ASA 73 | Why Selling


Have you ever tried putting yourself in your clients’ or buyers’ shoes? What do you think is the reason why they should work or buy with you? Keep in mind that aside from selling, you should also market yourself to build credibility and believability. In this episode, Alex Mandossian tells the story of John E. Kennedy and his sales and marketing techniques in the early 20th century. The concepts will help make you better at selling through appropriate marketing. Alex also shares Gary Bencivenga’s Four-Step Persuasion Equation and why believability is the toughest barrier to overcome in selling.  He discusses six barriers everyone will encounter in selling and how to win the heart with stories and engage the head with reasons. Alex caps it off by introducing his Clear Path Coaching program that teaches how to double profits without spending on advertising.

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Reasons Why” Selling

In this episode, you’ll learn three key insights that I believe are critical to making you a highly skilled ethical influencer. Ethical influence is a learnable skill. You’ll discover, number one, what the Four-Step Persuasion Equation is by one of my mentors, Gary Bencivenga, and why it works well. Number two, why believability is the single toughest barrier to overcome in selling.

There are six barriers you’ll learn in this episode, but one of them is the most difficult to overcome and that is the barrier of not being believable. Number three, you’ll learn how to win the heart with stories and engage the head with reasons. Lean in and read carefully because this episode could have a significant impact on how you can win the hearts of others with total and absolute certainty.

John And Albert’s Story

This is the story of John E. Kennedy and Albert Lasker. He was the first direct response copywriter. At least that’s what I believe. In May of 1904, the young John E. Kennedy walks into a saloon at the street level. It’s the downstairs saloon from the Lord & Thomas Advertising Agency, which is the most powerful of its day.

He sent a note upstairs with a young bellboy. The note was addressed to Mr. Ambrose Thomas, a co-founder of the agency. Here’s what the note said, “I am in the saloon downstairs. I can tell you what advertising is. I know you don’t know. It will mean much to me to have you know what it is, and it will mean much to you too. If you wish to know what advertising is, send the word yes down by the bellboy. Signed, John E. Kennedy.”

ASA 73 | Why Selling

Why Selling: Selling is about marketing when you multiply it.


Let me tell you about the scene. This kid is in his twenties. He’s a Canadian Mountie, but he’s a copywriter. He wants to land a job. He’s selling and he’s in the street level saloon of the great, at that time, Lord & Thomas Advertising Agency. I believe it was the biggest of its day. This is the turn of the twentieth century, 1904.

Sitting in the office with Mr. Thomas was the co-founder, Albert Lasker. Eventually, he became the head of the agency. The clerk was trying to make his way up. As he gave the note, Thomas’ reaction was like, “I don’t want to waste my time with that man.”

Lasker was curious. He wasn’t a copywriter. He was a manager and he was curious, ambitious and intrigued by this stunt because it didn’t happen often. It never had happened. He got Thomas’s approval to meet with Kennedy in his office. Albert Lasker became one of the greats as far as advertising is concerned, especially direct response advertising. Back then, he was working up the ranks. He found it as an opportunity because he liked the stunt.

Kennedy came up for the meeting to the Lord & Thomas Agency. Lasker would later describe him as one of the most handsome men I’ve ever met. A Canadian Mountie, muscular, an eye is as keen as could be in a man’s head and a forehead that showed the student that was Lasker’s description. This was the way they described things at the turn of the century.

Kennedy challenged Lasker to define advertising. Lasker said, “Advertising is news. News is about your product or service.” Kennedy agreed that advertising could contain news, but that alone was insufficient as a definition so they continued. Lasker would give a few more definitions. Kennedy would counter that it was not enough so he was pulling him in with questions like Socrates. We’ve talked about this in earlier episodes of All Selling Aside.

Finally, Lasker could come up with no other definitions. Kennedy was satisfied at this point to give his answer finally and his answer was five words, “Advertising is salesmanship in print.” Salesmanship in print has changed since the turn of the century. I call it salesmanship multiplied and I don’t look at any gender equalities. That’s what I call it. You can call it salespersonship if salesmanship bothers you but that was the definition back then of salesmanship in print.

It was about sales that Kennedy defined. This whole complexity of advertising for all of America changed on that day. The core lesson for salesmanship in print is selling multiplied because it’s not 1:1 selling. It’s marketing and I believe selling is about marketing when you multiply it. The biggest challenge is that your prospects will not respond to what they don’t believe.

Reasons Why

If you have an offer that’s the perfect fit for your prospects’ needs, wants and desires, you will fail to win their heart and won’t have a chance to give a logical argument or debate unless you give them a reason why. Reasons why are how you get someone to believe something. There are dozens of ways you can do this. Dozens of proof, credibility and believability elements that can support your message.

You can come up with your reasons why before you come up with your headlines or all the other points of the features of what you’re offering. At the core, your prospect, which you haven’t won over yet, they want to know the reason why you should pay attention to your message and why they should pay attention.

They want to know the reason why it’s worth their time and money, why you care about their wellbeing and solving their problems, why your solution will work when others haven’t before and why your alternative is the better alternative. Also, why your product may be superior not only in price but as its form in a solution, why your core offer may be more expensive but in the long run is a better buy, why they should act urgently and why they should believe your product will fulfill the promises you’ve made.

As a former mentor of mine, Jim Rohn, said, “The bigger the why, the easier the how.” Constantly ask reasons why. You’ve learned in an earlier episode of All Selling Aside that the three-part formula, which is a simple one is why this, why me, and why now. Why this is about relevancy. Why this offer? It is better to be relevant to them at this time. Why me? Why am I uniquely qualified or us? Why is our company uniquely qualified or have earned the right to offer you this? That’s about credibility.

[bctt tweet=”The bigger the why, the easier the how. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]

Why now, that’s where most people fall apart, especially on the stage. That’s urgent. Why now? You have to have solid answers to those three questions. That’s a great place to start. Why this? That’s relevant. Why me? That’s credibility. Why now? That’s urgent. That is the Persuasion Formula.

Persuasion Equation

The best persuasion equation I learned is from my good friend and my mentor. He was a student of mine in a postcard marketing course I offered at the turn of the 21st century in 2001. What Gary taught me was a four-part persuasion equation. It’s about, one, the problem. Two, your promise. Three, the proof. Four, the proposition. What are you proposing?

Gary did something unique. It’s not only a problem. Number one is an urgent problem. What is the urgent problem they have? There are a lot of problems they’ve got but what’s the urgent one relevant to your promise? Number two, unique promise. Why is your promise unique? You’ve heard of a unique selling proposition. Why is the promise you’re making a unique promise? It’s not a solution yet. It’s a promise to a solution. That’s why I love the word unique promise.

Gary said, “Step three is the most important.” I remember him saying this and that is unquestionable proof. Do you see the pattern there? UP, UP and UP: Urgent Problem, Unique Promise, Unquestionable Proof. How can you give unquestionable proof? It’s through demonstration, testimonials, case studies and giving them a mini sample of it.

These are the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever eaten. How do I know? I don’t know. Try one. That’s what Wally Amos did on Wilshire Boulevard. He gave away thousands of samples until he started to build his Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them but that’s how we built it through questionable proof, the taste.

If you do it in less time, if it lasts longer, you need to figure out your proof elements first. End of story. Thanks for playing. Think of your proof. An urgent problem is important. Unique promises are important, but this is about reasons why selling. That’s the name of this episode number 73, Unquestionable Proof. They can’t even question it and it’s undeniable. Number four, user-friendly proposition. What’s the next step?

If you got them that far, it’s clicking a link or taking an order. It’s, “Come on. Let’s do this,” on the phone. The urgent problem, unique promise, unquestionable proof and user-friendly proposition that is Gary Bencivenga.

In my mind, he is the father of the magalogue, which looks like a magazine, but it’s a sales piece. That’s unquestionable proof. It looks like a magazine and people buy from magalogues. I believe he is one of the fathers of that, if not the father. A tip of the hat goes to my good friend Gary Bencivenga.

ASA 73 | Why Selling

Why Selling: Why this? That’s relevant. Why me? That’s credibility. Why now? That’s urgent. That is a persuasion formula.


Six Barriers That Prevent Sale

What about the six barriers that prevent a sale? Believability is the single toughest barrier or roadblock to overcome. I agree with Gary B. and other people believe that too. The six barriers are as follows. The first three are moving toward and the final three are moving away. Let me show you what I mean. Moving toward means these are barriers if they don’t know these things about you or if they don’t experience these things.

The reason you’ll get a sale on the moving toward the side of the picture, meaning you’re attempting to get this, is they know you. If they know you, that’s one barrier. If they don’t know you, that’s a bigger barrier. You overcome one barrier once they get to know you. Number two, they like you. It’s not about a matter of you liking them. It’s a matter of them liking you and you liking them.

If they know you like them, as one of the Cialdini Six in the previous episode from Robert Cialdini. That’s the Reciprocation Principle. If they know you, they know that you’ll be fighting for their interest. They like you and you like them. That’s the second barrier you’re going to overcome. They won’t know you or like you in the beginning if you’re a stranger. The final barrier of moving toward trio is they trust you. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

Moving forward of the six barriers, we’re halfway done. They know and like you. You like them and they trust you. How about moving away? You want to move away from these things. The number four barrier, which is the number one moving away, is they don’t understand you. Number five is they don’t believe you. Number six, they don’t think it’s the right time to buy.

Let’s do that again. Moving away, you’re trying to get them to move away from not understanding you to understanding you. You’re trying to get them moving away from not believing you, assume that they don’t, to believing you despite their smile. You want to get them moved away from, “This isn’t the right time. I can’t do it now. I have too many other commitments.” They don’t think it’s the right time. You’ve got to move them away from that.

Six barriers. Number one, they know you, like you, trust you. They got to be in that position. You’re not done yet. The reason they won’t buy is they don’t understand. They don’t believe you, that’s the big one, and they don’t think it’s the right time to buy. These six barriers, only one is out of your control. Eighty-three percent of them, 5 or 6 are in your control. Which one of the six do you think is out of your control? You can shape and control but if you go overboard, you’re not doing them a service.

For example, if you’re selling life insurance to an eighteen-year-old who’s not married and has no family, it’s not the right time to buy. They may know you, like you, trust you. They may understand what life insurance is and believe that it’s good for them but it’s not the right time. I would put that out of the realm of ethical influence. Not believing you are the biggie so start there. Those are the six barriers.

Stories And Automobiles

I know people who teach three: know, like and trust. I don’t know anyone else that teaches that they don’t understand, don’t believe, and it’s not the right time. You win the heart with stories. I tell a lot of stories. Every episode, I told you a famous story.

One of the first I learned was back in 1989 when I was learning about direct response advertising. If you want to win the heart, you do that with stories because stories capture the heart. With an automobile, the story or the heart is the accelerator. You can rev it up, but it’s not going to go anywhere until you take it out of neutral.

Feelings can be revved up. You may be spontaneously combusting when you get highly emotional, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going anywhere. Have you ever argued with someone and it goes round and round in circles? Stories create feelings that are winning the heart. That’s the accelerator in the car. Once you have the heart, it’s time to convince their head, their brain with reasons why.

In this episode, I’ve given you the DNA or the genetic code of getting more reasons why. That’s the steering wheel. Once you put it in drive or reverse, the steering wheel is important so the car will go in the right direction. It’s dangerous if you don’t have the right reasons why. You will crash. Movement is not enough. Movement in the right direction is key. Heartwood stories are the accelerator of the car. Those are the feelings and convince the head with reasons why.

That’s your steering wheel or logic. Once you have the sale and you know you have the sale and with the heart, why not? It’s better to go faster from point A to point B. As far as knowing the best way to provide unquestionable proof, it’s to demonstrate the proof with the sale. For example, when I sold TeleSeminar Secrets for $2,500, that generated millions of dollars for me between 2005 and 2010 before I retired the course.

I was known as the TeleSeminar guy or the Larry King of TeleSeminars. Some people still know me that way. I have a proof of concept that you can monetize TeleSeminars as soon as someone bought it from me. Why? It’s because I sold it through a series of TeleSeminars and I’m proving that TeleSeminars can sell. You purchased it. You, yourself are proof of purchase. Are you with me? I have Clear Path Coaching.

[bctt tweet=”Believability is the single toughest barrier or roadblock to overcome in making a sale.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

What I do is anyone who comes into Clear Path Coaching, it’s teaching them how to double their profits without spending $1 on advertising and that involves attracting high-end clients through high-end client marketing funnels, discovery sessions and a whole process for $30,000. It takes anywhere from 4 to 6 months.

The moment they purchase it, they get everything that I did with them as well as everything else that comes after because Clear Path Coaching is teaching them what to do. I’m doing it with them, not to them. It’s a proof of concept because they want to know how to get high-end clients. They want to know how to double their profits without spending more money on advertising. I’m showing them through the Clear Path Coaching process with my funnels, templates and everything else.

It’s super cool because I’m doing with them what they are going to be asked to do the others so they’re experiencing it first. There’s nothing more powerful than experiencing it. For my GBO Mentoring certification, you can’t be a GBO mentor, that’s Guerrilla Business Online, without having been a GBO member. In other words, a student. You’ve got to go through that process. Sometimes it takes six months to a year and they’ve learned what mentorship is.

Alexism: Make Your First Dollar

They have proven that mentorship works. They’ve had to renew so it’s beyond their original mentorship and they’ve proven that mentorship works. They want to be a GBO mentor and they get paid for doing it. It’s going to heaven without the inconvenience of dying. That’s not the Alexism for this episode. This is it. The difference between an amateur and a professional in any business is the ability to make your first dollar.

Here’s a review of the insights that you and I both rediscovered in this 73rd episode of All Selling Aside. These elements, tips, and insights I give you will work only if you apply them. They won’t work otherwise. I hope you go back and reread it. You’ll learn number one what the Four-Step Persuasion equation is that was taught to me by Gary Bencivenga and why it works.

You believe you learn why believability, and I hope you believe this, is the single toughest barrier to overcome in the six barriers that we discussed. You learn that winning the heart with stories. Engaging the head with reasons is like an automobile where the accelerator is winning the heart and the steering wheel is winning the head. Stories, the accelerator. Reasons why, steering wheel.

ASA 73 | Why Selling

Why Selling: The difference between an amateur and a professional in any business is the ability to make your first dollar.


Remember, these insights only work for you if you work them so please make sure you give yourself enough of a reason why to go back and review from what you’ve learned. It’s because this All Selling Aside episode can provide a bigger and brighter future for you no matter what you do, and one that you can create on your terms. I want you to get excited about that.

I not only put a lot of time into this, but I also want to make it as simple for you to understand as well through stories and analogies. I like to think that I drink my own Kool-Aid and eat my cooking and I hope you do too.

Speaking of reviews, you may have already given me a review on iTunes and if you have, thank you. Write your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment on an index card so you can revisit it at a later time. If you have not given me a review or if this is your first time reading, please go to and write your biggest a-ha moment or takeaway in the review section.

Don’t give me a review of the show in general. It’s watered down. It’s not specific enough. Give me an a-ha moment for this episode in the review section. It will mean much to me, as John Kennedy said, and it may mean much to you. After you’ve done that, please rate the episode. I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. I can’t force that, but I hope I’ve earned it. Please review it, rate it and subscribe so you always get that notification.

This is going to take three minutes out of your day, but what you declare could provide you and others reading it a valuable learning lesson. It’s, please, let’s do this, go there and rate it. If you’ve already rated it and reviewed it, put it on an index card so you can review that on your own time. I want a stack of index cards for you.

[bctt tweet=”Movement is not enough. Movement in the right direction is key. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]

One final gift to give in honor of the 73rd episode of All Selling Aside, that’s getting the physical copy of my Amazon bestselling book, Alexisms. I want you also to do that so you get free access to the most reliable marketing funnel that can triple what you show on the page for physical offers such as a book. You can experience all of it at

Go there and check it out because the experience is not the best teacher. Experience is the only teacher and I’ll give you that funnel that you experience. This is the show dedicated to making you an ethical influencer because ethical influence is a learnable skill and it will bring more certainty in your personal and professional life.

Please do whatever it takes to join me in the next episode because our topic is Is Passion Over-Rated? That’s the title. Passion isn’t the thing. I encourage you to invite a friend, a colleague or a study buddy, someone you’re passionate about. Invite them to All Selling Aside, not only in the next episode but invite them to this episode. Have them check it out.

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