Sales is a dirty word.
Too often when people hear the word sales they are reminded of this scene from Glengarry Glen Ross (WARNING: NSFW):
This is how most people see the world of sales. It’s the grimy, pushy, manipulative snake-oil salesman going door to door trying to trick as many people as possible to buy something they don’t need. And that’s how I imagined sales to be too.
When I was starting my other blog (which deals primarily with politics and economics), I decided to join Tom Woods’s Liberty Classroom Affiliate program. I put banner ads in some of my posts, made some pitches here and there, and hoped people would buy. I still had this bad taste of what selling was, so I didn’t try to sell it to anyone I already knew. Tsk, tsk.
However, as I became more knowledgeable on sales, I began to think of it as the bridge that connects two people in need. On one hand, you need the sale. But on the other hand, the customer needs your product or service. In fact, many times the customer needs your product much more than you need the sale. (If your product or service can truly ease their pain, it’s invaluable. There will always be more prospects.)
As I was reading Dan Sandler’s incredible You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, it became clear that I should try selling Liberty Classroom to one of my friends who is (stuck) in college, and interested in economics.
When my friend asked me about the best resources to learn more on the subject, I used the principles I learned in Sandler’s book (such as letting the customer sell himself, instead of you aggressively and manipulatively trying to “close”). I had a warm prospect for Liberty Classroom.
When he asked me what resources he should look into I responded with a classic Sandler technique. I asked him what he wanted to learn.
He was most interested in economics, the history of economics (he was wondering how Keynes came to be the economic powerhouse who soaks up all the spotlight in college econ classes), and why the Austrians make a more compelling case. Luckily, all of these topics (and more) are covered in Liberty Classroom.
Next, I jumped straight to the price. It’s a pricey service for a somewhat broke college student (never mind the price he pays to go to college). But I didn’t want to waste any time selling him on the features if it was out of his price range.
The price startled him initially. So I asked him how many books on each of the topics he could buy with that money instead. When he realized he could only have a handful of books (which wouldn’t even begin to teach him as much as he could learn through Liberty Classroom), he sold himself.
Then I sent him the affiliate link I have to Liberty Classroom, and he bought it. And I grabbed 50% of the retail price. Not too shabby.