Selling Well or Selling Out
Often the biggest challenge for people is that they sell themselves short, or don’t sell themselves at all, but once you do start to climb that ladder of selling, it can all come crashing down very quickly if you go from selling yourself to selling yourself out.
I’ve been involved in selling and marketing for over a decade. In all honesty I’ve helped sell things that I wouldn’t even tell my mother about. I can’t even describe some of the internal conflicts I’ve had sitting at home questioning if this is really how I want to be remembered. But one day I made a choice …
From now on, I’ll only ever sell or promote a product that I believe in.
At the time I didn’t really understand why and it was a tough decision to make. People selling shady products seem to be willing to pay more to for people to help market them – but in reflection it was me just putting a price on my morals.
So I’ve given myself a 5 point checklists that ensures I continue to walk the right path of selling
- Do I believe that what I’m promoting will actually solve the problem I’m stating
- Am I actually lying to my audience in the communication I sent to them
- Does the product actually have unique point of difference in the market
- If my Dad purchased this product, would I be happy about it
- Do I care as much about the difference the product makes, as I do zero’s it puts into bank accounts
Now other than the warm fuzzy feeling that selling only products I believe in gives me, I’ve learnt over time that effectively selling quality products, over the long term, is much more financially rewarding.
Rather than use my own experiences (which I can’t really talk about anyway), I’m going to use Darren and Problogger as an example. So Darren’s first product was his book, that I’m sure most of you already own :). Now in its second edition and I’m sure that Darren has done quite well from its success. Having spoken to Darren many times about his experiences with product development, one thing that is clear is that he puts his heart and soul into everything he produces. He’s a guy that jams so much (sometimes too much), value into his products, and this book is no exception.
If we take this initial product and look at the actual, and theoretical path Darren and Probplogger could have walked, if Darren sold himself out, rather than just sold himself.
Scenario A: Selling Himself
Darren pours his extensive experience into the book. 100% focused on putting together a book he wished he had read when he first started, without caring if is sells 1 or a 1 million copies.
The Launch: Given Darren’s reputation in the blogging world, people flock to the book. Thousands fly out the door as soon as it launches.
The Rise of Problogger: So yes Darren’s reputation helped give the book initial momentum, however the fact that it actually delivered what it promised left readers thirsty for more. They blogged themselves how good the book was, sought out problogger the blog, joined Darren’s email list and so on …
Darren’s popularity continued to grow, the second the first book hit the selves. It continued to sell for years, and Darren was able to develop and release his own additional products that were instantly successful. Though value, he successfully transitioned one time purchasers into repeat and loyal customers.
Scenario B: Selling Himself Out
Darren’s asked to write a book. He’s more interested in how much he’s going to earn, so he spends little time writing and more time doing sums on what his royalty check will be. He leaves all his chapters open ended so that people will need to visit problogger for the answer – and he’s starts developing ways to suck more money out of them.
The Launch: Given their reputation in the blogging world, people flock to their book. Thousands fly out the door as soon as it launches.
The Fall of Problogger: People read the book are either disappointed, or uninspired from reading the book. They tell no-one about it because we all hate to admit poor purchase decisions, be they certainly don’t feel any loyalty or attachment to Darren. Darren’s traffic dwindles and his upsell products fall on deaf ears.
So whilst both launches would have landed a nice initial cheque, the value driven approach has resulted in Darren being able to launch a second edition, a private forum, two ebooks and I’m sure there is much more to come. From the book – Darren created a business that continues to pay dividends today.
And a long as Darren maintains his focus in ensuring his products honour point 1 in my checklists, we will all continue to buy them.
… and Problogger will live on forever
So if you’re looking to develop products of your own, actually believing in the value you’re giving, in the long run, can deliver a much greater personal and profitable reward.