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The Take-Away


There's an effective sales technique that works particularly well in direct marketing. It's called "The Take-Away."

Essentially, the strategy is to play up your offer, then, when your audience is fairly interested, take it away from them. Here are some examples of the kind of language you may have read in direct marketing campaigns.

It's all of mankind's history and knowledge in 16 handsome volumes. But, Encyclopedia Brittanica isn't for everyone. 

Chateau Lafitte 1787 is considered one of the finest reds available today. But, you may be satisfied with a more mundane wine.

The iPhone X is the state-of-the-art mobile device you can't live without. But, there are less expensive options.

The idea that something is too exclusive, too expensive, or too special for someone quite naturally raises that someone's interest. When we, condescendingly, say "It isn't for you." The natural reaction is "Waitaminute. Maybe it is for me." No one wants settle for second-best. And when your prospective customer starts to think you won't sell them something, that's exactly when they decide they want to buy it.

Effective Take-Aways strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, you have to be confident that you've almost convinced them, that they are indeed very attracted to your offer. Then, you have to be careful not to talk them out of it completely. If you're too convincing in your "But, this may not be for you ..." counter-pitch, they may actually believe you and walk away. Definitely not the result you're after.

This morning, the Bs discovered a PSA, developed to convince young people to vote. (The midterms are just about a month away and there are high stakes, to say the very least.) The entire ad, which features about a dozen older Americans speaking directly to the camera, is a take-away. Here's the transcript:

Dear young people, don't vote. Don't vote. Everything is fine the way it is. Trump — that was us. He's our guy. Tax cuts for the rich? Hell, yeah. I'm rich as f*ck. Climate change? That's a you problem. I'll be dead soon. Sure, school shootings are sad, but I haven't been in a school for 50 years. I can't keep track of which lives matter. Sure, you don't like it. So, you'll like some meme on Instagram. If the weather is nice, maybe you could go to one of those little marches. You might even share this video on Facebook. But you won't vote. You young people never do. But I do. I do. I do. Midterms. primaries, every single election. We'll be there. But you won't. Because we're a generation of doers, not whiners. And, we're doing great.

The end of the spot encourages the audience to "Knock the vote" and register. And, let's face it, young people don't like older people telling them what to do. 

This just might work.

You can see the very effective ad here:

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