The way to become good at making money is to make it habitual. It’s just like asking a girl for her number. Women want to be hit on by guys who are practiced at it, for whom it’s habitual, because those guys are better at it.
When we have to hand our hard-earned dollars for essential goods & services, we want to hand them over to someone who is practiced at asking for them, because they make it more comfortable.
Probably 85% of the reason we dislike “pushy salesmen” is because they are really “inexperienced salesmen” who ask for the sale awkwardly, do things out of order, or fail to truly listen to us.
It’s the same with women: when a man gets the steps out of order, or fails to catch a woman’s signals, that’s when he becomes creepy, or “weird.”
An inexperienced man hitting on a woman is like an inexperienced salesman asking for your order: awkward, unpleasant all around, something we try to avoid.
If you’re going to earn high, you have to push past this initial awkwardness and get in the habit of making offers, pitching, & closing the sale in a comfortable way.
Get started in your own house. Sell all the extra junk you own but never use. (Most people have at least $1,000 in property they could liquidate and not miss it.)
Don’t just throw up postings, take the time to do it right. Read a book on advertising copy (I recommend Joseph Sugarman). Offer multiple clear photos and detailed product information. Push the asking price and see how much you can get for each item.
Once you’ve run out of stuff in your home it’s time to turn outward. Look into the world, find a problem, craft a solution, write down your offer, and put it in front of people. Ask them to put money in your hands in exchange for your solution. Once they’re willing to do that you know you’re getting good.
And don’t keep making the same offer, listen and take advice and change your offer based on what the market tells you. It’s only through iteration that your offer will get better and better, and closer and closer to what customers really crave.
You can also apply this at work, although the multiple moving pieces involved in most big companies dilute the effects of your salesmanship.
If you’re looking for a deep-end jump into sales training, and you’re humble, try the cold water hustle
The Cold Water Hustle
- Buy a flat of bottled water for $5 from a restaurant supply store
- Put it in a cooler full of ice and find a busy street-corner with very long right-hand turns
- Set up shop with a sign “Ice cold water $1” on a hot day
- Be fast and funny with prospects. Try to convince everyone to buy a bottle — even if their windows are rolled up and they ignore you
- Be humorous, dance, crack jokes — work for it. This will teach you what it takes to get attention
- You will go through all the steps, first getting their Attention — then arousing their Interest — then stoking their Desire — pantomime the deep refreshment that comes from drinking ice-cold water on a hot day — finally ending with Action — they hand over $1 and receive your product.
- Remember you are selling an concept not a product — you are selling refreshment! (think of Coca-Cola)
- Also remember that a purchase is an emotional decision not a rational one. Nobody considers the huge markup on a water bottle because the refreshment they get is a priceless (if ephemeral) experience
- Speaking of the markup, bottled water is bad for the environment and one of the stupidest product inventions ever. Do this exercise as an exercise, just that, and then donate the money you made to a charity that plants trees or invests in clean water in Africa or fights giant corporate advertising. That’s the only way you’ll keep your soul.
I launched two paid information products in 2013 and I couldn’t be happier to have gotten them out the door. I’ve just cleared $100 in sales after 1 month which is laughable by any stretch of the imagination but this is immaterial to me — because we’re talking about a freshman effort. Earning any money from digital products is a step 99% of people haven’t taken yet and I’m buckling down to learn to do it better in the future.
Simply launching a paid product that makes sales (no matter how minimal) changes how you think. Having even one customer gives you a toehold.
I recommend you get yourself a toehold as soon as possible.