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One of The Greatest Sales Pitches of All Time

The following transcript is an addendum to the article Honest Selling Secrets From a Dishonest Man published on Think Growth. Read the article here

This is minutes 14:31 -16:50 of There Will Be Blood where Daniel Plainview makes an offer to a group of townspeople for a lease to drill for oil on their land.

There Will be Blood Daniel Plainview

[Voiceover begins: Shot of Daniel Plainview on a train with his baby son.]

Daniel Plainview:  Ladies and gentlemen.

I’ve traveled over half our state to be here tonight. I couldn’t get away sooner because my new well was coming in at Coyote Hills and I had to see about it. That well is now flowing at two thousand barrels and it’s paying me an income of five thousand dollars a week.

[Voiceover ends, fade into close-up of Plainview’s face.]

There Will be Blood Daniel Plainview Close up of face

I have two others drilling and I have sixteen producing at Antelope; so, ladies and gentlemen, if I say I’m an oil man, you will agree.

Now, you have a great chance here, but bear in mind, you can lose it all if you’re not careful.

Out of all men that beg for a chance to drill your lots, maybe one in twenty will be oilmen; the rest will be speculators – that’s men trying to get between you and the oilmen – to get some of the money that ought by rights come to you.

Even if you find one that has money and means to drill, he’ll maybe know nothing about drilling and he’ll have to hire the job out on contract, and then you’re depending on a contractor who’ll rush the job through so he can get another contract just as quick as he can. This is… the way that this works.

Townspeople: Well what is your offer?! We’re wasting time!

Plainview: [undeterred]

I do my own drilling, and the men that work for me work for me. They’re men I know.

I make it my business to be there and to see their work. I don’t lose my tools in the hole and spend months fishing for them; I don’t botch the cementing off and let water in the hole and ruin the whole lease.

I’m a family man. I run a family business. This is my son and my partner, H.W. Plainview.

There Will be Blood Daniel Plainview with son

We offer you the bond of family that very few oilmen can understand.

I’m fixed like no other company in this field and that’s because my Coyote Hills well has just come in. I have a string of tools all ready to put to work. I can load a rig onto trucks and have them here in a week.

I have business connections so I can get the lumber for the derrick – such things go by friendship in a rush like this – and this is why I can guarantee to start drilling and to put up the cash to back my word. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, no matter what the others promise to do, when it comes to the showdown, they won’t be there.

Townspeople continue to scream over each other. Plainview gets up and walks out of the building. He is chased down by some of the townspeople when a man named Prescott turns to him and says:

Prescott:  Mr. Plainview! No! Where are you going?

Plainview: I don’t need the lease, thank you.

Prescott: We need you, we need you to…

Plainview: Too much confusion! Thank you for your time.

Prescott: No, no, no! There’s no confusion! If you just…

Plainview: [stops in his tracks, stares down Prescott] I wouldn’t take the lease if you gave it to me as a gift.



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