Sales advice from the world’s greatest crime novelist.

Elmore Leonard’s Swag is the literary equivalent to Grand Theft Auto.

It’s a page-turner you can’t help but burn through, fueled by sex, drugs, murder, armed robbery and automobile theft.

Towards the beginning of the novel, Frank Ryan (one of the robbers) reflects on his days as a car salesman.

One day the dealership had a sales guru in to teach Frank and his associates how to move more hoods.

The guru asked Frank, “What’s your name?”

To which Frank responded, “Frank Ryan.”

“No it’s not”, said the sales guru, “Not over the phone. You call a prospect you say “Hi, I’m Frank Duffy of Red Bowers Chevrolet.”

The sales guru would go on to explain to Frank that you always use a last name that ends in “-y” or “-ie” over the phone because it’s impossible not to smile when you say it and the prospect can hear this smile in your voice.

While a bit woo woo, I think this holds true for all advertising, marketing, sales and writing … the prospect can feel whether or not you enjoyed whatever the hell you’ve created, written.

I think there is a reason folks are miserable at the BMV.

Nobody fucking smiles.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.

Sticky Notes is my email list reserved for entrepreneurs, creatives, marketers, writers and freelancers looking to sell like hell (without losing their soul).

Originally published at on May 3, 2021.

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

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