Take Away Pitch: Beware of This Clever Sales Tactic

Video Transcript

Kelly Kesner: I’m Kelly Kesner with Investor’s Watchdog University. I’m here with Pat Huddleston, who’s the founder of Investor’s Watchdog, and today we’re going to talk about a sales tactic called “the take away pitch”. Pat, what is the “take away pitch”?

Pat Huddleston: Well, this is really an advanced level class we’re having today, Kelly, because “the take away pitch” is not something that gets rolled out very often. It’s frequently used in connection with a Ponzi scheme and here’s how it works essentially. The take away refers to the salesman seeming to take the opportunity to buy the investment away from you.

Kelly Kesner: Basically, if you don’t do it right now, it’s not going to be here?
Pat Huddleston:

Yeah. Exactly that. And by doing that he sets up a desire for the thing in your mind and activates cognitive biases that we’ve talked about in the past. And so it might look something like this. And I’ve seen this done in a lot of cases involving what are known as “prime bank scams”. If you want to find more about those, check out the FCCs website.

At FCC.gov/primebankscams. Very, very dangerous. But, often times they use “the take away pitch”. They’ll tell somebody, “Hey, listen, there’s this really unique opportunity out of Europe that only comes along once in a while, sometimes it can be years in between and there’s another opportunity coming up. Unfortunately, the deadline is noon tomorrow to get into this thing if you want to.”

Kelly Kesner: So, you have a very tight deadline and then what happens?

Pat Huddleston: Well, that’s the interesting thing and that’s why it seems like a take away. The salesman doesn’t do anything. He’s told you about this deadline and about the vast riches that people are getting in this thing and then he doesn’t follow up because he knows in the meantime what’s going on is your brain is starting to do mental calculations. If I put that much in that investment, if it’s real, how much could I make? So, he just leaves it alone.

Kelly Kesner: So, what’s the point of the deadline?

Pat Huddleston: Well, the point of the deadline is to make you think that there is something that you might miss. It’s to make you think about it. Even if you’re not going to invest, you’re going to think about it up to the deadline. And so often times what will happen is you will call up near the deadline or maybe just after the deadline and say, “Hey, tell me about that investment over in Europe you were telling me about.” And the broker will say, “I thought I told you the deadline was noon. It’s passed, man.” And you’re thinking, “Man, I really blew it now.” You feel like a failure, like you flunked the test.

Kelly Kesner: So, because the investor feels humiliated they’re probably very vulnerable to anything else that broker then wants to bring up and says is a deadline.

Pat Huddleston: Yeah, that’s right. And then what happens is they’ve got you now because you’re saying, “Well, when is the next opportunity? When might I get into this thing?” Of course, there never really was any deadline. And the broker will say, “Man, it could be years. I don’t know.
It’s been years since the last one.” And so you’re feeling like you really want to have it and then all of a sudden, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Can I put you on hold?” Then they come back and say, “Hey, I thought the last sale had been made to this guy who sits at the desk next to me, but it turns out his client wanted to buy a yacht instead and so there’s one last spot. Do you want it?” And you can see how they’ve set it up by seeming to take it away from you.

Kelly Kesner: Completely preying on human motivation.

Pat Huddleston: Exactly. Sure. There was a great movie back in the ‘80s, I think it was, called The Color of Money. It was Tom Cruise and Paul Newman and there’s a great line in which Newman describes the attributes of a master conman. And he says you have to be a student of human moves. And nothing better describes people who make their living through investment fraud.

Kelly Kesner: Sounds like a dangerous competent scam artist then and something people need to be very aware of.
Pat Huddleston: Right. I say in the book, listen, if somebody takes away an opportunity of vast riches, send a thank you note and be done with it
Kelly Kesner: It sounds like great advice and that’s all we have time for in this class of Investor’s Watchdog University. We’ll see you next week. Class dismissed.
[Music playing]
[End of Audio]