In a book I’ll give you the title to at a later date I came across the story below.

While reading it I saw a theme woven into it that anyone selling anything could use to massively increase the power of their sales copy or sales presentations.

Anyone well versed in NLP, like Tim will see the language patterns within this story.

Pay close attention, don’t blink or you’ll miss it…

One evening in the 1770’s, a young man went to the Paris Opera to meet his lover, the Countess.  The couple had been fighting, and he was anxious to see her again.  The countess had not arrived yet at her box, but from an adjacent one a friend of hers, Madame de Terri, called out to the young man to join her, remarking that it was an excellent stroke of luck that they had met that evening-he must keep her company on a trip she had to take.

The young man wanted urgently to see the countess, but Madame was charming and insistent and he agreed to go with her.  Before he could ask why or where, she quickly escorted him to her carriage outside, which then sped off.

Now the young man enjoined his hostess to tell him where she was taking him.  At first she just laughed, but finally she told him: to her husband’s chateau.

The couple had been estranged, but had decided to reconcile; her husband was a bore, however, and she felt a charming young man like himself would liven things up.  The young man felt intrigued: Madame was an older woman, with a reputation for being rather formal, though he also knew she had a lover, a marquis.

Why had she chosen him for this excursion?  Her story was not quite credible.  Then, as they traveled, she suggested he look out the window at the passing landscape, as she was doing.

He had to lean over toward her to do so, just as she did, the carriage jolted.  She grabbed his hand and fell into his arms.  She stayed there for a moment, then pulled away from him rather abruptly.

After an awkward silence, she said, “Do you intend to convince me of my imprudence in your regard?”

He protested that the incident had been an accident and reassured her he would behave himself.  In truth, however, having her in his arms had made him think otherwise.

They arrived at the chateau.   The husband came to meet them, and the young man expressed his admiration of the building: “What you see is nothing,” Madame interrupted, “I must take you to Monsieur” apartment.”

Before he could ask what she meant, the subject was quickly changed.  The husband was indeed a bore, but he excused himself after supper.  Now Madame and the young man were alone.  She invited him to walk with her in the gardens; it was a splendid evening, and as they walked, she slipped her arm in his.

She was not worried that he would take advantage of her, she said, because she knew how attached he was to her good friend the countess.

They talked of other things, and then she returned to the topic of his lover:  “Is she making you quite happy?  Oh, I fear the contrary, and this distresses me… Are you not often the victim of her strange whims?”

To the young man’s surprise, Madame began to talk of the countess in a way that made it seem that she been unfaithful to him (which was something he had suspected).

Madame sighed-she regretted saying such things about her friend, and asked him to forgive her; then, as if a new thought had occurred to her, she mentioned a nearby pavilion, a delightful place, full of pleasant memories.

But the shame of it was, it was locked and she had no key.  And yet they found their way to the pavilion, and lo and behold, the door had been left open.

It was dark inside, but the young man could sense it was a place for trysts.  They entered and sank onto a sofa, and before he knew what had come over him, he took her in his arms.

Madame seemed to push him away, but then gave in.  Finally she came to her senses;  they must return to the house.  Had he gone too far?  He must try to control himself.

As they strolled back to the house, Madame remarked, “What a delicious night we’ve just spent.”  Was she referring to what had happened on the pavilion?  “There is an even more charming room in the chateau,” she went on, “but I can’t show you anything,” implying he had been too forward.

She had mentioned this room (“Monsieur’s apartment”)  several times before; he could not imagine what could be so interesting about it, but by now he was dying to see it and insisted she show it to him.

“If you promise to be good,” she replied, her eyes widening.

Through the darkness of the house she led him into the room, which to his delight, was a kind of temple of pleasure: there were mirrors on the walls, trompe L’ oeil paintings evoking a forest scene, even a dark grotto, and a garlanded statue of Eros.

Overwhelmed by the mood of the place, the young man quickly resumed what he had started in the pavilion, and would have lost all track of time if a servant had not rushed in and warned them that it was getting light outside-Monsieur would soon be up.

They quickly separated.  Later that day, as the young man prepared to leave, his hostess said, “Goodbye, Monsieur; I owe you so many pleasures; but I have paid you with a beautiful dream.  Now your love summons you to return… don’t give the countess cause to quarrel with me.”

Reflecting on his experience on the way back, he could not figure out what it meant.  He had the vague sensation of having been used, but the pleasures he remembered outweighed his doubts.


What was the marketing/copywriting secret you pulled out of this story?

I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of this chapter which might reveal more than you think of while dreaming up the answer tonight.