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25 March 2008

The 47 Pitch

Sucking fast bucks from suckers.

Get-rich spruiker, Hans Jakobi. Special deals for the first 47 people.
Get-rich spruiker, Hans Jakobi. Special deals for the first 47 people.
by Neil Jenman

Psychologists call it the ‘Scarcity Principle’.

The strategy is simple – tell your targets that the deal you are offering is limited – either to a set number of people or to a set period of time.

Any get-rich-quick spruiker knows that one of the best ways to get-rich-quick is to suck as much money from as many suckers as fast as possible.

One of Australia’s oldest (both in age and spruiking years) spruikers is a character called Hans Jakobi. For years Jakobi has been spinning a scarcity spiel that’s so similar he hasn’t even bothered to think up a new number.

Or perhaps it’s all a miraculous coincidence.

You decide.

Back in 2003, Hans Jakobi described himself as a “famous best selling author” (like John Grisham or J.K. Rowling). He was offering to reveal his “amazing secret” to the first 47 callers. You had to be quick.

Well, in case you wondered what happened to caller 48 and beyond, you didn’t have to wonder for long.

The following year, 2004, Hans offered to reveal not just amazing secrets but, also, “the deception that’s going on in the real estate education industry today”. That’s right, a spruiker warning about spruikers.

Again, all was revealed in a “FREE DVD/Video and Special Report”. And, again you had to be one of the first 47 people to respond.

So, let’s fast forward to 2008. After five years, you’d reckon Hans Jakobi would have found 47 people to take him up on his free offer of how to get-rich-quick.

But, no, he’s still looking for 47 people. This time he’s offering to sell a spruiking package via a guy called David Wright.

Wright runs a web site called Simply Budgets and he claims to have an email list with more than 40,000 names on it.

Last week, Wright sent an email to his subscribers offering a half price deal on one of Hans Jakobi’s get-rich-quick programs. You have to be quick, though.

According to David Wright, Hans Jakobi “was only prepared to make it available to the first 47 people who wanted it.”

Wright told his subscribers, “I have no idea where he got that number from but it is a great opportunity for those that get in quickly.”

Well, Mr Wright, in case you didn’t know it, Hans Jakobi has been using the “only 47” spiel for years.

So have lots of other spruikers.

Get-rich spruiker, Peter Sun. Coincidentally, he also has special deals for the first 47 people.
Get-rich spruiker, Peter Sun. Coincidentally, he also has special deals for the first 47 people.

Another older get-rich spruiker, who’s also been around for years, is Peter Sun. He claims that tickets to his get-rich seminar cost $695.00 each. “However, if you’re one of the first 47 to respond,” says Sun, well, you guessed it, you can come for FREE.

When I went along (discretely) I couldn’t find anyone among the hundreds of hopefuls at his seminar who had paid $695.00. They all thought they were part of the lucky first 47.

And then there’s the spruiker’s spruiker, Jon Giann, the man who promotes spruikers.

Giann says it’s normally $997 to attend his mega star-studded spruiker show. Unless, of course, you are one of the “first 47” in which case you only pay $97. Hurry, hurry.

It’s enough to make you think someone’s writing their scripts for them. Nah, it’s probably just a coincidence.

But, hang on.

Why would anyone with a mailing list push a get-rich spruiker? As one of David Wright’s subscribers wrote, “For the past 3 years, I’ve been on David Wright’s email list. Over the past year, I have grown rather concerned with the direction he appears to be pushing his customers towards.”

Well, perhaps the answer can be found by following some of the links on his mate, Hans Jakobi’s web site. “I’ll Pay You $400 Per Sale Just For Sending Visitors To My Real Estate Secrets Website!” shouts a beaming Jakobi as he holds up a handful of hundred dollar notes.

According to Jakobi you can earn “thousands of dollars every month!”. Yup, there’s big money in spruiking wealth secrets.

A few months ago, during all that heavy rain, Hans had a flood in his warehouse. Poor chap. The boxes containing his get-rich-quick courses got water damaged. Only slightly, though. But Hans was very generously offering a thousand dollars discount. On damaged stock only.

And here’s another amazing coincidence.

With all the rain and all the flooding, how many of Hans Jakobi’s get-rich-quick boxes do you think got slightly water damaged?

Yes, that’s right forty-seven.

Spruikers, come up with some new numbers. We’re not all suckers.



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