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Don Lapre

Don Lapre has been on the business opportunity scene for about 15 years. For most of that time he has focused heavily on the TV consumer markets to drive his direct marketing businesses.

He's a former house painter that set up and grew a little two step "classified ad" business into a quasi-successful TV infomercial empire. His Making Money infomercials were quite successful over the last decade and he's become somewhat of a household name. However, like so many other TV gurus his successes were met head on with challenges and failures that ultimately forced him in and out of business.

If you didn't already know it, Don is one of the kings of TV Infomercials. His late night and early morning pitches had people calling in to buy a $39 business opportunity package, but callers are quickly "up sold" to a bigger, more expensive product set. Then, the telemarketing calls start flowing in to sell you his backend products and services like the 900 number business.

The biggest beef I had with his material was that his business opportunities sorely lacked details. His manuals were slick (color glossy covers, CD's etc.) but they suffered from presenting oversimplified information that reads like it was written for 10 year olds.

Some of the basic sales and marketing concepts in his course are sound, don't get me wrong. Particularly the information on writing classified ads and rolling out winning ads to a national market. That's definitely do-able, but not nearly as easy as the gurus claim. But you can easily get that stuff by researching and recycling techniques from all the great direct marketers. Don Lapre's real agenda seemed to be producing cheap information products that he practically gives away just to sell customers on his inventory of questionable backend products and services.

As for the rest of Don Lapre's Making Money program, I can't recommend any of it. The "buying and selling" business guide seemed a little hokey, but it sort of teaches the basics of simple direct salesmanship to beginners I guess. Regarding the 900 number industry that he pushes, it is so specialized these days that an average person will have a near impossible time trying to ramp up and make a profit. You'll go broke before you get through the learning curve.

What his manuals don't tell you is the fact that the 900 number industry is dominated by slick communications companies and specialized media firms that have fine-tuned their marketing practices. They have a clear competitive advantage that any new, small business will have a very tough time against.

Anyway, as you can probably conclude by now I think there are better ways for "making money".  :-)


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