The one lesson you absolutely, positively, must learn and apply to make money online

46 replies
It's not how to build a web site, how to grow a list, how to write copy, or set up a sales funnel.

No, this is at the root, the very foundation, of everything else you need to know about Internet marketing.

It's so basic, simple, straightforward, and non-negotiable that it should be on your mind constantly. If you do anything in your business that doesn't support or enhance your ability to do this - well, you're not focusing on the right thing.

You must sell something in order to make money. Everybody knows that, right? Apparently not.

Let me ask you a simple question: how much of your daily time do you spend on selling something, directly?

No, you can't count tweeting, Facebook sharing, checking email, spending time on forums, or surfing competitor's sites. (Of course, these activities may indirectly and ultimately be tied to selling, but for this discussion, let's not muddy the water.)

Many, many people that turn to Internet marketing in hopes of earning a full time income never seem to grasp this basic premise - if you don't sell you don't make money. It's that simple.

The fact is, most people don't like to sell . . . so they find other "tasks" in their business that they enjoy (or at least tolerate) doing.

Mark Ford, the author of Ready, Fire, Aim says
"Selling is the first stage of entrepreneurship . . . There is a direct relationship between the success of a business at any given time and the percentage of its capital, temporal, and intellectual resources that are devoted to selling."
There are a million reasons why selling is avoided. "I don't know how," "I'm no good at it," "I hate asking other people for money," "What if they reject me?" "What if my product isn't good enough?" and tons of other fears.
"Money is attracted to the individual operating free of guilt or shame. People with inferiority feelings about their information, expertise, or business activities are at a profound disadvantage. They subliminally communicate their guilt to others and unconsciously sabotage themselves." - Dan Kennedy
So folks work in their business all day long doing the things they do, staying busy, and appearing to be running a business. But are they selling? Are they making money?

Don't get me wrong - we must all spend time doing the tasks that only indirectly help our businesses. These tasks are necessary and important. But doing them all day long, every day, will not add to your bottom line.

If you truly want to be a full time marketer, as a goal, see if you can force all your indirect business tasks into 1 or 2 hours a day, at the most. Spend the rest of your day selling. Then report back and let us know how your business has become a successful money making machine.

The very best to all of you,

Steve
#absolutely #apply #learn #lesson #make #money #online #positively
  • Profile picture of the author Joe721
    Interesting post, and I agree 100%.

    Over the 10 years of selling products over the internet, I cannot help but notice a very simple but odd thing, the more I focus on thinking about (and developing a particular product), the more sales it appears to attract.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew Servis
      What are the direct selling activites we can do in IM? I mean most of it is driving traffic to offers or sending out promotions to lists to put people in front of offers?
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    • Profile picture of the author ron34689
      Originally Posted by Joe721 View Post

      Interesting post, and I agree 100%.

      Over the 10 years of selling products over the internet, I cannot help but notice a very simple but odd thing, the more I focus on thinking about (and developing a particular product), the more sales it appears to attract.
      This interest me in that you have been selling different products for a long time. What I'm interested in is this, if they are your products or not. If they worked or not. And if they worked, why did you move on to sell the next product?

      I understand that the rules and things in general change, so I don't want this to come across as me putting that proses down but it would be good to know that he who sells it stands by it because of the fact that it did what it claimed it could do.

      I had a service that worked and I stand by that service, problem is that the rules changed and I lost IT support. Even so, for what I sold, I still stand by each and every single sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    Very true everything you do should revolve around making money list building, product creation, product reviews, just to name a few.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamieBeresford
    Hi Steve

    Yes, very true. People need to take action, but make sure it's the correct type of action!
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  • Profile picture of the author Evan H
    Well put...I think we tend to overlook the step that actually puts money into our pocket and that's selling...I was so hesitant to sell when I first started out...Thanks for the wisdom!

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    • Profile picture of the author agelmanager
      Yes I agree, but sometimes it seems to easy to get side tracked. Focus is the key, sales is the motivation.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaJane
    Nice post, Steve! What you said is very true! You have to give something in exchange of $$$. It can be a service, a product, or even your time.

    Very informative post. People (especially the newbies) will surely learn from it.

    - Amanda
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  • Profile picture of the author godoveryou
    It's a sound argument for list building. It eliminates a lot of noise and allows you to focus on just two things...

    1. Getting people in your funnel.
    2. Establishing a buyer oriented relationship.

    Things like SEO, blogging, social media, etc all mean much less at that point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jensha
    Well it's the part when you need to start earning a few bucks first to fund your campaigns and products that you create. I just worked my way on Fiverr and other methods being shared here and there until I created my own that I can use for funding. It's just for a few dollars everyday but it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author garytanuser
    Steve B

    This is a great post and so important. I've spent 10 years in Internet marketing and what I built were websites based on Adsense. They made me money, but they didn't teach me to sell.

    Today, I resolve to learn more about true business, i.e. selling. Get a product out there, sell, then talk about starting websites, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Too many people get into IM because they think "sell" is one of those four-letter words you don't use in polite company.

    Like my fishing buddies say, if you want to eat fish, you have to get the hook wet...
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    You must sell something in order to make money. Everybody knows that, right? Apparently not.
    The only thing I would add to this is that affiliate marketing IS selling something. Its just selling things you didn't create. But its just as valid as selling things you created.
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  • Profile picture of the author bmoore62
    Just me, but I think that's why shiny object syndrome prevails. People don't really want to sell, so to rationalize that, they look for a way to occupy their time. What better way to do that than buy more stuff.

    We all have more "stuff" than we know what to do with, but it's the illusion that if we're buying it, we must be moving in the right direction. It's the ultimate catch-22.

    Then we have all these products lying around, we never do anything with them, we're paralyzed by an inability to act, so we wait for the next "this is the one" product to come around. The cycle just viciously repeats.

    Fortunately, I got out of that cycle. You just need the focus and the drive to move forward. You may need to get out of your comfort zone a little, but that's what brings about change.

    Here is hoping you ultimately find that focus. Trust me, it will change your business life.

    To your success. . .
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Lovelace
      Definitely agree and believe it.

      When I am not selling compared to when I am you see a substantial difference on your income. Working at the bank, like I did years ago, they always said you have to mention "sell" 1 product or service to each customer. What does that tell ya? LOL, ever since then I have focused on my conversions and selling.

      Rock On!

      Eric "The Las Vegas Ninja" Lovelace
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    • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
      Steve,

      maybe I'm missing something. You say we need to spend the bulk of our daily activities "selling" - and I definitely see how reading emails, doing Sudoku and browsing LOL cats on FB don't qualify.

      But what exactly DO you mean by "sellling" in the world of internet marketing?
      • Creating saleable products and offering them as a WSO?
      • Writing salesletters for said products?
      • Writing follow-up emails?
      • Writing presell reports for our own products or other products we might promote?

      But then, we also need to drive traffic to the resulting sales pages (or squeeze pages).

      What about advertising, whether that's on Facebook, Google, Backpages, or elsewhere? Does that count as selling?

      What about schmoozing on forums and building relationships with potential JV partners?

      I think all of the above is part of selling when it comes to building an online business.

      Would love to find out more about what specifically you had in mind when it comes to activities that are "selling" in internet marketing.

      Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

        Would love to find out more about what specifically you had in mind when it comes to activities that are "selling" in internet marketing.

        Thanks!
        I can't speak for Steve but, in my mind, all of those things you listed fall under the category of either "getting ready to sell" or "keeping busy to avoid selling".

        Writing a sales letter is getting ready to sell. "Polishing" it for the 87th time before a real prospect sees it is keeping busy to avoid selling.

        For me, "selling" is making serious offers to qualified prospects.
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        • Profile picture of the author TurkishDelight
          You should never be afraid to pick up that phone and start trying to sell your products/services. Too many people hide behind a computer.

          Steve.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

        Would love to find out more about what specifically you had in mind when it comes to activities that are "selling" in internet marketing.

        WordWizard,

        Excellent post and I agree that there are always "secondary" tasks that absolutely have to be completed in every business. Maybe we're just splitting hairs regarding what it means to be selling. Obviously, if you don't drive traffic, advertise, and build relationships (all things you mentioned) you're going to have a difficult time creating the environment surrounding your offer that will allow you to sell anything at all.

        Every business, every niche, and every marketing approach will vary in significant ways. My post was intended to suggest that you figure out what activities and tasks are essential to selling and, at least mentally, separate those from the indirect tasks you spend time on every day to maintain your business.

        Concentrate and focus on figuring out ways to minimize the time you spend of the indirect "stuff" (maybe by outsourcing? additional automation? reducing the time it takes by paring down what you're doing?)

        The idea is to allow additional time and energy so you can focus on your selling. Create two great offers instead of one. If you're a product creator, so be it - make a great product and a backend offer. If you're an email marketer then your "selling" tasks will be a little different.

        The problem with many of us is that we try to do everything and it ends up most of our day gets spent on things that don't have any effect on how much money we take in that day. "I only made one sale today, but new colors on my web site sure do look great!" or "I'm going to finish and upload the new sales page tomorrow . . . right now I've got to see what my followers on Twitter are saying."

        Only you can decide what tasks contribute most and directly to what you're selling. Recognize what those are, and do them 80% of the time (or more) in a day, week, and month. Don't get sidetracked. Offload whatever you can of the indirect stuff, the things that take time but that you don't necessarily have to do personally. I think if you do that, your bottom line will grow faster than it ever has before.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author amuro
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    It's not how to build a web site, how to grow a list, how to write copy, or set up a sales funnel.

    No, this is at the root, the very foundation, of everything else you need to know about Internet marketing.

    It's so basic, simple, straightforward, and non-negotiable that it should be on your mind constantly. If you do anything in your business that doesn't support or enhance your ability to do this - well, you're not focusing on the right thing.

    You must sell something in order to make money. Everybody knows that, right? Apparently not.

    Let me ask you a simple question: how much of your daily time do you spend on selling something, directly?

    No, you can't count tweeting, Facebook sharing, checking email, spending time on forums, or surfing competitor's sites. (Of course, these activities may indirectly and ultimately be tied to selling, but for this discussion, let's not muddy the water.)

    Many, many people that turn to Internet marketing in hopes of earning a full time income never seem to grasp this basic premise - if you don't sell you don't make money. It's that simple.

    The fact is, most people don't like to sell . . . so they find other "tasks" in their business that they enjoy (or at least tolerate) doing.

    Mark Ford, the author of Ready, Fire, Aim says
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    "Selling is the first stage of entrepreneurship . . . There is a direct relationship between the success of a business at any given time and the percentage of its capital, temporal, and intellectual resources that are devoted to selling."
    There are a million reasons why selling is avoided. "I don't know how," "I'm no good at it," "I hate asking other people for money," "What if they reject me?" "What if my product isn't good enough?" and tons of other fears.
    "Money is attracted to the individual operating free of guilt or shame. People with inferiority feelings about their information, expertise, or business activities are at a profound disadvantage. They subliminally communicate their guilt to others and unconsciously sabotage themselves." - Dan Kennedy
    So folks work in their business all day long doing the things they do, staying busy, and appearing to be running a business. But are they selling? Are they making money?

    Don't get me wrong - we must all spend time doing the tasks that only indirectly help our businesses. These tasks are necessary and important. But doing them all day long, every day, will not add to your bottom line.

    If you truly want to be a full time marketer, as a goal, see if you can force all your indirect business tasks into 1 or 2 hours a day, at the most. Spend the rest of your day selling. Then report back and let us know how your business has become a successful money making machine.

    The very best to all of you,

    Steve


    I totally agree with you, Steve.

    Selling is the core foundation of setting up your business before you even think of running it.

    Even if you don't run a business, you still need to sell yourself to employers say in job interviews in order to get the job you apply for. Such as convincing employers why they should hire you over others.

    However while selling is important, offering something of value is even important.

    You see many people will say - which even you and I also said before when starting out in IM, "I want to earn $5000. I want to earn $10000 and beyond."

    But what they failed to consider is why should people want to pay you $5000 and $10000 and beyond.

    What is it in for them if they do so?

    When I say offering something of value, I mean providing helpful advice, info and tips that will eventually led to you recommending something.

    Without this core fundamental, it does not matter what you sell or how you sell.

    You will fail.

    You might want to write those bold text down if you have to.

    Think about it. When was the last time you tasted great food, bought a great product or have good service?

    Will you share with your families and friends?

    And if your families and friends also liked those, will they also not share with THEIR families and friends?

    Do you realize by sharing with others, you are indirectly helping those salespeople or business owners to market and make more money?

    Why?

    This is called viral marketing or word of mouth.

    But in order for that to happen, you need to offer something of value before selling.

    This is also the difference between those earning 4 figures and below every month and those earning 5 figures and beyond every month.

    Not just internet marketing but offline marketing as well.

    Think about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Walker
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post


    If you truly want to be a full time marketer, as a goal, see if you can force all your indirect business tasks into 1 or 2 hours a day, at the most. Spend the rest of your day selling. Then report back and let us know how your business has become a successful money making machine.

    Steve
    Hi Steve, very interesting post you've made here especially the paragraph above.

    This is something I call the ''success metric'' in my business. By this I meant you need to focus on just 3 things and only 3 things in order to be successful in any online business. These 3 things are:~

    1. Getting highly targeted traffic to your offer
    2. Having an offer which is proven to convert
    3. Making sales

    Do these 3 thing ever day in you business and do them consistently and you'll be successful online.

    And yes, I agree about all the other things you have to do which we all find fun and enjoy doing. But do steps 1-3 first off each and every day and then spend the rest of your business time on the ''other'' things in your business life.

    Cheers Steve, I enjoyed the read!
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Swift
    Very true Steve, I always operate by the famous 80/20 rule...

    What 20% of my tasks will make me money?

    I can delegate the extra 80% lol!

    Christian
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  • Profile picture of the author beasty513
    Learning how to sell will help you get your success much faster.

    I knew before starting online that if I was to truly get to where I
    wanted to be, I needed to learn salesmanship.

    There is a lot of information out there to help you build your skills.

    You have no excuse.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    One of the best ways to determine if you're doing what you should be doing is you should feel a sense of discomfort. If what you're doing feels easy and comfortable then you're probably not doing enough "selling".

    Selling requires you to face rejection, fear, anxiety, and judgment all at the same time.

    So, if you're not making any money you need to get uncomfortable.
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  • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
    I like your post, but what about email marketers?

    We spend a whole day building our list, and then we send out an email (which takes 5 minutes to create) to sell something.

    If email marketers would follow your advice, we would be referred to as spammers
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Jens,

      In post #23 I said this: "If you're a product creator, so be it - make a great product and a backend offer. If you're an email marketer then your 'selling' tasks will be a little different."

      Create new offers, nurture your clients, add back-end products you didn't have before, open up new closely related niches, ramp up your business with paid advertising, create a membership site where you can sell even more. If you believe that your only task is sending email, I think you're severely limiting your business.

      My experience has been that most of us work hard but not smart sometimes. We are not as efficient as we could be. My plea is to keep the extraneous stuff to a smaller and smaller percentage of your time.

      Try what I'm suggesting - concentrate and focus on things that make a difference in making the sale. The tasks will be different for various business models, but I'm pretty sure if you do this consistently your profits will rise and your business will grow.

      The best to all of you,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author MMA Sports
    Banned
    Great advice! Thanks for that...
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  • Profile picture of the author bangwhosnext
    What about spending some time on creating a good quality product or service?

    Just a crazy idea I'm throwing out there...

    I find, in most cases, people spend too much time trying to sell or acquire customers instead of creating a good product or service, inevitably selling some old re-hashed info or crappy service. This eventually leads to bad sales, poor reputation and ultimately failure.

    To each their own I suppose, but time spent on product creation and acquiring customers are just as important as selling, albeit there are different times throughout the process when they should be focussed on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    When I say offering something of value, I mean providing helpful advice, info and tips that will eventually led to you recommending something.

    Without this core fundamental, it does not matter what you sell or how you sell.

    You will fail.
    I agree with this.

    A lot of "internet marketers" understand the part about needing to sell.

    Their problem is they just think you can bombard people with promos without giving people any real incentive or value to do so.

    You can throw products at people all day long but if they aren't getting any value from you most will not buy.

    Sure you will make a few sales here and there but nothing major in most cases.
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  • Profile picture of the author tristatemedia
    so true:
    you can either spending time competing with other marketers or spend the time creating your own products and funnels and making money.
    --------------
    either way you are spending the money and time
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael75065
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    It's not how to build a web site, how to grow a list, how to write copy, or set up a sales funnel.

    No, this is at the root, the very foundation, of everything else you need to know about Internet marketing.

    It's so basic, simple, straightforward, and non-negotiable that it should be on your mind constantly. If you do anything in your business that doesn't support or enhance your ability to do this - well, you're not focusing on the right thing.

    You must sell something in order to make money. Everybody knows that, right? Apparently not.

    Let me ask you a simple question: how much of your daily time do you spend on selling something, directly?

    No, you can't count tweeting, Facebook sharing, checking email, spending time on forums, or surfing competitor's sites. (Of course, these activities may indirectly and ultimately be tied to selling, but for this discussion, let's not muddy the water.)

    Many, many people that turn to Internet marketing in hopes of earning a full time income never seem to grasp this basic premise - if you don't sell you don't make money. It's that simple.

    The fact is, most people don't like to sell . . . so they find other "tasks" in their business that they enjoy (or at least tolerate) doing.

    Mark Ford, the author of Ready, Fire, Aim says
    "Selling is the first stage of entrepreneurship . . . There is a direct relationship between the success of a business at any given time and the percentage of its capital, temporal, and intellectual resources that are devoted to selling."
    There are a million reasons why selling is avoided. "I don't know how," "I'm no good at it," "I hate asking other people for money," "What if they reject me?" "What if my product isn't good enough?" and tons of other fears.
    "Money is attracted to the individual operating free of guilt or shame. People with inferiority feelings about their information, expertise, or business activities are at a profound disadvantage. They subliminally communicate their guilt to others and unconsciously sabotage themselves." - Dan Kennedy
    So folks work in their business all day long doing the things they do, staying busy, and appearing to be running a business. But are they selling? Are they making money?

    Don't get me wrong - we must all spend time doing the tasks that only indirectly help our businesses. These tasks are necessary and important. But doing them all day long, every day, will not add to your bottom line.

    If you truly want to be a full time marketer, as a goal, see if you can force all your indirect business tasks into 1 or 2 hours a day, at the most. Spend the rest of your day selling. Then report back and let us know how your business has become a successful money making machine.

    The very best to all of you,

    Steve

    Great post!! One of the best post I ever seen!!


    Thanks
    Michael Ladd
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  • Profile picture of the author SunnyDelight
    Great post my friend. Im going to have to print this out and add to my notes!
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  • Profile picture of the author gloria123
    What an eye opener. It's so easy to get lost in the information overload, that focusing on the "core" point gets lost
    Sale=Money
    All our efforts should be in selling... Try one method first, and really give it all your effort.
    I am going to take this approach.
    Thanks a lot.
    Gloria
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  • Profile picture of the author muaythai
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author greenowl123
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

    It's not how to build a web site, how to grow a list, how to write copy, or set up a sales funnel.




    There are a million reasons why selling is avoided. "I don't know how," "I'm no good at it," "I hate asking other people for money," "What if they reject me?" "What if my product isn't good enough?" and tons of other fears.
    "Money is attracted to the individual operating free of guilt or shame. People with inferiority feelings about their information, expertise, or business activities are at a profound disadvantage. They subliminally communicate their guilt to others and unconsciously sabotage themselves." - Dan Kennedy
    Steve
    Words of wisdom here.. both from Steve and from Dan Kennedy.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by bangwhosnext View Post

      What about spending some time on creating a good quality product or service?

      Just a crazy idea I'm throwing out there...

      I find, in most cases, people spend too much time trying to sell or acquire customers instead of creating a good product or service, inevitably selling some old re-hashed info or crappy service. This eventually leads to bad sales, poor reputation and ultimately failure.

      To each their own I suppose, but time spent on product creation and acquiring customers are just as important as selling, albeit there are different times throughout the process when they should be focused on.
      Try it on this way and see if it fits better...

      Split your time on product creation and product marketing/selling. When you get to the marketing/selling time, look at Steve's advice again.

      Are your chosen sales/marketing activities meaningful, as in, do they lead to presenting your product to people who may be willing and able to buy it? Or is it busy work? For example, unless you're in the midst of a large, time bound sale and you have access to real-time data, how useful is checking your sales stats more than once a day? Could the time be better spent on activities that generate those sales rather than simply monitoring them?
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      • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        ...how useful is checking your sales stats more than once a day? Could the time be better spent on activities that generate those sales rather than simply monitoring them?
        No opposition to this point. When i was younger (if i aint young enough as it is).... i would do about 8 free marketing strategies, and PPC everyday. And would check my email every 1 hour to see if i had a sale. No sales of course.

        I would literally keep the computer running all night long while i was sleeping, just to see if i had made a sale as soon as a woke up. It was ridiculous. I finally learned HOW to generate those sales when i used to work at a very large corporation as an IT Tech.

        But all of this ties back to Steve B's post. Terrific post. A ton of people need this info... even people who sell rockets for a living. But... i doubt if 97% of the people who reads your post will know how to apply it in their business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gotowebguy
    Sales is as easy as ABC
    Always
    Be
    Closing
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author Amer A
    Hi Steve B

    Your lesson is really useful, with all new products released everyday, we never do anything with them, and wait for the next shiny object to be released.

    Regards
    Amer
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  • Profile picture of the author Kabbas
    But what about someone who is just starting out. Shouldn't he/she focus on getting more people to them so that they can sell stuff later on?
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Pretty basic and common sense stuff. We are always selling ourselves nearly every second and every hour of the day we are alive in this World.

      I just got back from the pool with my kids and had to " sell" my wife on the idea of letting me go play disc golf and I would definitely mop the kitchen floor by tomorrow in return

      Like I said we are always selling or negotiating something, business and non business activities alike !!



      - Robert Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Kabbas View Post

      But what about someone who is just starting out. Shouldn't he/she focus on getting more people to them so that they can sell stuff later on?

      Kabbas,

      Getting prospects as subscribers to your business is very important, but it need not be your entire focus when your business is new. You can sell at the same time you're building your subscriber list.

      For ages business owners have sold inexpensive or discounted goods (one of today's popular terms is a "tripwire") in order to get prospects in the door and into the sales funnel. Owners will even take a loss on an item just to get it into the hands of the prospect and show off the quality and usefulness of that product hoping the customer will come back for more purchases.

      Generally, I would take a recent buyer over ten average subscribers just because that customer has demonstrated he has a credit card, he will use it to help fund my business, and he is targeted in my niche.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Steve
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