The Irony Of Selling In Advertising

Years ago, a friend of mine and I were involved in two different network marketing companies. We have a friend Marc who has a ton of money and eventually we found ourselves both trying to pitch our services to him.

My friend was the first one to try to pitch Marc his products (I forgot what he was selling at the time). Unfortunately, Marc declined his offer.

About a week or two later, I was hanging out with Marc and learned that is now wife Ayame didn’t have a phone. At the time, I was telecommunication services that included phones from different carriers. I simply told them,

“Hey, looks like you need a phone. My website has a bunch of phones for lower prices than if you were to go to an actual store. And, she’ll be paying less because my company offers discounts on plans!”

Marc, being the awesome friend that he is, was happy to buy a phone for Ayame that same night! I didn’t mention to them that I NEEDED that sale badly (even though I kinda did). I simply made it about THEM. As a result, Marc was happy to buy from me.

Learn how to never appear “needy” in the blog: Avoid Neediness In Sales With Pre-Framing.

The Irony(s)

In a previous blog, I’ve written about how people are inherently selfish. I’ve written about how Drew Eric Whitman points out the WIIFM syndrome (What’s in it for ME?), and how it all ties into our basic survival instinct.
Last time I checked, we’re all people, right? So we all have these same instincts. And on some level, we’re all selfish. Of course, we’re selling things to make money! You would think that we would all understand that selfishness is natural in every one of us…

But that brings me to a halting irony…

Actually more than one – one of them being that if people actually understood that we’re all inherently selfish, and started catering to each other’s needs, we’d be contradicting ourselves…

Another one is the possibility that the word “sell” probably derives from the word “self” or vice-versa (actually that’s probably not true, so don’t quote me)…

But the MAIN irony is the fact that salesmen, advertisers, and marketers of all the like…

We have to convince people to sell themselves into buying what we want. Because if we don’t, we would be deemed as “selfish.”

Funny, huh?

That’s not the only truth about us humans. Find out more in the blog: Exposing Your Ideal Prospect’s Ugly Truth In Your Sales Letters and Ads (WARNING: Potentially Dangerous).

The Best Ads Don’t Ask People To Buy

I know what you’re probably thinking:

“Josh, you’ve got a ton of blogs on here talking about HOW to ask for the sale, and how to make the perfect CTA…”

I know right? So what does this mean?

Well, Claude Hopkins explains in his book Scientific Advertising that “the best ads ask no one to buy.” They also don’t “quote a price,” or that even “dealers handle the product…”

So how are these ads the best ads?

Simple – These ads are based “entirely on service.”

If marketers approach a demographic in a selfish way, the audience is going to feel like they’re being taking advantage of – or in other words, feel like they’re being “sold to.” (another irony).

Remember: if all people are thinking is “what’s in it for me?” then that means as soon as they find value in your product or service, they end up selling themselves!

This irony may be difficult to grasp at first. But once you do, it will be much easier to sell!

For more copywriting tips and secrets, check out the blog at