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“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.”

Credit that to Jeffrey Gitomer who bills himself as America’s #1 sales authority. It’s his trademarked mantra.

“People don’t want to be pitched to, marketed to or herded like cattle.”

Michael Stelzner gets the credit for this one. The line comes from his book, Launch, which deserves all kinds of credit for its helpful insights on 21st century marketing strategies. Both authors speak the truth, but it’s Stelzner’s Launch I want to tell you about.

So, people don’t want to be sold or pitched to. Translate: they don’t dig advertising. What do they want? Michael says they want:

  • Information
  • Answers
  • Access
  • Recognition

The author then adds, they want it all for FREE. C’mon now dude, I dropped $24.95 on this book because I thought it was going to help me learn how to sell my stuff. Why on earth would you tell me to give stuff away?


It turns out Mike has some very good answers.

He quickly gets into that old trust issue. As it turns out, the vast majority of folks don’t trust marketing messages. Studies prove it. Grrrr. Back to an important conclusion of the study now…

It says people putting their trust in you, or your company, is actually more important than delivering great products and services. I want to argue with that, but I can’t. Can you? In fact, I believe I learned that a helluva long time ago. We all did. But it was convenient to forget.

Then, Michael introduces the idea upon which his book is based, “the elevation principle.” It’d be unfair to paraphrase it, so I’ll simply plagiarize, er, quote it:

The elevation principle is the process of meeting the core desires of prospects and customers by helping them solve their basic problems at no cost.


People want help.

Stelzner says your goal should be to help them solve their smaller problems and they’re more likely to call on you when their issues get bigger. It’s a big idea. It’s huge. And it’s the focus of the rest of the book (which I devoured very fast, highlighted, and read a second time).

Content is your fuel.

Michael created a metaphor he weaves throughout Launch based on rockets and propulsion and so forth. So it follows that fuel is all-important. And he introduces two kinds: primary fuel and the even-more-powerful, nuclear fuel. Both come from various forms of content you offer free to win your prospects’ trust. It’s trickier to produce the nuclear stuff. We could get into various fuel types here, but this is a blog post, not a book. If you’re still reading this article, you need to read Launch.

In it, he offers many great examples of both kinds of fuel, how to produce the stuff, and why your fuel wins the favor and trust of the netizens who consume them. I should also mention, Stelzner doesn’t come at it all from some far-removed place. He was an advertising scribe, then a white paper specialist, and then the creator of Social Media Examiner, one of the blogosphere’s most trusted sources.

We’ll stop on page 26.

Launch is a fun, informative read. It’s a book written to help you not only understand the rules of the game, but how to play by them and come out a winner. All of the notions I’ve offered you today come from chapter one where the author hammers home the point that marketers need to stop hunting down customers. People don’t like it and seldom respond. Your rocket launcher is based on trust. The goal for your website is to make it a place people want to visit because they learn valuable lessons. On page 26, Michael states your business must now attempt to shift the customer’s brainwaves away from “I’m being sold” to “I’m being educated.”

Maybe we’re not so complex after all.

Have you read Launch? Will you read Launch? Are you practicing the elevation principle? Have you figured out the secrets to winning your customers’ trust. Please share your ideas here.