Selling the Great Wall of China



Elmer Wheeler selling

through the senses “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” said master salesman Elmer Wheeler. His book SIZZLEMANSHIP: New Tested Selling Sentences and his others are among sales lore classics.

His original research was built around 105,000 word order combinations and tested on some 19,000,000 people, as the legend goes. Elmer then took the “Wheeler Word Laboratory” on the road consulting with major retailers. Teaching salesmen to sell more.

His research from the 1930’s still holds and sells today. Even half way around the world.

Your Business Blogger was touring the country side north of Beijing. Seeking out local thrills.

The buzz from my hosts was about a terrific luge-like ride. Nothing like Disney World. A real experience.

A ride faster and more dangerous. Not OSHA compliant with all those pesky safety restrictions.

It sounded great. All my senses were a-tingle. I jumped at the chance for danger.


Ski lift to the top of the runOur guides mentioned some history and scenery and artifacts, along the way. With an edge. So I ride with my buddy David Wayne up to the top. And sped down to the bottom.


A Chinese thrill rideEveryone was right! Cheap, exciting thrills! When you come to Beijing, be sure to look into the luge ride!

It sizzles.

By the way, there was another attraction in between the ski lift ride up, and the tremendous luge ride down.


The Great Wall of China

Here’s Your Business Blogger modeling genuine Chinese Communist Red Army head wear. At the Great Wall of China.

The structure was breathtaking. A meaty experience sold with sizzle. Anticipation rewarded with a concrete experience through each of the senses.

Marketing at its best.

Elmer Wheeler lives.


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Thank you (foot)notes:


Off-vertical brick laying Your Business Blogger worked in college as a carpenter’s helper and was intrigued by the brickwork of the Great Wall. The bricks followed the terrain contours. The Wall in the Middle Kingdom doesn’t follow the vertical to earth’s center. If a mason could plumb this out for me and comment, I’ll send a blog t-shirt.

From Emperor Heaven,

The Great Wall of China is one of the great man-made landmarks on earth, an incredible feat of engineering begun some 2000 years ago. It stretches for about 6,500 km from the Korean mountains to the Gobi desert. The average height is 10 metres (originally the height of 5 men) & the width is 5 metres (originally 6 horses wide at the top, 8 horses wide at the bottom).

It was started during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty as small bits of defensive wall for three of the individual states to keep the northern nomadic barbarians away. Under the Qin Dynasty the independent bits of wall began to be joined making it the ‘great’ wall to protect the whole country from northern invasions. Over a million people eventually were sent to work on the wall during the Qin Dynasty (local people, soldiers, scholars and prisoners) and it was worked on for ten years continuously day and night using, for the most part, local construction materials. If anyone died while working, they were buried in the wall. Workers who complained or tried to run away were buried alive. During the Qin and Han Dynasties the construction was of wooden frames which were filled with earth which was then tamped tightly. The frames were removed leaving a tightly packed earthen wall. Many years later the earth was enclosed by brick and stone.

It consisted of wall interspersed with watchtowers. The soldiers lived and stored their supplies in the towers and each tower was within sight of the next. The soldiers looked out for invasions when a flag or torch was used for signaling and occasionally took part in skirmishes with the invaders. Many of the garrisons had nearby farming plots so were self-sufficient as getting supplies to the remote areas was hard.

From the Han Dynasty (200 BC) to the Ming Dynasty (17th century), it was continually extended, reconstructed and restored. It’s the remnants of the Ming wall that are mainly visible today when the brick and stone work was extended and sophisticated designs added.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

Russell Davies has a better picture of Wheeler. Bet on the Brits. And a better article. Blog roll him.


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3 Responses

  1. charmaine says:

    Is that my macho Field-and-Stream guy at the Great Wall?? What was in the sake? (Oops, I guess that’s Japan. . .) Honestly Jack. I let you go to China and dress yourself for one week and this is what happens??!!

  2. David Wayne says:

    Comrade Yoest, who ees thees “Charmaine” who besmirches great politburo approved hat you wear?

  3. russell says:

    thanks for the trackback jack, very kind of you.

    I didn’t know about the Wheeler Word Laboratory. I only know about Elmer from his selling the sizzle record. I bought it expecting a novelty kitsch listen and discovered he’s a genius. And a genius relevant today.

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