Selling vs Scamming

Where’s the line between helping someone by offering them a product and pushing them into a sale they don’t need? It’s a grey area of marketing that puts many people off. In this episode, Igor unpacks this topic in ways you’ve never heard before so you can grow rich with a peace of mind.

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Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets, and this is the List Building Lifestyle, a podcasts for anyone who wants to build a wildly profitable email list working from home. If you'd like to make six figures, traveled the world, and help people improve their lives in the process, then this podcast is for you. I also invite you to attend the free workshop at igor.ac, where I'm teaching how I made $21,779.45 in affiliate commissions by sending just 481 clicks to my affiliate link in one day.

I'm also explaining why I walked away from ClickBank and they don't promote ClickBank offers anymore, as well as the five things I look for in the perfect affiliate offer. I'm even going to show you the one page website that I use to make over half a million dollars in affiliate commissions this year, and I'll even drive you to attend this workshop by giving you a $497 value course that shows you how to share your big high converting affiliate offers for your next affiliate promotion.

In addition, I'll even give you the three offers I'm promoting right now that are making me money as we speak. All that and more at igor.ac. And now it's time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Terrance Lackey: Once again it's that time for the List Building Lifestyle show. My name is Terrence Lackey, your cohost, and I'm proud and honored to be here with my friend Igor Kheifets. How are you doing Igor my man?

Igor Kheifets: Doing great, doing great. Can't wait to launch into this one. We've got an amazing conversation, and I'm sure we're going to hit on some points here. Some pain points for some people, and I'm pretty sure that by the time we're done here, some people are going to unsubscribe from the podcast. You'll see.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, I know. Look, you shared this one with me, I can definitely tell you my quick story. I am terrified of buying cars. I cannot go into a dealership, whether it's a dealership or a regular used car sales place, or some other place. I hyperventilated, because I think they're all vultures ready to get me. I think I'm going to be scammed, I've been scammed in the past. I've had some good experiences, but the bad ones always leave a bad taste in my mouth. So I'm worried about being scamming, but I'm obviously there to buy a car. I want someone to sell something to me. So Igor, what's the difference? What's the difference between being sold to, or being scammed?

Igor Kheifets: Well, for one, I'd like to start the conversation with the idea that you can't sell someone something they don't want. Like you can't push something on the person that they don't genuinely want to have. So the whole idea of scamming is only limited to the fact that, are they telling you the truth about what you're buying? That's it. And I can resonate with what you're saying about the car dealers, because I remember last time we went into a car dealership, I was looking at a Lexus. And the reason for that is because I needed to get out of my lease for my Buick, which is the second car we own. And I like it. Although I know Buick is for old people, I like my Buick. It's just a really good car for the value, value for the money, everything's great. But needed to get out of the lease for some reasons.

And I went to to a Lexus dealership where this guy, Archie, basically tried to sell me a Lexus. And he was so friendly, and he was so sweet, that not buying a car would almost be insulting to how sweet he is. And eventually we got to a point where he calculated everything, and he sent me off to the financial office, the office where they upsell you with term insurance and things like that.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, you got to have the extended warranty. I mean, come on.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, exactly. So my sales defenses were down by this point, because they were always up with Archie, and I was like, okay, done deal, the price is good. And I went to that office and she basically added another 200 bucks on top of whatever Archie summed up for me. And I was furious. I went back to Archie and said, "canceled the deal". Archie locks me in his office and he starts telling me how this is all bullshit and how they're trying to upsell you with stuff you don't need, and this and that.

And I was obviously more likely to believe Archie, because he's now my friend, right? I mean, I spent three hours with the guy, so we were almost practically family. And eventually, as it turned out, I went back home and I slept on it. I really did need the term insurance because if I got into an accident, I had a big gap that I wasn't covered, and Archie was just literally badmouthing his colleague because he knew the sale was in jeopardy, just to get me to say yes, even though I would be taking on this risk. So for me, that was manipulation, that's why I called off the deal.

But you see, that's an expense to the rule. For the most part, people who sell your stuff, they're good people with good intentions, and they don't come from a place of manipulation. They don't come from a place of scamming you. They're just making a living, and they truly believe in their product. And that's why they are making a really powerful case for what they're selling. Because again, for me, whenever I offer someone one of my systems to help them build a list, to help them make money, I'm labeled automatically as a scammer.

I don't know if you know that, Terrence, but a while back, Dennis invited me to a home party where there were some people there that he became friends with that somehow were related to his extended family. Basically some people that we were supposed to not be friends with. And as it turned out, it was his third attempt, I think, to bring me in, because the first two attempts got shut down because those people thought I'm a scammer, because they heard my name, Googled my name, they're like, Oh, he sells make money stuff. Oh, crap, he's a scammer, don't buy.

So I was labeled a scammer even before I had a chance to vindicate myself. But for me, the reason I do what I do is quite simple. Anytime I put together a new offer, write a new email, or do anything, I remember the old Igor, Igor who was 18 years old and just stumble across an online... just a page, just a webpage, where people were bragging about making money on the internet. Making $3000, $5000, $10,000 a month.

So to me at the time, I couldn't even afford the product, so I didn't buy it. But the mere idea, the mere exposure to a different set of thinking, the exposure to the sales argument they were making, regardless of whether it was true or not, put me on a path to total life transformation and pursuing a 'career', even though it's hard to call it a career, but to pursue this way to make a living on the internet. Which then resulted in a ripple effect on several generations in my family, a bunch of my friends, a bunch of my students, and their communities and their families.

So again, just being exposed to the sales argument, that's it. I didn't even buy the product, I was simply reading the sales pitch and that alone got me so excited about the idea that you can make money without leaving your home and using your computer, that it changed everything for me. So there is value in your marketing, and I don't think people truly recognize that.

Terrance Lackey: No, I agree completely. You saying that, and we're talking about the used car salesman and then they wouldn't talk to you because they thought that you were going to sell them something, kind of brought me back to my days when I was actually an army recruiter, and it was my job to actually go out and talk to... mainly we tried to talk to young people who hadn't picked a direction for their lives, and offer them the options of the military. And my job as a recruiter was to simply locate them and see if they're interested in hearing about what that kind of career choice would mean for them, and what it would look like. There's a lot of myths out there, and essentially all of my training, while I was recruiting, was basically sales training. How to overcome objections, how to present its features and benefits, and how to close the sale.

And all I was doing at the time was really just showing them my product, showing them the features and benefits, and seeing if that's something that they wanted to buy. But then there's also a stigma, right? There's a stigma where people think that you're out to get them. And there's some bad apples in the bunch that may say things that are untrue, but that's with anything in life. You have ethical people and you have nonethical people. Now I'm not saying there's nonethical people in the military, they definitely are trained to be honest and to set right expectations, because it's the law, it's the government. You got to definitely, you don't want to manipulate... but you can tap into people's desires and their wants.

And if they're looking for an education, they're looking for adventure, they want to serve their country, because everybody in their family served their country. It's something you could tap into. And I think the used car salesman, or the car salesman, or anybody else in a sales position can definitely relate to that. But you got to... my first objection, my first thing to overcome was just to get them to understand that I'm there to help them, and to show them something of benefit and value. But you got to get past that stigma. So I can definitely relate to that.

Igor Kheifets: You know, I'm happy you brought that example, because back in 2008, maybe not 2008, but it was a few years after 9/11, when there was probably a spike in people wanting to go to Iraq and go fight. The army released a series of postcards that got some bad press, and they were labeled opportunistic and manipulative. And one of them, one of the postcards, had a really sexy babe on it. And it said in writing, I got some maneuvers to show you when you get home.

So you really think about that. Is it manipulative? Yeah, probably is. But is it necessary when you're getting people to go and risk their life for the sake of protecting the hundreds of millions of people who stay home? Probably, yeah. And you know, as a father, I have to admit that I've become more manipulative over the years with my daughter, and I will be very manipulative with my son. In fact, I learned that just communicating straight up with my kids, it just doesn't work. You can't tell Erica, please eat your broccoli. No. But you can bribe Erica with chocolate in favor of eating a few broccoli's.

I'm actually working a comic right now, I'm developing a series of comic books with Erica being the hero, and I already have two. So I'm working on the third one now, it's called Erica and the Oreo Cookie Monster. Now I really hope I'm not going to get sued by Oreo. But the idea is that an Oreo Cookie monster, a big one, it takes over her school and gets everyone to eat some Oreo Cookies, and because they're full of sugar, they get hypnotized and zombified. And the only one who didn't eat them is Erica, and then she uses broccoli basically to kick ass. And she needs to get everyone to eat a piece of broccoli so they wake up from the trance. And that's how she defeats the big monster.

But you see, is that manipulative? Is that me being manipulative for the sake of my daughter accepting broccoli as a great nutrition choice? That is. I'm incorporating broccoli as a weapon. I am endorsing violence, right? I am putting my daughter above everyone in her school as the superior being, more intelligent and more powerful, by making her into a superhero. Am I being manipulated? Of course I'm being manipulative. Is it justified for me, as far as the result I'm looking to achieve? Absolutely.

So I don't really mind being manipulative, or admitting that I am, for the sake of achieving the greater good, because I recognize that human nature is what it is. If we're really honest about it, and you need to manipulate people into new ways of thinking. Again, think about the times when there were just people riding horses. And then people, Henry Ford, and a bunch of other people who were at the time working on cars, invented the car, the carriage. Did they have to manipulate people to move away from horses? Do people who made their living things to breeding horses or otherwise using horses for transport, did they need to manipulate the public and try to convince them not to switch to cars?

Yes, of course. And such is human nature. Such is the world that we're living. And we just have to accept that. I see manipulation as just a gun, okay. Gun could be used to protect me, or it could be used to go in and wreak violence and havoc. So how I use the gun, up to me, and manipulation in every form, storytelling, claim making, selling of any kind, it could be used either way. And depending on the kind of person you are, you're going to use it that way.

Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content, hop on over to ListBuildingLifestyleshow.com for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if logged into iTunes and rated the show, it really helps. Thanks.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, that's a really good point, because I think about it, and manipulation really has this negative connotation when you talk about it, but when you... for example, I think of, we talk about old military ads and stuff. I remember seeing an ad where it was directed obviously to young people getting ready to get out of high school or college, and looking for what to do with their life. And it showed a picture of a person, and half of their body is split down the middle. On the right side, they have a military uniform with camouflage on their face, maybe a weapon or something. And then on the left side, split down their body, you see they're in a business suit with a briefcase, and is that manipulation? Because that person might never end up being in corporate America wearing a business suit or being a stockbroker or whatever that connotates, as far as being a lawyer or whatever.

But I think maybe manipulation is maybe a word that could be rephrased as you're showing visions, or a frame. You're showing a frame of what the outcome could be with this. So you're showing your daughter at basically her level, which is the level of a child. And they resonate with cartoons and things like that, The kids do resonate with. But you're showing an outcome that you have positive benefits from eating the broccoli over the cookies, and maybe showing that picture of a young person learning a technical ability and then getting out and getting into corporate America, or getting something that's deemed as successful, is it manipulation or is it just showing them a potential outcome by utilizing your product, or following your sales copy.

I think where we crossed the line, and people can debate this left and right, but when you cross the line and you show them something that's completely impossible, or highly improbable, you know, you can be an astronaut if you buy this course. Well, I think that that is where we crossed the line. I think that if you show realistic potential outcomes in the way that you put together your copy, and the way that you communicate the stories that you put together, I think that's ethical. So I guess you're right, there is a thin line, there's a gray area, but there is definitely a positive ends, and then there's definitely, in a negative side... there's the dark side and then there's a light side, in Star Wars terms. So yeah, I see what you're saying with that.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, and we really just have to remember that old example of imagine you've got a pill that cures cancer 66% of the time, two thirds, right? That's your chances. And imagine you've got a neighbor who's got a daughter, 15 years old, she's got stage two cancer. Now, how manipulative are you allowed to be to get your neighbor to approve his daughter taking the pill? And then you can start making other arguments. How manipulative would you need to be, or are allowed to be, if your neighbor doesn't want his daughter to take the pill, but his daughter wants the pill, or vice versa. Can he be allowed to be manipulative to the daughter, getting her to take the pill if she doesn't want to take the pill. And there's a million arguments like that.

You see, the problem with the word manipulation, especially if it's taken that negative form, is there is no black and white. It is an absolute gray area, and the argument could be spawned in many different ways, period. So this is literally between you and you. If you have any preconceived notions about what you need to say and do to get that product into the hands of the people who are the best fit for the product, you will sabotage yourself. You will sabotaged the marketing, you will sabotage in every level.

And what you mentioned about making the claims, right? So if you buy this course, you'll be an astronaut, or if you buy this course, you'll live until you're 115. So, making outrageous claims like that is definitely not a good idea. It's outright lying, and lying is not the same as manipulation, and stating claims that are highly unlikely is also not the same as 'selling manipulation'.

I think nothing wrong with you doing whatever you have to do to get that sale going without crossing the ethical lines. Although there could be made an argument for you to move the ethical lines, right? What most people use as an ethical border is actually way, if they can move it, way back, and their borders could be shifted. But nothing wrong with just offering a disclaimer. In many emails that I write, especially the ones where I make outrageous claims like, "Oh, look at me making 27,000 in one day" or something like that. I know it's an outrageous claim, and I don't want to give people the idea that they can just immediately expect the same results. So I say, these are my results, your results may be better or worse or same.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, yeah.

Igor Kheifets: I'm getting these results because I've invested so many years in marketing, blah, blah, blah. So it's a good idea, and your lawyer will probably tell you it's a good idea to use disclaimers, but it also doesn't deter people from your copy or your marking. It is just normal, they understand that disclaimers ought to be made, and they're intelligent enough to appreciate that. Plus it makes you seem genuine. Like if you genuinely state proud, big, bold letter disclaimers on everything you do, then they have no reason to disqualify you as somebody who's full of shit. Because there you go, there's a big disclaimer right there on the page, in the video, in the podcast, in the book, whatever. It's funny, by the way, because the one place where I'm noticing that you can say anything you want is a book cover. Did you notice that?

Terrance Lackey: A book cover. How so?

Igor Kheifets: Well get on Amazon and see how many books there are with outrageous claims. Claims that are just quite frankly crazy, and they're passing the whatever review they're supposed to be passing. Like the FTC never comes after you if you wrote a book that says, how to make a million dollars in six days. But you can release a book like that, and people will buy it.

Terrance Lackey: Well, that's a good point. I never really realized that. Maybe they're thinking that you're going to open the book and then there's plenty of disclaimers in there. That's a good point. I'm going to pay attention to that from now on, for sure.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, I had no idea. There's no disclaimers in any of the books that I read, and some people use pretty outrageous claims, and people accept that. So does it mean that context also determines whether or not you can be manipulative or outright lie to other people? Like the food industry, let's take that, because this is a little bit more controversial. Anything they put on the label in the front is considered to be a title. This means that they can say anything. So even if they're packing chicken, right. They can say it's organic, but it's not organic, and they get away with it because whatever's on the front is the title of the product. Can you believe that?

Terrance Lackey: The title of the product? Wow, there's always loopholes. That's crazy. So I guess the takeaway from this is that the frame of the outcome is really dependent on how you phrase it. Because I know that we're restricted, right, in marketing we're restricted. You're not going to be able to legally say certain things because there'll be bold claims. You're going to get quickly kicked off marketplaces, you're going to get quickly banned from email platforms. You're going to be opening yourself up to liability of lawsuits, and that kind of thing.

So there's definitely protections out there, and things that, not that it stops a lot of people, they still violate it, but there's definitely the legal ramifications to doing that as well. So that's something also to consider.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, absolutely. There's a reason why Facebook is so strict and everyone gets banned on Facebook all the time, and why [inaudible 00:23:36] bans accounts. And there's a reason for that, because they have lower tolerance for claims. But I also want to make an argument about them having a lower tolerance, doesn't mean that the claims that are being made are bad, unethical, manipulative, or otherwise untrue. Because that actually opens a whole other door that we can probably discuss on a different show, and that is when you operate within the constraints of someone else's media, like Facebook, like Google, like [inaudible 00:24:11], et cetera, you're being told what you can and cannot say. So it's not as simple as making a claim and kind of deciding whether the claim is legit or not. It's more about what do they think about the claim?

And some platforms are more sensitive than others. I can tell you, the Facebook is very sensitive right now about so many different things, and I still see people clinging to Facebook so badly, although it's definitely not the best way to advertise anymore. And we discussed it a couple of shows ago, how there's this whole process that lasts 33 days and how you get back on Facebook after you get banned, you have to buy a new computer, move to a new house.

Terrance Lackey: Oh, that was crazy.

Igor Kheifets: Get remarried, change your address. And it's like, people still do that stuff for no reason, just because they feel that Facebook is the best place to go. So yeah, it's a totally different arguments for me, but as far as selling manipulation, I think we can wrap up with this one last story of this plumber who comes in to fix the pipe for this old lady.

And she says basically, the showers isn't working. He steps into the shower, he sees a big pipe sticking out of the wall, and he grabs a crowbar and bam, hits the pipe. All of a sudden he hears a bunch of noises and you hear water running down the pipe, bam, the shower works. And he gives the old lady the bill, $250. She looks at him and she says, are you kidding me? You just hit that pipe with your crowbar once, and you expect me to pay $250 for that. To which he said, "Oh, okay", pulls out his notepad and writes down $5, one crowbar hit on pipe, $245, knowing where to hit.

So this makes an argument of, is it ethical of him to charge so much money for such a 'small job'? And you can say, no, it's not fair, because it only took him so much time. And that's only a good argument if you value his work based on the amount of time spent working. But what you don't recognize is how about him going to plumber school, or whatever. I don't know what plumbers do to get their degree or paperwork. And what about him going through years and years and years of experience? What about him dealing with all kinds of different problems and solving the issue efficiently? Or would you prefer for him to sit there for three hours, pretend he's working, and maybe make a big mess of it. So as far as I'm concerned, there's a lot of gray area here, and what people make out of manipulation is often not the case.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, that's a very good point, because that's the same with a lawyer, same with someone who's a technician of any sort repairing something. It's all that time and experienced that they put into it that you're really paying for, not the act of them sending a piece of paper to the courthouse or whatever.

So I was looking over our show notes for this one, and I see that you did make a comment that, I think, that really bears me just bringing out, is that you don't sell, you don't push products, that you're on a mission to free people from their problems. Can you expand on that just a little?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, absolutely. Typically you can't really build a business around something that doesn't help someone else get what they want. I mean, no one's just going to give you money just because even. When people donate money, they do it to get a sense of some kind. So if you're selling a product, whether your own or someone else's, and you're solving a problem of some kind, typically the statement would be true to say, you're not selling products. You are in the business of solving blank problem, whatever that problem is.

So this podcast, and us hosting this podcast, we're in the business of helping people build lists to make money, and to be free. Someone who's selling medical equipment to hospitals is in the business of improving society's health, or improving healthcare for the elderly, or whatever else. Somebody who's selling face masks, I think that's very relevant example right now, is in the business of helping stop the spread of the virus, therefore preserving lives of millions.

Now, are these people opportunistic? If we can call them that way, when they sell each mask for 50 bucks or something like that, that's been a big argument in the news, right? So they sell gloves, and they charge like five bucks per pair. Is that opportunistic? Is that evil? Is that manipulative? Is that profiteering? Probably. But for the last 60 years, when no one needed those gloves, they had to sell them at like a 2 cent profits. So now they're really profiting. And do they deserve it? That's up to you? What would you say if there was no mask, if there was no gloves? Would you still say the same thing? I don't know. People complain about that, and that's fine, but they still ended up buying, still end up paying the price.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, I mean, it's a supply and demand, and now I guess you're right, it's up to the society to decide whether what they're doing is ethical or fair, or given the circumstances. But you're right. Supply and demand, under any other circumstances, if there's a lower supply and you have the demand, you're providing something that people need and want, and they're going to buy it at a price that they think is fair.

So yeah, absolutely. Great show. I really enjoyed talking about manipulation scamming versus selling. And there's really a distinction between the two, even though sometimes it's easy to blur.

Igor Kheifets: Thank you for listening to the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous episodes, the transcription of today's show, as well as other exclusive content at ListBuildingLifestyleshow.com. Also don't forget to claim your free seat at the workshop I'm hosting this week, where I show the two step system that made me the top affiliates for people like Matt Bacak, John Crestani, Richard Legg, Michael Cheney, and many, many others.

In fact, on this workshop I'm going to show you the exact approach I take whenever I promote an affiliate offer, the exact offers I promote, as well as how I was able to make over half a million dollars in commissions using my small list of just 18,000 people promoting a weird type of product that almost no one else promotes. All that is yours at igor.ac. So go ahead, claim your seat right now, and I'll see you there.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.

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