Sales Secrets From A Scam Artist

I must get about 5 emails a week from different dudes, from unheard of countries, who want me to take possession of some dead guy’s millions of dollars. It’s a scam that has been invading people’s inboxes for years now, and quite frankly I’m surprised that some people still fall for it.

Ya know what…?

…I stand corrected. I say that I’m surprised, but when you really think about it… There are, unfortunately, still people amongst us who have never heard of this scam – and can easily sucker into one of these guy’s traps.

I remember when I first received one of these scam emails. I have to admit that I actually gave the proposal a double take. The email that Abagoolu Poococky (Or whatever his name was) sent, was actually pretty damn convincing. If I was a little less intelligent, I might have hopped on a plane to meet this scam-man – He was THAT convincing!

This guy was essentially spitting a sales pitch my way, and he managed to spark some serious interest in me. After all, who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity to cash in on a mega payday? I don’t know about you, but Mama taught me that it was ALRIGHT to take candy from strangers… especially if that candy was money… and that money could buy your self a private island and total freedom from corporate America. How nice would that be? (I kid, I kid… Mom never said that.)

So how can an illegitimate businessman influence a person of intelligence into helping him score an ungodly amount of foreign cash? Let’s analyze his sales pitch a bit, and see just how talented this man really is at influencing a prospective client. As we proceed with the dialog, see if you can relate any of this scam artist’s sales techniques to your own business.

We begin with Mr. Poococky starting his pitch by introducing himself to me…

“In Brief Introduction,

Please accept my sincere apologizes if my email does not meet your business, or personal, ethics. I will first introduce myself as a staff member of the Private Clients Section of a well-known bank here in Cotonou, Benin Republic.”

Well how nice of him! He gently introduces himself, and seems to sincerely care about how I feel towards his sudden approach. I appreciate the courtesy he’s showing me, and he has opened me me up to hearing more of what he has to say.

The lesson to be learned – Yes persistence is a virtue in sales, but you must first develop gentle relationships with potential customers by making them feel comfortable with you as a salesman. Good salesmen always begin their pitch by selling relationships with people, not products. Mr. Poococky realizes this, and makes sure his prospect is not overwhelmed by his attempt to sell him something.

And the dialog continues…

“One of our accounts, with holding balance of (£9.8million British Pounds Sterling) has been dormant and last operated four years ago. From my investigations, and confirmation, the owner of the said account, a foreigner by the name of John Shumejda died on the 4th of January 2002 in a plane crash in Birmingham.”

I’m intrigued! This guy is telling me a story of mystery, wealth, and death! There is true drama here! He has definitely gotten my attention, and now I’m trembling with excitement to learn more! Mr. Poococky has thrown a “Purple Cow” in my face and I can’t seem to turn my attention away from it.

The lesson to be learned – As Seth Godin says… “Your product must be REMARKABLE.” There needs to be a story attached to a product so the customer can become entertained with it. People like to be entertained, and don’t want to separate themselves from what excites them. This emotional connection not only makes the individual want to participate with your business, but it also makes the person want to tell their friends about their discovery.

And we continue…

“You can view this CNN website to read more about the crash…”

Just when I thought his story was too crazy to believe, he throws an article that CNN wrote about the crash. If CNN says all of this is true, then IT MUST BE TRUE!

The lesson to be learned – Testimonials are a tremendous sales tool. If you can back up your pitch with documented proof of past satisfaction from existing customers, you just might influence the person into buying. Mr. Poococky showed me proof, from a reputable source, that this incident took place – And I can’t help but believe him at this point.

Proceeding with the pitch…

“I have confidently discussed this issue with some of the bank officials, and we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with. We therefore propose to do business with you, standing in as the next of kin of these funds from the deceased. These funds shall be released to you after necessary processes have been followed.”

What? You want me to claim his millions? Of course I’ll partner with you! …Now we have reached the money-shot of the sales pitch… The call to action! Mr. Poococky has fired me up to a boil with his intriguing sales pitch, and now I can’t help but bite as this opportunity.

The lesson to be learned – The “call to action” portion of the sales pitch must be strategically announced when you feel that the customer has been adequately excited. A good salesman can read people like a book – So it should be easy for you to recognize the signals that customers display when they are foaming at the pocketbook to buy, Buy, BUY!

Mr. Poococky ain’t done with us yet!

“This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles – as the fund is legitimate, and doesn’t originate from drug, money laundry, terrorism or any other illegal acts.”

Doesn’t it feel nice to be comforted during stressful moments of our lives? This opportunity has now become a big deal to me… yet I can’t help but feel a bit timid towards proceeding with this monster of a transaction. Mr. Poococky’s relaxing encouragement has given me the necessary comfort I need to pull the trigger on this deal.

The lesson to be learned – If you operate a business that sells big ticket items, you must sympathize with your customer’s hesitancy to invest so much of their hard earned money on your product. Now this can be tricky… You want to sympathize in a way that makes pulling out their credit card easier; as opposed to, you sympathizing to the point that you further confirm their subconscious thoughts of backing out on the deal.

Most of you that read this blog probably already have a good grasp on these sales techniques. However, sometimes we get lazy and fail to implement these basic principles into our pitches. Consider this article a refresher course on Sales 101, that’s taught by Mr. Abagoolu Poococky.

Wishing You Continued Success…

Mr. Abagoolu Poococky


Brad Williamson

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  1. Come on! You missed out the one critical element that causes people to get stung by this ridiculous 417 scam – greed overriding integrity. The whole thing is clearly predicated on theft but the figures are so large that recipients put aside any moral scruples they might ordinarily have and persuade themselves that it’s all OK. Of course with Enron, Dow Chemical, the likes of Dick Cheney and all the other cowboys around they haven’t exactly got very good role models, have they? But that’s the essence of it, greed overriding dubious honesty, and so although I accept that elements of the marketing messages are interestingly done it really is a pretty poor example to use!

  2. I have to be honest, when I first saw the topic I was prepared to wage all out war on the author of this blog. However, after taking a few moments to review it, I’ve found that the content is very profound in nature and gets right down to the simple basics of sales that are forgotten all to often resulting in lost business or unclosed deals. Thanks for the creative insight.

  3. This are some of the tatics I use when writing my sales letters for internet marketing..Good Stuff Guys-Rich

  4. I enjoyed your take on this! Inevitably, it comes down to the same old caveat, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. And yet, people still get taken all the time. It’s unfortunate because it gives these unscrupulous scammers every reason to continue to do what they do.

  5. With these too-good-to-be-true gadzillion dollar overseas deals, it always amazes me why the simple question is not posed, right up front, “Why me?”



  7. I have received these emails when I get them I return stop thief I hope you get caught and go to jail.