The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Marketing by deception

I forget his name, and you will see why I don’t want to guess wrong.  He was from the first part of the 20th Century and he was a noted Wall St. investor.  This is a story he wrote about himself.  As a young finance graduate from Wharton with aspirations of becoming a financial investment advisor, he rented a mailing list of the 50,000 most wealthy individuals in the United States.

He divided the list in half.  To one group of 25,000, he mailed a letter predicting that General Motors stock price would move up by the end of the month.  To the other group, he mailed a letter predicting the exact opposite, that General Motor’s stock price would move down.

At the end of the month, whether the stock price of G. M. went up or down, his prediction to half the original mailing list was correct.  He threw the other half away, divided his success group in half, and repeated the process with another stock.  12,500 were advised the price would go up and 12,500 were advised the price would go down.  Either way, at the end of the next month he had a list of 12,500 very impressed investors.

He repeated the process yet a third time and after three months he ended up with a very serious prospect list of 6,250 of the wealthiest individuals in America.  His career as an investment advisor got off to a very good start, and he went on to deserve the reputation he had manufactured for himself.


Written by Tom Fox

08/19/2010 at 12:50 am

Posted in Marketing

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