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Ten Commandments for Con Men

While I was doing research for the gallery "The Top 14 Financial Frauds of All Time", I came across a set of instructions, attributed to Victor Lustig, known as the "Ten Commandments for Con Men". What's interesting about them is that they're actually good advice for anybody who's in sales. Here they are:

  1. Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con man his coups).
  2. Never look bored.
  3. Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
  4. Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
  5. Hint at sex talk, but don't follow it up unless the other person shows a strong interest.
  6. Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
  7. Never pry into a person's personal circumstances (they'll tell you all eventually).
  8. Never boast - just let your importance be quietly obvious.
  9. Never be untidy.
  10. Never get drunk.
Good advice, eh? What's particularly interesting about this is that Lustig died in 1947, long before the advent of "consultative selling." Apparently, in addition to being one of the world's most successful con men, he was a visionary of sales technique as well.


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