Dewey, Cheatum & Howe, Inc.

Saturday, 2:35pm
Reno, NV
Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book!” (Gen. Patton, ambushing Nazi’s before they could ambush him)


Early Halloween memory: I’m getting ready to go extort candy from the neighbors with my older sister (cuz while I’m starting to suspect that Santa Claus ain’t real, I’m still pretty convinced that ghosts and witches are out there, thus requiring a bodyguard)…

… and, putting my worldly experience to work, I choose the biggest bag available to carry my haul in.

Dreams of endless sugar-rushes have my 5-year-old brain twitching like a junkie as we join the throngs of vandals and kids outside, and I’m raking it in.

However, just before calling it a night and heading home, I realize that my bag was a little TOO big… and I’d been dragging it along the ground, and all that glorious booty had fallen out in the street somewhere behind me.

The horror.

It was unfair.  It violated every code of how kids should be treated by the universe that I knew about.  It was a memory-scarring traumatic event.

I felt…


And I’m pretty sure that was my first lesson in empathy.  Because it sucked to feel like I’d been cheated out of something.

Sucked, sucked, sucked.  I’d headed out that evening snickering to myself about being so clever with the big bag… and… and…

Well, I can’t even talk about it anymore.  It’s just too painful a memory.

And from that moment on, I have nodded in solidarity and sympathy whenever someone else was cheated.  “Yeah,” I’d say to myself.  “Been there.”

In fact, there are three lessons here:

Losing All Your Candy Lesson #1: No one wants to be cheated.  The burning shame and humiliation of realizing you’ve been gypped, or taken for a ride, or fooled never loses its intensity.

In fact, I think it gets worse as you get older.

As a kid, you cry and sink into despondence.

As adults, folks have been known to even scores with violence.  (Think “road rage”… cuz someone soiled your honor by cutting you off in traffic.  You want ’em dead.  Doesn’t matter that they’re a nice little old lady who just didn’t realize she pulled out in front of you.  The complete and utter Wrath Of God wouldn’t be punishment enough for their trespass.  Grrrrr…)

Here’s how this manifests in marketing: Perhaps the biggest, baddest, and most hard-to-beat obstacle you will encounter when trying to persuade someone to take you up on your very fair, very generous, very drop-dead bargain of an offer…

…. is that many people would rather miss out on a killer opportunity…

… than risk being cheated.

All the wonderfulness of your completely ethical, over-delivered and super-cool product…

… is no match for even the remote possibility of being pitied, humiliated or laughed at by a spouse, gloating buddy, or asshole neighbor.

This is why good salesmen spend so much time shoveling benefit-laden sound bites into pitches.

You need to “arm” your prospect with simple, memorable come-backs that deflect the hail of shame he fears might be tossed at him.

Because, you know, it’s no secret that ALL advertising is bogus bullshit, and anyone who buys anything online is a fool, and I cannot believe you FELL for that marketer’s obvious nonsense.

What’re you, a complete sucker?

This is why “the more you tell, the more you sell” remains such valuable advice.

Let prospects know what other people’s experience was after buying.  Confirm your credibility with endorsements, and make each feature come alive with benefits that resonate and nail the sweet spots of raw need.

Help him put the price in perspective, by clearly explaining how your offer stacks up against other options and the competition.  Tell him what to expect in terms of results, and when to expect them.

Give him a well-lit road-map to follow to get moving as quickly as possible.  If it’s a bargain, tell him why.  If it’s an investment in his success, tell him why.  If there are risks, tell him what they are, and how he can mitigate them.

If there are flaws, reveal them.  It will only make your case stronger by being honest and forthcoming.

Make your guarantee shockingly generous.

Pile up the bonuses so the bargain is both real and tangible.

In short… BE that marketer you wish other biz owners would be when you deal with them.

Heck… if you can, arrange it so YOU’RE the one at risk of being cheated.  You take all the risk.  You over-deliver.

You give him every opportunity to take advantage of you… and rely on the strength of your product or service to convince him (through action and results) you were worthy of being given the chance to prove yourself to him.

Give him the unfair advantage in this deal.  Allow him to realize, on his own, that this really is a smart shopping decision and a genuine not-to-be-missed opportunity.

Losing All Your Candy Lesson #2: Don’t expect “logic” to win the day.

People are so sensitive to being on the losing end of a humiliating experience, that they will spin facts, truth and reality to back up their actions.

Everybody spins.  You spin.  I spin.  Mother Teresa and Ghandi spun.  We spin to our good friends, to our enemies, to strangers, lovers, pets and inanimate objects.  (“C’mon,” I’ve said to my car on a cold morning.  “Start, just start today, that’s all I ask… and I’ll wash and wax you and spit-shine your chrome and…”  Total spin.  I’ve never waxed a car in my life.  I just want the damn thing to start.)

But the biggest spin of all… is the spin we deliver to ourselves.

That’s why I chose that quote from Gen. George Patton up top.  He was a student of The Art Of War, and also devoted to the idea of “honor” among combatants.

So when he learned that Rommel was going to ambush him, he snuck his tanks into the desert and ambushed Rommel first.

In the movie, this comes right after a big Patton-esque blowhard speech about him wishing he and Rommel could just duel it out alone, the two of them shaking hands and then fighting… and whoever won, won the war.  Very honorable.

Then he goes out and ambushes the dude.  And is near-orgasmic as he crushes the Nazi columns.

Everybody wants the best possible deal.  Everybody.

And that makes it logically impossible to create a deal that satisfies everyone…

… UNLESS you know how to enable the other guy to spin things inside his head so he believes he scored huge.

Truth is often a casualty.  I remember, long ago, witnessing another musician selling his guitar to someone he knew… these guys KNEW each other… and the axe was worth ten times what he wanted for it.  But still the buyer negotiated hard, working him down until it wasn’t even a bargain any more… it was financial slaughter.  But the seller needed the bread, so the deal went down.

And both guys worked it out in their minds that it was fair and satisfying.

You have to just let go of logic when you’re finalizing a sales process.  A genuine good deal will be ignored if the prospect cannot square up the price and value in his head, outside of rational equations.

Smart salesmen know that you can obliterate every obvious objection in a prospect’s mind, and still lose the sale…

… if you somehow miss what may be an unconscious objection that defies logic.

This is why the great copywriters have always shoveled massive payloads of bullets (explaining feature-benefit stories) into pitches.

You just never can predict which bullet will trigger that “Okay, what the hell, let’s do this deal” response.

Losing All Your Candy Lesson #3: It should be abundantly clear by now that people will often act against their own best self-interest.

Salesmen have known this for ages.  So have politicians.

Academic types who study this stuff have proven, over and over, that people will consistently avoid immediate loss or pain… even at the expense of long-term gain (in health, finances, love, all of it).

Pay attention to this: You may have the most generous offer in the history of business, a killer bargain that will have your accountant yelling at you for giving away so much…

… and you can lose the sale if your prospect feels any kind of discomfort or pain — even a slight twinge of it — at the crucial moment of decision.

Humans are just perverse creatures.  Built for the jungle, but scurrying around society and civilization constantly at war with our own brains and desires and fears.

I’ve seen great products bomb and wonderful businesses wither and die…

… because no one understood how to deliver a sales message that dealt with the screwy suspicions of prospects.

We’re ALL vulnerable to this stuff.  Knowing that you’re being illogical about feeling cheated won’t stop the feeling.  (As an aware, frosty Zen-type dude or dudette, of course, you will nevertheless confront these cockeyed distractions… but that’s another story, for later.)

For now, don’t judge yourself or your fellow humans.  We’re quirky, but still lovable and fun (when not in full-on “road rage” mode).

As a marketer, just pay more attention weaving a message that can help your prospect feel illogically okay about pulling out his wallet.

Hope you got to keep your candy from trick-or-treating this year.

Stay frosty,


P.S. Side story: I come from a family that looks hard for the “best” deal out there on everything they buy.  My Pop’s standard-operating-procedure, in fact, is to spend 6 months researching what he wants… buying it at a bargain so severe that tears well up in the seller’s eyes… and then continuing to research for another 6 months after buying, just to make sure a better deal didn’t get past him.

You gotta admire that kind of dedication to a bargain.

What’s your story about being cheated? We all have them, and they set the tone for our adult objections to buying stuff.

Comment section is open for business…

P.P.S. Almost forgot… anybody remember where the title to this post (Dewey, Cheatum & Howe) comes from?

Seriously, guys.  Somebody should nail this precisely (without resorting to Mr Google, either, which is cheating)…

Just enter your name and primary email address below and we'll send you the new report right away.

"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."

  • fidelis says:

    Seems you learned to be greedy at a very young age. Great post!

    P.s. I am one of those guys who used to read your marketing rants for free. Could you find it in your heart to tell me where I can buy the final edition?

    • John Carlton says:

      Greed, schmeed. I thought that’s the way the world worked — your job was to be a sweet looking kid, keep clear of adults’ feet in crowds (so you didn’t get clobbered”, hold onto Mom’s hand, and bask in the rewards of childhood.
      Which included more candy in one night than I’ve eaten in my entire adulthood.

      Side Note: I’m finishing up the first volume of collected newsletters and rants as we speak. You’ll have an opportunity to get the “final edition” soon…

      • fidelis says:

        Thanks for the assurance that I wont be missing out them. The newsletters were full of treats. Cant wait to get my hands on the “final edition”.

  • Adil says:

    Damn it John,

    Okay it’s official, you are a mind ninja. Every time I have a problem or thought, I check your blog for a new post and damn it you write the exact thing I need.

    Funnily enough I had my last “Trick or Treat” outing on Halloween, was a brilliant way to celebrate the first month of the, “Adil new year” (this begins on Oct.1st, the day after my birthday).

    Anyway this is just the thing I needed to hear, well read.

    Muchos Gracias John,


    Authority pro reviewer

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  • CK Sandberg says:

    The law firm of DCH is of course the professional home of Hugh Lewis Dewey III (known to his friends in Harvard Square as Huey Looie Dewey), counsel to Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers (that is, IF you believe their end credits….) on Car Talk!

  • Scott Miller says:

    Dewey-Cheatum-Howe I think was Groucho Marx, though could have been 3 stooges – not using the ‘net, just the things that sort of stuck in my brain as a kid. They probably both used the law firm name, who was on it first would be the question.

  • Ron Barrett says:

    Have to agree with Scott on this one – The Marx Bros – don’t remember which one, but that was the first thing that came to mind when I read the post title.

    I’m shocked John, that you didn’t backtrack to retrieve the lost candy. I would have.

    As usual, great post!

  • Venus says:

    Scrooge McDuck’s lawyers?

  • Robert Gibson says:

    Hi John,

    Great post!

    At the point in your story
    when you realized all the candy
    had fallen out of the bag,
    just reading about it hurt me.

    I think that’s more tragic than losing money.
    Because it’s not just about the candy.
    You have a handful of optimum years as a child
    to enjoy a holiday like Halloween.

    Once that window closes,
    it’s gone forever like Sugar Mountain.
    You can always make more money.
    Can’t go back in time.

    Your big bag was your idea to get lots of candy.

    Here’s mine:
    When I was a kid,
    a few days before one Halloween I wondered,
    After I’m done trick or treating with my friends…
    why not go to where ALL the candy is?

    I remember mapping out all the stores
    with candy in town for that Halloween.
    I could do this every year!
    Why waste time going from house to house?
    I even had written down which candy I wanted and who had it.

    My first marketing list!

    I felt like an evil genius plotting the great caper!
    Took some negotiating once I got there -store owners were not amused but coughed up some Nestle Crunch Bars and the like.

    With candy in tow..the Great Halloween Caper was a success.

    I told my friends what happened and they all planned to copy the plan for next Halloween.

    The next year store put up signs saying
    “No Candy”

    Carpe Diem.

  • Leon Noone says:

    G’Day John,
    I moved my successful offline business online two and a half years ago. Cheated! I had my fingers burnt to my elbows time and time again. In my ignorance, I believed that the normal ethical standards of offline business applied online.

    At one stage I really believed the every cardsharp and crapshooter from the Wild West had been reincarnated as a so-called web marketer.

    They’re still out there in droves of course. But I’ve placed some guidelines in place to screen out the most egregious.

    But the moment I read something that starts with a statement such as “You’re looking at a picture of my home on Long Island. Next to it is a picture of my ranch in Wyoming and beside that is my beach house in the Bahamas. You wont believe me when i tell you that less than 3 years ago I was penniless, jobless and living with my wife and 3 children under 8 in the unheated basement of my in-laws house……..” I go for the “trash” button. And I’ve learnt to totally distrust screenshots of Paypal or Clickbank accounts..

    It was a wonderful learning experience.

    Make sure you have fun.



  • Robert says:

    Hi John,
    I always enjoy your posts. Always inspiring.
    Really like the way you write. Just like talking to a regular guy, not a salesman.

    I believe the Three Stooges presented the law firm of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe.
    Least wise, that’s “Howe” I remember it.

  • JG says:

    Hi John,

    I’d love to see you come out with a report of sorts on pre-selling.. You know, to get juices flowing for the ‘desire of candy’ even when it’s not Halloween..

    Screw selling candy… kids don’t read sales letters; they break their piggy bank for what they want.

    Sorry, I might be off topic but these are the thoughts which you’ve inspired.


    Good night:)

  • John,

    Hear tell of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe on Car Talk…the brothers being both good salespeople and apparently good musicians as well…

  • Great post you have a way with words and good analogies throughout. I strive to be an honest marketer, and tell people how it is but at the same time it is a business in the same regards.

    Just dont cheat people pulling a Bernie Madoff and you should be alright lol. Good writing!

  • Janet says:

    Oh, these posters must be so young – Car Talk! It’s the Three Stooges, from decades before Car Talk. One of the few things I don’t need to Google to know.

  • Glenn says:


    You are known as a master for good reason. Subsequent to virtually each expression of your thoughts I am compelled to sing your praise. No shit. You are quite an amazing dude . . . and it’s always a pleasure to witness one who expresses worthwhile knowledge and experience with such consistent eloquence.

    You are a gift.

  • Hey John,
    Trick or treat never applied where I’m from which is ironic as we invented Halloween. It was more a case of apple bobbing and treacle scones hung from the ceiling on strings. Messy as all hell but great fun.

    I think it’s fun to note that what you’re saying is that the prospect rips themself off because of their beliefs about folks like us.

    “If it sounds too good to be true etc etc….”

    Thanks for another great post John. You got the little grey cells activated again.


  • Shon says:

    Very good stuff. Make a lot sense.

  • Thanks for this story, John! We don’t have a Halloween tradition here in South Africa, but your story is inspiring. Love the way you link it to marketing. The lessons are clear, whether we are familiar with ‘trick or treat’ or not.

  • Hi John,

    Here’s how I feel cheated and this is perpetrated frequently in this day and age. Guru A sends you an e-mail about how to get his (or her) product, coaching or service for *FREE*…

    I open up the e-mail with great anticipation and it’s the old bait and switch – you can get their crap for free if you buy Guru B’s product or service (ugh).

    This is seen most frequently around launch time of high priced programs or products but it really steams my clams if you know what I mean?

    Best regards always,

    Mark “The Marketing Professional” Brown

  • Henri Henell says:

    Hi John,
    Cool with a frosty post again. I have been following IM-business closely last year to find out what it is all about … my conclusion: 99 % cheating – hyping and bad typing… – I’m sick tired kind of “testimonials” as Leone Noone wrote above,” my house here and there – broke like a rat – see my clickbank-accounts” – maybe there would be time to change formula these “salesletters” – you have read one – and you have read all… and when you trying to get away these sites it’s like a parasite!!!
    I have now “unsuscribed” most of emails from IM marketers and I’m following only couple of specially people which I mean have a different kind of leverage method. You are one of them – I like the way you write and you always have excellent points on your letters – it feels you are talking to me personally (and all those 1000’s of others who stays on your list). Keep on Rockin!

  • Reggie Niles says:

    Hi John,
    That is the name of an actual law firm in northern California. I saw it many years back when my wife and I were driving back from Oregon. I think they spelled Cheatum with two “ee”s, like this: “Cheetum”. I fell out laughing when I saw that and wondered why they didn’t rearrange the names to be less innocuous. But I realized they didn’t have too many choices. One arrangement could be: “Howe Dewey Cheetum”…not sure that’s better. Or they could have done some Yoda-speak: “Cheetum Howe Dewey”. Not as clear, but raises the same questions.

  • Sam says:

    Hi John, awesome stuff. Im continually amazed that I find myself reading your blog posts in their entirely given the amount of email i get. Firstly, well done for being able to do that…….Im learning from you every post. Secondly, thank you for continuing in the IM market and helping people like me………cheers. Sam

  • Robert Scanlon says:

    Awesome John,
    Doesn’t it just piss you off when your impeccably laid out logical salesletter doesn’t convince hordes of salivating, cashed up buyers to fumble for their wallets in glee?

    Thanks again, love your work!

    • Robert Scanlon says:

      Hmmm I had added this postscript below in quotes … but when I originally added in between angle brackets, your blog thinks I am html …. and I felt cheated … (LOL!).

      Here is what I meant to say before I was stripped:

      “Goes humbly back to own salesletters to plug in some rather more predictably irrational copy”

      • John Carlton says:

        I’ve been cocky, and I’ve been humble.

        Between the two, neither works all the time.

        Best: A cocky humbleness, so you mix confidence with open-mindedness…

        Hard to pull off, but a better way to live and love…

  • Well John I guess it’s not some firm of overpaid, oversized and over here Lawyers.With apologies to all those magnifcent Men who took over Southern England prior to D Day.
    Its quite simply:
    Do We Cheat Them? and if so How are we gonna extract the maximum amount of Boodle from them with an even greater amount of Bullshit.
    Seriously, love the post and George Patton’s immortal words about his equally illustrious Adversary,Rommel.
    Yes the thought of the two protagonists facing each other while standing in the turret of their Tanks would make you actually believe in Military Chivalry. Guess the Tiger would have outgunned the Sherman and we’d all be speaking German now!
    The Baby Boomer Marketer

    • John Carlton says:

      I considered that when I first heard that Patton line. Panzers crushed Shermans — it wasn’t until the Bradley that we got our tanks in order.

      Like bringing a slingshot to a rocket war…

  • The Stooges, of course! I mentioned that to a real attorney once. He was not amused.
    Several years ago I had more money than brains and signed up for some premium priced coaching. I wanted to learn how to turn my corporate skills into an online business and $5K seemed like a bargain. Then another $5K to undo the damage. More useless information and another few months of wasted time.
    There are a few long time marketers that prey on the new and unsuspecting, and I stay away from like the plague. I’ve learned to take full advantage of all the free training out there, knowing that it ultimately leads to a pitch. If it’s a product that directly aligns with what I’m doing I may still bite. False scarcity no longer works with me. If I miss one boat there’ll be another one along shortly.
    Cheers, and thanks!

    • John Carlton says:

      Gotta warn you, Brenda… you can’t assume that ALL scarcity is false. That’s like deciding that all men are like your former spouse, and that’s that. There is REAL scarcity in most of the good stuff available out there… sometimes it’s that the stuff really will be gone, not to return. Or, it may be that you never SEE it again, cuz you wander away from the thread.

      For my money, the real scarcity has always been my own motivation and growth. If I dink around and wait, I almost never pick it up again. The JOB of scarcity writing is to push you off your inaction mode… something I get thanked for, over and over, by folks who finally made their move in life because I pushed, hard.

      Just sayin’…

  • Kevin Dawson says:

    “In short… BE that marketer you wish other biz owners would be when you deal with them.”

    Wow. If you can really crawl inside that one sentence, and feel it to your bones, it can be one of the most profound lessons a business owner can learn.

    Simple… but earth-shaking.

    Thanks, John

  • Michael Bartlett says:

    Let’s see – where have I heard this before….
    Do unto others….

    Thanks for the reminder of the greatest law firm of all… Nyuck yuck yuck :^)

  • Bill says:

    What a great story john. I have to agree that having benefit driven sales copy and over delivering is a great advantage. One important thought I have always lived by in my 30 plus years in sale is “a good deal is what is a fair price in the buyers mind”. So don’t take it personal when someone continues to pass on your offer. What you have isn’t for everyone. Secondly, beware of the wolf in she eps clothing. I just suffered a financial loss from a very well known marketer that would not honor his guarantee. After multiple phone messages,(never an answer), and uncountable emails all within 10 days of the 60 day 100% money back guarantee, I gave up. Can you sence the anger and mistrust in this post. This may not hurt this marketer directly, but in the long run he will suffer. Stay true to your word. It will bless you with much success. Wishing you the best of success John. Thanks for the very well written message. bill

  • Mark Aylward says:

    The Three Stooges baby!
    Great post. i love the psychology of selling. We do what we do just because we have done it before and your logic should slap us out of this habit and be incorporated into every sentence we write or phrase we speak.

  • Rick Louis says:

    Hi John;

    Good post.

    As to the title – Wasn’t it an Abbot & Costello routine?

    Best Always,

    • John Carlton says:

      Hi Dana. Lots of former vaudevillians used it, or similar stuff. The Stooges had the poster made with them by a sign saying Dewey, Cheatum, & Howe, so they get credit. (Wikipedia says it wasn’t used in any actual routines, however… but then, I don’t entirely trust Wiki…)

      The main thing is to realize how much vaudeville still affects current culture. Too many people believe our culture began when they were born, and has no historical ties.

      That’s a dumb way to live, ignorant of the past…

  • Robert says:

    Thanks John I was very surprised at how this story spoke to me I could relate with moments of text with recent events, very clever did you just write this recently. Keeping it Frosty.

  • Joe C says:

    D,C&H was the Stooges – as in the 3, not Iggy’s boys. Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel was the Marx Bros.

    • Another immortal Marx Brothers firm was Hungabunga, Hungabunga, Hungabunga & Hungabunga.

      Who could forget Groucho admonishing his secretary when he accidentally truncated it to Hungabunga, Hungabunga & Hungabunga: “You left off the most important Hungabunga!”


      • John Carlton says:

        Attention, folks: Deutsch gives away the true secret of becoming an A-List Copywriter (which he is): Study mid-1930’s comedy minutiae.

        David cracks me up more than any other writer I’ve known in my career, which is why we remain good pals after 25 years…

    • John Carlton says:

      Joe, you stole my line about Iggy before I could use it! I was gonna say that exact thing you just wrote.

      I miss both sets of Stooges…

  • Robert Sterling says:

    I can relate to your Halloween story on so many levels. I’ll share 3 quick little Halloween icons from my childhood through adult. When I was young we were very poor. So poor that we had to “Trick or Treat on the otherside of town and hurry home in time to turn over our candy so it could be given oout to the other kids in my neighborhood. That taught me the lesson that it is better to give than receive. Another iconic Halloween moment was while growing up I didn;t have a costume, so I shave both of our dogs and gled their fur to my clothes and went out as a Werewolf. The lesson there was to be ingenious and always be thankful for what you have (although I am not sure the dogs felt that way). And because I have always enjoyed that holiday, I decided to get married on “All Hallows Eve”. It was great fun (my wedding car was a hearse) and it was riding home that night where I learned the most important lesson. When your new bride turns to you and asks “Are you happy?” Never say “About what.”

  • Dana says:

    Great stuff again, and ironically I was just about duped by a Long John Silver’s commercial right after reading this post.
    Fisherman: “I travel the world catching great shrimp, but when I want to eat great shrimp, I come to Long John Silver.”

    B.S. Maybe he knows something the rest of the world doesn’t…nah, he’s full of crap.


  • dean says:

    I think my mother must have read the same
    material as your father because she has passed it onto me about looking for”the best deal out there” comment.
    I got “stung” though….i studied a 12 month system by ?”!{..ard in uk got suckered
    in an cost me £££££ands….but lesson learnt.
    I have recently found gary halberts stuff which i am going to study….cant stop reading darn stuff…..ever heard of him?

  • jim says:

    Great blog John. I watched the Stooges a lot as a kid but don’t remember them mentioning DC & H. I do remember Johnny Carson mentioning them as his law firm in his monologue from time to time.

  • Great post.

    All marketing comes down to risk management. The buyer’s risk. The seller’s risk. What it’ll cost you today versus what it’ll cost you tomorrow versus what it’ll cost to do nothing. That’s why “good enough” is most often your real competition.

  • Greg Vining says:

    Good stuff John. Entertaining, as always. I remembered the saying Dewey, Cheatum & Howe, but couldn’t remember exactly where it came from. The Stooges were way before my time, but I did get to enjoy them a bit when I was a kid. One of my favorites.

    As far as the marketing lesson goes, the great skepticism that most consumers have today requires making some of your best material available for free. And also the risk reversal of a no questions asked money back guarantee. These two practices should go a long way to make your prospect feel more comfortable with your offer.

    Keep up the great work,

  • Wow, as a guitar fan, I’d have pictured John stepping in the middle of the bargain and saying “Don’t do it!”

    It’s amazing how friends can negotiate each other down to painful concessions.

    I guess in copy the balance is between showing a great deal and not making them think you don’t value your services enough to charge more.

  • Robert says:

    How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People

    Cheat them, or try to.

    You may notice that JC wrote.. (John Carlton I mean, not the other JC) … “I felt cheated” and NOT “I was cheated”.

    This was a five year old child… so one has to understand the magnitude of such a tragedy.

    Someone I once called a friend, tried to cheat me.

    Result: He lost credibility with me for life.

    In this case I felt pity for him, and not the rage or aggression I may have felt had I gone through with the transaction and was really “cheated”.

    But another time…

    I was cheated by a guy who scammed $1000 of me. I was angry, furious and wasted a lot of energy on those feelings. Yet today I feel that it was a good lesson, a lesson that cost me $1000 but will no doubt save me a fortune in the future. Why?

    Because the fault was mine… I did not do my due diligence and I saw what I wanted to see in his offer and not what was, in reality.

    It is so much easier to say “I was cheated” than admit to one self the cold-hard truth and say “I was STUPID”

    Unless you’re a 5 year old of course!


  • lynda says:

    If it too good to be true it usually is. Look at the experience as a lesson, karma is alway working to backfire on the person who does it and it will be ten times greater than the deed done to you. Nice to know I was not alone. Playing a victum not worth thinking about, it only brings more of the same back to you..I rather chalk it up as a learning experience andthe use my energy to create what I want versus what I don’t. Thanks for the interesting and as alway informative article, JC you rock you frosted fox. headed

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