This is one of my favorite bits of L. Ron Hubbard’s administrative “technology:”
“Hard sell means insistence that people buy. It means caring about the person and not being reasonable* about stops or barriers but caring enough to get him through the stops or barriers to get the service that’s going to rehabilitate him.” — LRH, HCO PL 26 Sept 1979, COPYWRITING
* “Reasonable,” in Scientology, has been redefined to mean “accept[ing] reasons why something cannot be done.” It is seen as a bad thing. (Source: Scientology Admin Dictionary)
See what LRH did there? LRH redefined hard sell to be about caring. You don’t hard-sell someone to get money out of them; you hard-sell them because you care about their eternity. This is one of the ways LRH took advantage of his Scientologists, many of whom were (and still are) big-hearted people with a genuine desire to help. With the concept of hard sell, LRH appealed to their better nature, taking advantage of their altruism to make more money for his business.
More on hard sell from the same policy letter:
“It is necessary in writing an ad or a flier to assume that the person is going to sign up right now. You tell him that he is going to sign up right now and he is going to take it right now…. One does not describe something, one commands something. [People] respond to direct commands in literature and ads.” — LRH
An interesting religious “tenet”, eh? I wonder what Jesus or Buddah or Moses or Allah said about writing advertisements… oh wait, they didn’t.
Hubbard apologists might try to argue that the policy letter from which I am quoting comes from the “admin tech” and had nothing to do with religious beliefs. Oh yeah?
“If one does not understand this, and if he doesn’t know that Dianetics and Scientology are the most valuable service on the planet, he will not be able to understand hard sell or be able to write good copy.
“So realize that you’re not offering cars or life insurance or jewelry or stocks or bonds or houses… You’re offering a service that’s going to rehabilitate the thetan.” — LRH
If you ever wonder how Scientologists can push so hard to sell services or solicit donations – how they can harangue fellow Scientologists to give past the point that they can reasonably afford – perhaps this will give you some insight.
Imagine what these same people could do if they invested their time, energy and enthusiasm in something that really did help people.