How to Make Money Like Don Lapre — Without Selling Your Soul

Success Strategies Anyone Can Use to Make Their Dreams Come True

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

If you ever found yourself awake at night and turned on the TV, you may have seen Don Lapre.

He was the king of infomercials back in the 1990s and early 2000s. His pitch was:

He was pretty convincing, too. Here’s a look at him in action:

The problem is what he was selling didn’t work for a lot of people.

When he was arrested back in 2011 on 41 counts of fraud, he had reportedly bilked over 220,000 people out of over $52 million.

Did you see that?

220,000 people.

52 MILLION dollars.

Friend, that is some powerful persuasion.

The Real Question

That got me thinking.

I can think of at least three reasons.

You’re too self-conscious.

This one hit me hard the first day of sixth grade. I was a new student at a new private Christian school. They told us that it was a great place to get a quality education.

I was 11. I didn’t have much say in the matter beyond telling my parents I’d go.

My third period class was Bible.

Mr. Ford was a young man who wore a white short-sleeve dress shirt and a conservative red tie.

“Turn in your Bible to 1st Chronicles,” he instructed.

I muttered to myself as I extracted my crumpled Gideon Bible from my jeans pocket, “Let’s see if this Bible has Chronicles in it.”

Immediately, Mr. Ford barked,

I looked up, stunned.

Mr. Ford glared at me for what must have been a full minute.

It felt like an eternity.

I didn’t say another word in there for the rest of the day.

I decided I would protect myself from future pain by staying quiet and not interacting with anyone.

After class, not one of my classmates asked me, “Are you okay?”

No one cared.

It was the worst feeling in the world.

When you focus on yourself, you worry more.

You want a quick fix.

I spent too many years wearing the shackles of self-consciousness.

So every summer before school started, I told myself,

The problem was I didn’t have a sound strategy.

When you want a quick fix, you settle. You do it because you might be feeling a bit desperate. That’s why people cheat on tests, fudge the numbers, and lie to get what they want.

You’re far better off to do the right thing right from the start — even if it takes longer, requires more work, and offers no shortcuts.

You copy the techniques without knowing the strategy.

The best book I ever read on copywriting taught me that you can’t just copy what people do and expect to succeed. You need to know why something works to use it effectively — especially when you’re dealing with all kinds of people.

Though we differ on some things, we all have some basic needs in common.

  • We all breathe the same air.
  • We all want something to hope in.
  • We all resist when people pressure us.

Those are just a few basics. But they are so important, you can’t afford to ignore them if you want to make it big selling your product or service.

Now let’s look at what the most charismatic persuaders like Don Lapre and others understood and used to make it big in business.

One Caveat

What you’re about to learn is amoral. It will work whether you have good intentions or bad.

If you want to stay out of prison, make sure you offer products and services that work — or at least can work — when used as advertised.

First, learn what people really want.

We all have these basic needs.

  • We want to be loved and feel needed.
  • We want to feel we have some power.
  • And we want to know we’re doing the right thing.

When we don’t have those things, there’s only one thing that can bridge the gap.


Hope moves us to look for love until we find it, no matter how far away it seems.

Hope helps us see a better future and do the work to make it happen.

Hope grabs our attention and won’t let it go until it is satisfied.

When we lose all hope, we give up and die.

Sell hope, and people will open their wallets.

Second, study the persuasive techniques of charismatic leaders.

Don Lapre was successful because he exuded charisma.

We laugh at his delivery, but the numbers don’t lie.

It worked.

What are some of the keys to his charm that you can use to sell your great product or service?

A high degree of enthusiasm.

There’s no doubt Don was excited about his products and services.

Aren’t you excited about yours?

Let your enthusiasm show through.

You don’t have to do it exactly like he did. Just act the way you would if you had just won the lottery, won your dream job, or found you’re having your first child. How would you sound when you tell that story to your friends?

I’ll bet you’d be so thrilled you’d tell it to anyone who would listen!

Use that feeling and you’ll be persuasive.

Lots of proof the product does what it says.

One thing you can’t miss on any informercial is the testimonials.

It’s one thing if the spokesperson tells you the product is great. It’s quite another if a user says it.

That’s why reviews are so powerful. When you shop on Amazon and compare two products, which one will you most likely buy?

The one with the best reviews.

If you don’t have any yet, ask for them. Give a few people a free pass if you need to. When others sing your praises, you gain credibility that’s worth more than gold.

Another way informercials offer proof is by showing the product in action. “This ginsu knife will slice right through a tin can”, the spokesman says as you watch it happen right before your eyes.

It’s pretty hard to argue with what you see.

A sales message that’s filled with hope.

You’re promised the future you want is not only possible, it’s virtually guaranteed.

Of course, they offer this caveat:

We sell hope all the time when we want someone to do something.

When I convinced my son to learn to drive, I said:

  • “Son, when you can drive, you can open the door to the future you want.”
  • “If I can learn to drive, I know you can.”
  • “You learned to drive the pallet jack at work. A car is not that different.”

If he didn’t believe he could have a better future, he’d be living with me forever.

And I’d be his chauffer.

People don’t really buy products. They buy the life they want.

When you understand that, your sales will soar.

Sell a transformed life.

What is it your customer wants?

  • A life free from pain
  • A nagging problem to go away forever
  • A life that is secure, prosperous, and happy

Your product or service is the vehicle that delivers that life, isn’t it?

Read this book and you’ll understand the success secrets of bestselling authors.

Buy this course and you’ll crush it on Medium.

Enroll in this program and you’ll get insider tips delivered to your inbox every single week.

Help your customer see that the life they want is possible. When you show them that others are doing what they want to do, and that you have a roadmap that will get them there, you’ll sell more of what you’re offering.

When you sell transformation, you invite people to live a better story. And who doesn’t want that? And when they experience a better life after buying your product, they’ll happily tell others about it!

Remember, value always sells.

If you’ve ever gotten mired in market research, you don’t have to.

The most important market research is to find out what your customers value most. Then package it and deliver it to them.

You’ll do even better if your product has evergreen content.

What does that mean?

It means your offering will be just as valuable 10, 20, or even 50 years from now. You might have to modify or update it some, but the core product will be sound.

When you always deliver value, you won’t have to live one step ahead of the law.

You won’t worry about having a bad reputation because you’ll work with integrity.

And your wealth and your career will last, because you always put others first.

Your Mission

If you want to maximize your chances of success, here’s what you should do.

  • Aim high
  • Sell enthusiastically
  • Deliver transformation.

Do that and you’ll never have to worry about staying in business.

You’ll make more money and more connections.

And your dreams will come true right before your eyes!

Teacher. Coach. Bestselling Author. Helping writers, entrepreneurs, and change agents write the perfect blog post every time.

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