Are you stopping just short of striking gold?

By: Dan Kennedy on: September 18th, 2012 7 Comments

You may remember this true story from Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich…

 Insurance Salesman R. U. Darby’s uncle went west to dig for gold and get rich during the gold rush.

After weeks of hard work and digging, he discovered a piece of gold.

He needed machinery to go deeper, so he discreetly covered up the mine, returned home and hatched a plan with his relatives and neighbors.

They pooled their money, bought the needed machinery and had it shipped to the place where the mine was located. Darby and his uncle returned to the mine and began working.

After filling their first car of the shining ore, they discovered that they had one of the richest gold mines in Colorado. A few more cars of ore would clear their debts and set them up to start clearing huge profits.

But when the drills went down again, the gold had disappeared. They continued drilling hoping to find something, but came up empty handed.

They finally quit and sold the machinery to a junk man.

The junk man was no dummy.

He called a mining engineer to look at the mine. After some calculating, the mining engineer advised the junk man that the project had failed because the owners were not familiar with fault lines.

His calculations showed that if Darby and his uncle had drilled just three more feet, they would have hit the vein of the gold mine.

Following the mining engineer’s advice, the junk man drilled three feet over, struck gold and made millions.

Like the Darby’s, most marketers stop short of striking gold in their list, giving up too quickly on unconverted leads.

From your initial “appointment when you don’t make a sale to your “appointment no sale” letter series to a long series of follow-up pieces, there is gold to be mined, over weeks, months, and even years.

Because when a prospect first raises their hand indicating they want the “thing” you are selling but don’t buy, what they are really saying is that they aren’t ready to buy.

In fact, according to the National Sales Executive Association 80% of new sales are made on or after the 5th contact whereas only 2% of sales are made after the first contact.

Now it might be that they want your solution or a different solution by another provider, but they are looking for a solution. Give up too soon and you can bet it won’t be yours.

Too often marketers mail too little to their unconverted leads, giving up too quickly. They think, “I just gave them my best offer, my best pitch, my best whatever… If they didn’t buy with that, then they will never buy.”

This isn’t true. What you should do is to keep selling to them until they buy something in order to get them started as a paying customer. Provide your solution in different ways to help them find just the right answer they are looking for.

For example, when I toured around the country on the Peter Lowe Success tour I had the exact speech I gave during the seminar transcribed and mailed it to all the ticket holders at the event.

It was the same material I delivered at the seminar; it was just put inside a different wrapper.

You can do the same with your marketing too.

Ron LeGrand mailed a special report as a follow-up to a teleseminar. In the report, he answers questions to all the objections. Most of it is the same copy from his teleseminar and sales letter—it’s just presented in a different way.

Another way to do this would be to make an audio CD of the teleseminar and mail the CD in a CD mailer to your list after your teleseminar.

Send faxes, letters, postcards, CD mailers, “bulky” mail, certified mail, telegrams…

Keep driving your leads to your flagship product. Drive them to buy and keep trying to sell them in different formats. If they keep saying no, then try to sell them something else—even if you think they should use your flagship product first before moving on to another one of your products or services.

History is filled with stories about people who never gave up and succeeded as a result. Thomas Edison made over 10,000 attempts at creating the light bulb before he succeeded.

In Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, there’s a story about an apartment complex with high rent. Tenants were upset and demanded a reduction, only to be shot down.

O.L. Straub requested to speak to the landlord. Straub greeted the property owner with a smile and proceeded to first tell him how much he loved the building and the hospitality of the management crew. Then he said he would hate to be forced to leave because the rent exceeded what he could afford to pay.

The landlord said “What a relief it is to finally have a happy tenant. All I ever hear is how upset everyone is.” Then he asked Straub what he could afford to pay and accepted his offer of a lower rent immediately.

Never assume “no” until you know the answer is “no.”  Mix up your messages and the way you deliver your message. Use a variety of ways to get your message across highlighting different insights and perspectives. This is how you mine for the gold in your list. If you’re not doing this, chances are you are only a short distance away from striking pay dirt, you just haven’t mined deep enough, long enough or invested enough in your unconverted leads.

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Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

7 Responses

  1. Hal Hoadley says:

    Dan, The more I learn from you the better I get at telling stories to illustrate my points. My clients don’t get that follow up is key to building a bigger herd.
    Great post again – I look forward to these so please keep them coming. Ideas just keep coming to me every time I get your material.
    thanks again,

  2. Ken Hammond says:

    Great marketing “gold nugget” again from Dan! :-)

    This is so true… I had topped out my response for an online
    sales letter at around 3% and couldn’t bump it any higher.

    It wasn’t until I made a video sales letter basically saying the exact
    same message word for word that beat the control.

    Thanks again! Time to mix it up again…

    – Ken Hammond

  3. Josh Currier says:

    This is a great reminder to keep marketing to those who have raised their hands. They are looking for a solution, you just need to be there when they are ready to pay for it.

  4. John says:


    I just sent an email to my buyers (not entire list) to allow them to pre-order a product we haven’t created. It is also a high priced item compared to the market. So far we converted at 7.5% just by letting them know they have first chance to buy and get it after we make it.

    I as wondering if we should snail mail the email. Now I know that I would be crazy not to.

    Thanks again

  5. This article came on the right time for me!
    I won’t give up!!!!


  6. Jorge says:

    Great inspirtation!

    Let’s keep mailing them like crazy!! =)

  7. Imagine that, three feet, a yard, made all the difference. From a junk man to millionaire. A great illustration of “pressing on”. Gold is better than real estate I guess. Both are dependent on “location, location, location.”

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