So, you have a product and you want to start selling it. Where do you start? How do you sell it to people? You don’t want to end up sounding like a second hand car salesman and you don’t want to pressure people into buying your product because you don’t want the rest of your life to be about that. So how do you go about selling your product?
In all the personal development seminars I’ve been to, with the biggest speakers, there have a been a few common elements, of which one important one is, cultivating the skill of selling. There has always been something about the selling principles that didn’t sit well with me. Coercing people that they would fail without my product or that my product would change their life just didn’t seem right to me. Who am I, afterall, to prejudge that my product will change someone’s life to that extent?
Compliment? Sure! Aide? Maybe, but change for good? I don’t believe I have the right to say that.
Life Changing Products
I understand the concept of believing in my own product but trying to say that it will transform a persons life just feels arrogant to me. I don’t have the appropriate foresight to know how someone else will respond to my product. In my opinion the best kind of product I can create is one which I do not need to sell. There have been plenty of products that have been recommended to me by people because they would swear by them, and so naturally, it aroused my curiosity enough for me to want to acquire it too.
So the general ethos suggests that we need to become good at selling. I have a problem with the way that information is presented. Here’s why:
Let The Product Speak For Itself
I believe that the best kinds of products are the ones that you don’t need to sell. I would like my products, whether that be my non-tangible services in the form of my persona for speaking, comedy, coaching or radio, or, my tangible products like ebooks, to be in demand simply because people can see from the offset that they provide value.
Selling by trying to convince people my products work is a method which I’m not fan of, and in all honesty, something I’m not comfortable with it at all. I have often wondered why I’ve been told that I need to become good at selling; shouldn’t I be taught instead how to make a good product to begin with? That seems more important to me. Then I can focus on creating new openings and using a confident, not arrogant, approach to selling.
Good Things Go Viral Themselves
In the past, if I’ve seen something good, I’ve naturally had a tendency to do the word of mouth thing and share that discovery with others. If I see a youtube video that I thought was funny, I’ll send it to people who might appreciate it. I read the book Shantaram based on recommendations from a few friends and then someone brought it for my birthday. I loved it and have since been telling everyone I know to buy and read it! Not once have I seen any marketing around that book. I even heard on the grapevine that they’re turning that book into a movie and I’ve since been telling everyone.
Peer To Peer Selling
When the iPhone was first launched I wasn’t convinced at all and I didn’t like the fact that simple features like copy & paste were missing. So I waited until I received enough recommendations from people and that more basic features were installed and then I bought the phone. Apple didn’t sell it to me, it was my peers who sold it to me.
Those products didn’t need to be sold to me, they were recommended by others who liked them and then the spreading began. In the same way, with my work, I want the work that I do to speak for itself. When it comes to the selling part the only thing I believe I need to do is tell people what I do (or tell them about my product) and let them judge for themselves whether they think it gives them value or not. I believe they will decide that for themselves. I don’t need to convince them of that value. I’m sure if they think it’s good they will want to tell others about it just like my friends did with me about Shantaram and how I’ve been doing ever since i’ve read it.
A Better Way
Here are my tips on what I feel is a better approach getting your product out there and selling:
1. Learn how to create a product. Start the process of creation and follow through until completion.
2. Create a good product. If it isn’t selling, that isn’t a reason to sell it harder. Maybe the product just needs tweaking. Maybe it’s crap! Either way, try a new approach.
3. Ask people to be brutally honest. Would they naturally spread the word of your product? If not, why? Listen and learn from what they’ve got to say.
4. Create new openings and opportunities. That, I believe is more important than the skill of selling.
5. Let your product do the selling.
In the famous words of Apu from The Simpsons: ‘Thank you, come again!’