just to make a fast buck.
Now I am NOT suggesting that you accuse your competitor of murder — or say anything else that might get you sued for libel.
But to paraphrase Barry Goldwater, “Extremism in the pursuit of your prospect’s well-being is no vice.”
P.S. 2009 was my best year ever. By a long, long shot. My clients made money hand over fist and grew to beat the band.
- In December — during the “dead” week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we pulled in $1 million per day.
- In August alone, we generated more than $8 million in sales for one client — the second-best month he’s ever had.
- In five weeks in late February and March, we hauled in more than $16 million in sales — about a half-million a day and $37 for every prospect and customer name in my client’s file.
The best part? My clients paid me millions of dollars in royalties on those sales — royalties that would make most small businesspeople turn green with envy.
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