Being on target is much more important than...

by The Copy Nazi Banned
7 replies
...being facile with words.

Being on target is much more important than being facile with words
Gary Halbert

- - -

A bagpiper was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Kentucky back country.

As the piper was unfamiliar with the backwoods, he got lost and, being a typical man, didn't stop for directions. He finally arrived an hour late and saw the pastor had apparently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. The bagpiper felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

He went to the edge of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. He didn't know what else to do, so he started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. He played his heart and soul out for this man with no family and friends.

In fact, he played like he'd never played before for this homeless man and as he played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, the bagpiper wept, they all wept together.

When the piper finished he packed up his bagpipes and started for his car. Though his head hung low, his heart was full. As he opened the door to his car, he heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years".

- - -

Yeah...you gotta be on target or you're just playing to the wrong crowd.

#important #target
  • Profile picture of the author Vrs
    And the wrong crowd won't always be as gracious. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author gamcoder
    i was guilty of this before, thanks for this little story
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    This doesn't have anything to do with this post...but I didn't want to start another thread just for this - Amazon and the "C" Word
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  • Heh, good story Mal.

    And you look 10 years younger now you've grown your hair out! It's a good look for you.
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    50% converting squeeze pages, 12% converting WSO's, and more...
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  • Profile picture of the author dancaron
    Halbert also had another way of explaining it.

    He said: write two letters to your mother.

    In the first, tell her how wonderful she is, and how much she's done for you, and how much she means to you. Then, in the second, tell her you hate her, and that you never want to speak to her again. Then see which one you put in the mail.

    The point of his story, is that content matters. The paper is the same, the stamps are the same, the envelopes are the same, but the outcome of those letters is, very, very different. In sales and marketing, the medium is vastly inferior to being on target with your message.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    I love that quote.

    But I think some people misinterpret it and think he is saying facility with words is unimportant. We all know the difference the right word can make.

    What I love most about it is he used facile. Not a common word. Makes for a more memorable quote than if he had said, "Being on target is much more important than being good with words."

    Halbert was both on target and facile when he said that.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      I love that quote.

      But I think some people misinterpret it and think he is saying facility with words is unimportant. We all know the difference the right word can make.

      What I love most about it is he used facile. Not a common word. Makes for a more memorable quote than if he had said, "Being on target is much more important than being good with words."

      Halbert was both on target and facile when he said that.
      There are a few definitions of "facile". I take it as meaning "smooth, flowing, fluent, glib, suave, urbane". But probably "glib" is closest. And this is where it gets tricky. There are many meanings of "glib" as well but "smooth-tongued" or "persuasive" is what we're looking for. Rather than "superficial".
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