Few days ago, my mentor @andy_mukolo tweeted about Victor Lustig and asked that we check it out. That was my first time hearing the name. So, I did some digging and I learned some cool marketing lessons.
The man Victor Lustig. Victor was born on 4th January, 1890 in Austral-Hungary, now Czech Republic. He’s said to be the smoothest con man ever lived. And to be pretty honest I think he lived up to the title.
He had a target audience every time. Victor Lustig didn’t go around scamming anybody who came his way, he always had a specific audience for a specific product - scam. And before he made any attempt, he always picked out a specific set of people.
For instance, when he left France for America, he thought the people who would fall for his scam were the greedy new rich Americans. What did he sell to them? He sold a Rumanian Box (or money box), which was to double any amount of money put inside in every six hours.
How does this relate to your product and services? Carrying out market research helps you position the right product or services to your target audience.
It also helps you know their pain points, speak their language.
Everywhere he sold the Rumanian Box, the first thing he did was establish a relationship with all of them before introducing his product.There was a time he went to Al Capone to request for a loan of $50,000, which he didn’t need but only to gain his trust.
He told Capone he wanted to use the money to finance a scam and that he would pay up the money in two months.He hid the money in his house for two months, went back to Al Capone that the business failed but he still had to return the money he borrowed. Capone was really impressed hearing that and he gave him $5,000 from the money for being an honest man.
The lesson here?
You need to make your customers feel at home and that the money comes second…although very important 😊
He made them trust him. Victor had a sleek way of persuading people. He would never show up harmful or aggressive. When he wanted to sell the Eiffel Tower, he showed up as a government representative and invited the victims to the classiest hotel in France as at that time. Not many con men will do that, they will always be in a hurry. Not only that, he rented Limousines that picked up each of them and dropped them at the hotel for the meeting.
Also, whenever he wanted to sell the Rumanian Box, he would paint the idea of how much his victims could make in a month, year from owning the money box.
It was easy for Victor to persuade them because he already did some research before confronting them with the deal. He knew the emotional button to press, which was majorly greed.
Proof and close
Victor would demonstrate to his marks (victims) the Rumanian Box making a replicate of the original dollar bill inserted into the money box and then head to the bank after 6 hours to confirm the authenticity of the bill. After the bank confirmed the authenticity of the bill, he would close the sales immediately with the mark, in most cases, begging to have it.
The lesson here is most times it may be your offer or social proof that will make a prospect buy your product or accept your services.You also need to show they have got nothing to lose by taking your offer.