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Why people don't buy what you sell
Last Updated April 11th, 2013

Here’s the truth:

There are TOO many people who think their products will sell themselves. They think, “if I just create something that’s GREAT, the rest of it will fall into place.”


When you’re in business, it’s up to you to persuade people to buy what you’re selling.

And if you choose NOT to do it, you are the iceberg that will sink your ship.

But I know you’re smarter than that. And that’s why you’re going to watch this new video:

“Why don’t people buy what I’m selling?”

A reader wrote in and asked me, “I don’t understand! I have tons of friends on Facebook, even more following me on Twitter, and a bunch of people on my email list, all of whom love my content. But when I post my product on my Facebook page, Twitter page, or send an email to my list to “Buy this now,” no one listens. If they already like me and trust me, why doesn’t my product sell?”

I answer this question in this video and share my top tips on selling.

Don’t be pushy all the time. Be pushy at the RIGHT time.” – Click to Tweet

Now I want to pass this to you…

What questions about selling do you have? Are you looking to overcome the fear of selling? Do you feel like when it comes to pitching your products and services, you’re at a loss for what to say?

Share your story in the comments right here, and I’ll do my best to respond to every comment and question that comes in over the next 24 hours.

Also, if you’re looking for even more material on selling more of what you’ve got, I recommend you check out my podcast with Dan Pink about To Sell is Human.

One more thing…

Do you have a friend who feels like they don’t have to sell their products and services. Share this video with them and let me know what they think.

Spread the love!

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210 comments Leave a comment
Rosemar King

Very nice article informative content thanks we liked it.

Sandra Kochenower

You talk about over-valuing your work, but I often have the opposite issue, undervaluing. I have listed items for less and they sit in my shop for EVER, then, a friend suggested I raise the price based on the theory that if you don’t value your work enough, why should they? That the customer assumes the work is lower quality bc of the inexpensive rate. By increasing the cost, it promotes an image of quality, which people are more likely to be happy paying for. In my case, it worked. After being on hiatus for a bit, I’m having a hard time getting back in the swing of things and would love to hear your thoughts on this.


Vlad Sandu

I really appreciate your charisma in this video. And I think you are right. I try to sell a product to people for years and it doesn’t work. I find myself discouraged because of this. But I don’t wanna quit until I see some results.

Looks like your content will help me achieve what I need. Keep me posted man, via email.

P.S: I’ll buy from you if you recommend.




Hi, my name is Missy

I just recently started selling funeral arrangements. ( so funeral insurance )
Which is very important because no ones guaranteed another day. Yet we do not consider how we would like to be remembered or who would take care of our funeral cost. We leave the burden to our family. Anyhow, I want to sell the insurance to the best of my ability. But I find myself in a bind . I Become extremely nervous specially going into others homes (strangers ). I want to learn how to be confident and just let what I need to say flow. Its seems as people are not interested to whats guaranteed to all of us.


Nice video! Really liked it

I’m selling insulating plaster and …. I agree, every client thinks his requirements are unique


I have had massive issues with rejection! Everytime i spent an age building a campaign and send it out and get a handful of people unsubscribe I feel like a failure! And even though i may have a 20% open rate i cant get to closing the deal. I keep persevering but it can be draining!
Im going to push for case studies and post these more on my social media, thanks for the tips!


Hello! I am selling jewelry right now. It is a small business, and we are selling different jewelry based on your mood. They are different colors, and if you buy all 10, you get something special. I am mostly selling this to kids, and I want to know some ideas to make kids want to buy my product. Right now, we are targeting to 5th graders, in the south. Please help me.


I love your video and I think all you are saying it’s true, I’ve heard it so many times before, since I started my business more than 10 years ago. But the thing is that the examples you give are related to something people really need, maybe some things that are necessary at some point. But what happens when the product is just a luxury, like jewelry, which is what I sell or I’ve been trying to sell all these years.
I hasn’t been easy, I do have everything in place, talking about social media, newsletters etc. but still even trying to make customers feel that I have what they need, it hasn’t been successful for me yet. If you have any suggestions, I would really love to hear them.
Thanks again for such a nice and informative video.


I have access to a Unique Brick manufacturing & Building System. The product, a concrete brick, is THE BEST in Africa – Tested by the South African Bureau of Standards (for water penetration and strength), Certified by Agrement SA, Approved by SA Government (Twice) and comes HIGHLY COMMENDED by the Us International Association of Housing Science.

The product/system is SO GOOD it is a ‘threat’ to SEVERAL Industries. As a result, there are ‘certain people in high places’ who has made it there object if life to ‘block’. The Banks, the Governments and numerous other entities are refusing to use the product system. They even refuse to reply to my requests to do Presentations to them. MOST of them treat my correspondence with contempt. Is it ‘professional jealousy’, bad ‘packaging’, or what?

If I had an opportunity to present this said product/system to you it will
knock your socks off’.

What MUST I do to break this ‘stale mate’? It has been 20 years – since the birth of our democracy.


I do not want ANYTHING that replaces an established standard with something new and incompatible. Examples:

The cassette instead of records
The CD instead of the cassette
DVD instead of VHS
Blu-Ray instead of DVD
Windows instead of DOS
Windows Vista. 7. 8. or 10 instead of XP
HDTV instead of standard TV
Zip drives instead of floppy disks
Flash drives instead of Zip drives
Metric instead of Avoirdupois (metric is useless for building construction).

Note that my objection is not to adding new technology, but the removal of the old technology. Business marketing wrecks people’s lives and costs them plenty of money by removing old standards. Example:

– I have plenty of cassettes with music on them , but no working cassette players. They don’t sell the parts to repair them.

– I have plenty of VCR tapes, but no working VCR. Again, I can’t get the parts to fix a VCR. In addition, not all new TVs can show them.

– Many science labs have expensive computer-controlled equipment that they can’t use because they can’t buy a replacement computer that can work it. They can’t get the hardware, and they can’t get the operating system. They have been discontinued.

– Many music studies have expensive computer-controlled equipment and recording equipment that uses types of tape or disk that are no longer available, including VCR tapes, cassettes, Zip disks, and hard disks of certain sizes. In addition, computer interfaces quit working because new computers can’t run them.

– It costs us plenty in wasted tax money because government is forced to upgrade to new software and operating systems due to the upgrade frenzy created by stupid marketing people. We have to pay for new computers, new software, and training to use the new systems.

– The space shuttle program standardized on the Intel 80386 processor and MS-DOS 3.3 with no upgrades. It was the only way to maintain integrity throughout the program. A manufacturer’s upgrade could have meant a crashed shuttle. And they could not have kept the same software throughout the program with the later Microsoft requirement of a product key for each computer. Such a requirement would have killed the shuttle program.

– I avoided the problems with phonograph records only because I have a Collaro Conquest record changer and have spare rubber parts and many spare styli. That should last me until beyond my death.

Paul Schmidt

I hate sales people! I will not become one just to make money. There are many ways to market. If your product ever needs you to be pushy, get another product!

I run two businesses and have met with great success without becoming a sales oriented. The difference is to actually have a better product and/or service. That way you don’t have to bs people into buying it.

Reputation is still the best business tool.

The overwhelming positive response here is proof of what is wrong in our society. Truth, trust, dignity and integrity have immense value. Try it …


    I disagree, if you dont sell your product then how does it get out there? Word of mouth has seen my product be implemented in many businesses but nowhere near enough. I know i have a product that is better, cheaper and offers and ALL round better service, How do i get that across to people?
    To do this i must sell! My biggest problem is my ability to sell would not be of the highest, although i am in the process of learning.


I enjoyed your video !!!


Jeremy Darko

Most people won’t buy for either one of these reasons. Either (a) your product or service is too expensive, too complex, too intimidating; or (b) it is not sophisticated enough for them; or (c) your sales personnel irritated the customers; or (d) the price or financial terms weren’t
affordable. Six Reasons Why People Don’t Buy

1. They do not understand what you have – it has to be clear

2. They don’t want or value it – make them value it & make it relevancy

3. They don’t believe you – Be authentic, real, congruent in what you say an expert gotten results, researcher or role model

4. They need to believe they can do it – Show other people who have done it, provide testimonials from users

5. They believe they can’t afford –

6. Want It Now – When someone says they need time, it’s because you haven’t sold them properly.

Impact, Influence & Income are the Three Things People Want Most.

Whether you win it was the marketing. Whether you lose it was the marketing.

Every business is engaging in certain money-rendering, customer and
prospect generating processes they don’t even recognize — let alone measure and analyze.

Until and unless they recognize what and how they’re doing, they can’t begin to see how much better they could be performing. This is why you have to learn about Infinite Upside Leverage & Zero Downside Risk. Marketing is the single most important aspect in business & everything else is an expense.

Jeff Goins

I just watched this. Really good stuff, Derek. I’m taking it to heart.

anonymous for the moment

I am a fine artist – and I believe that designation is supported by comments I have received on my works from the upper echelons of the fine art word. My present marketing effort is in selling very small, limited edition, museum quality prints of some of my works.

I have spent countess hours, days, even weeks joining Facebook, G+, etc. When I put up an image of a work on these sites, I get anything up to a hundred or so likes, but these do not translate into any visitors to the actual site, where the works are sold (and can be seen in much larger format).

It seems t me that our approach is directed to average, mass consumer products, and not to, for example, a limited edition of, say, 15 museum prints of an art work.

May I ask what would be your suggestion in such a case?

Terri Caldwell

You were talking right to us! We have many friends who have signed up for our service (some right away, some after asking some questions :-)) and when we talk to people directly they really understand and get what we’re doing and what problems we’re solving for them. They leave very excited but then we see very few signing up. We thought maybe our website was boring and not informative enough. Now we wonder if it’s too much information. But what you covered in this video makes a lot of sense! We’ve changed our marketing tactic to include much more helpful information and insight about elder care, end of life planning, unexpected death of loved ones and the legal and emotional strains, and the ever increasing digital assets that people leave behind. This is getting us lots of followers on FB and Twitter and people are reading our blogs (safelyfiled.blogspot.com) but still, not many are signing up, even with our freemium service, SafelyMD (new). How do we break through the noise and reach more people with no budget for marketing? I guess that’s the issue. We get what we pay for in marketing and right not, that’s nothing :-/ Thank you for the video and information. I’ve subscribed to you channel and look forward to more insights.


Hi, remember that Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams ? Build it and they will come. I read all off Derek’s posts and love watching his video clips. I tweet, Facebook, Pinterest. I share, write for another site as a guest blogger. Yet we are not getting conversions. Although we have products in the niche market, with a low volume search, I didn’t think it would be this difficult.

Each time we do something different, we expect different results. But they don’t come. Not sure where we are going wrong, after putting 2 years into the products, it is disheartening.


I loved the video, I signed up for your updates. I will be passing these great videos to my team members! thank you!!!

Ms. Julie

What a great video with some very good pointers on promoting and marketing to sell your product. I’ve been in business for a WHOPPING 9 weeks, and do my best selling 1:1 to individuals. Truly, I thought that many of the mom and pop small businesses would really like my Apple Pie Filling. I also thought some of the medium sized small business grocers, specialty shops and even the bulk food places would love the design of the bottle and the label. At the time of my writing this only 4 small businesses are currently selling my products.

Quite frankly, I’m disappointed. 1. For me to get a sale, I have to go to an individual to sell it. 7 out of 10 times I can get people to buy it. If I can’t, I give them a free sample, and next thing you know they are buying 3 quarts. 2. When I approach small-medium sized businesses, they don’t want my product because I’m not IN with a bigger name.

What is my problem you say? I am one person on this gigantic earth, who has been in business for 9 weeks. Based on my stats, I have to talk to each person individually to get a sale. It would be so much more efficient to get my product into an Earth Fare, Fresh Market or Whole Foods, where a mass of individuals purchase. Instead I have to go to EACH and EVERY individual. It is so time consuming, there has to be a more efficient way.

It makes me wonder if the problem is my labeling, my package design, my pricing.

    Paul Schmidt

    I disagree. If your product is that good, keep doing what you are doing. The last thing you want to do is to cave to big business. It will cheapen you, too. The scars of today’s mindset will be our undoing tomorrow.



I have a new retail website (going on 2 months now) that I’ve been promoting several ways, Facebook, WordPress and now Twitter. I see that I’m getting more and more hits each day (300+) yesterday, but no one is buying what I’m selling. Yes, I’m using a website template and I’ve done all the work myself, so I’m limited in the way I can use it and/or place my products. I do feel my home page is a bit BLAH, but I don’t know how I can make it better. I REALLY want to change the “lookers” into “buyers” but I’m not sure how I can do that. Anyone with any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks in advance folks. Have a great day!


I am a Labour Broker in Johannesburg South Africa. I don’t know if you following the Labour issues in SA, but CASATO gets a kick out of screaming ” Ban the Labour Broker!!!” and government is changing legislation, which has every business owner confused and hesitant. I have sold a lot over the years, various products and services. My closing ratio is 1 to every 10 prospects I sell to, but over the past year and a half my ratio has gone to 1 to every 93. this is surprising, because with the state of our economy business should be lining up to do business with us. even though I can see the problems in the industry I am starting to doubt myself, And rightfully so as all my competitors are closing the deals.

The reason I have found my way here is because I am looking for ways to overcome my bad selling spell and become a better sales person. any advise you may have would be great.

Bretton Woods

An excellent product will always sell itself; the Toyota 86 is a good case study here. An advertising campaign was planned, but none was necessary; the product filled a vacant market segment, it was cheap, and of high quality. The more you need to ‘sell’ a product, the more alarm bells that should ring in the minds of members of the general public.

Jesse Payton

Yes….this is how I feel…mega discouraged.

Paul Barnett

Personally I have always found the better the relationship the more sales come through. In the early days I gave away probably too much free content and people on that niche list became conditioned to getting free things from me. However, it still mean a good percentage would buy if the pitch was right. I would say build relationships with them through whatever means…email follow ups, Google+,Linked-In and watch the results.

    Cassie | MMSpark

    Paul, you’re spot on. Build the community first before you start selling. Apart from the way you come across (“helping” as opposed to “selling”) building relationships creates mutual understanding and you also have a better idea of what your market wants and needs. Great comment, thanks!

      Paul Schmidt

      You are closer than Paul … just need a little tweak. If you are building relationships with the agenda of successful business, both will fail. Don’t come across as helping when you are twisting words. Actually help. People can tell the difference. They will respect you and talk about you and the word will travel. Be satisfied with a business that will support you with its loyal clients and you will prosper. If your goals are so lofty that you are willing to sacrifice your integrity, you will finally fail.


Derek, You mentioned generally business people over value their product.

Does it ever happen that a product gets under valued? Can it effect conversions negatively?

We are new online business and often people tell us that they think the product is under valued….keep in mind these are people we know. Whether its under valued or over valued, the fact remains is that we are still not yet converting.

Andy Nathan


Great post! My biggest challenge is making sure that I provide enough value for my customers. I always want to make sure that everything over-delivers. Might be a cheesey word, but true. Like your poker player idea of how to sell a product.


Peter Frumenti

Love your videos Derek. Gotta say though (and it is clear from your marketing that you know this) that people buy the benefit or the result of what you sell. Put another way. People don’t buy what you sell they buy WHY you sell. it. I like the way Simon Sinek puts it here:


The Get In Shape Girl

You hit the nail on the head. I’m always so skeptical that someone’s service or product will actually help ME. Duhhhh.. people probably think the exact same thing about my training services!! That’s why people always write in to me “can I do this? I’m training for a marathon?” or “I already eat clean, I don’t know if I can even lose any more weight, do you think you can help?” I could eliminate those questions and just get people in the door if I gave better examples!

Brian Bennis

I’ve always found case studies on websites are the very best way to get the message across. As you so succinctly put it Derek, focus on demonstrating ‘what we do applies to you!”

Ken Tan

Derek, I just watched two of your youtube videos and I found it SO HELPFUL! Thanks for providing all these info for everyone! …ps, discovered you through creative live!


Hey Derek, This is my method.
I usually conduct a giveaway or give the product which I sell with a Trial Offer, People who buy my product *will* like it, and will buy more. It may be any product, eBook or Softwares. Anyway, Will follow your advices too. Cheers Derek 🙂

Molly Patrick

I write vegan cookbooks and help people transition into eating less meat.
Your bit about how people think that their situation is unique is awesome and really hit home with me.
I am going to keep that nugget in my mind when I post blogs.
Thanks Derek, as always – you rock.

Felipe Jose

“Don’t be pushy all the time but be pushy at the right time” That is genius!!
This is really important when you are using social media to promote your offers but I can see how useful this can be even when you are writing the content to your website.
As an affiliate marketer, I have to write some reviews and being pushy is not a good behavior, it could work in the past, but this is definitely doesn’t work anymore!
Great post! Take care!

Jessica Weagle

I just started selling essential oil products along with my services. And I learned fast that people need to know how to use the product line ! So I am doing a free 10 week training and having great results in selling products. And these classes are bringing new potential clients into my office.

Craig Missell

We have a good product, of those that view it, around 70% place orders, our issue is not product rejection but that in a crowded market, many have no interest in viewing our product, simply because they are insecure about the economy but will still not entertain the idea of adding another brand, as an additional or replacement of another brand.

Once again, this is without viewing the range or pictures of the range, can you suggest a strategy to overcome this?

Nitin Aggarwal

Love it Derek. I am following the blog from quite some time and it’s always great to here you. Although i am not in any type of selling but i am trying to build a group to connect buyer and seller. I am always feel that i should not push people to join the group. But your article give me confidence that there is no harm to be little pushy in order to ask people to join, if they like they will stay but i need to ask them atleast to try the group.


Thank you Derek! You have created an amazing community of people who help each other. So greatful!


I have started a new e-publishing business, but have made very few
sales so far. I assume it’s because no one knows I’m here. I only have about 40 friends on my personal Facebook, and a similar number of
followers on Twitter. (I’ve heard this is actually about average.) Should I aggressively try to add friends and followers, or should I start a Facebook page for my business. (But isn’t that just duplicating what I say on the website?)
How can I get some visibility?


I love this! I’m the creator of Authentic Selling and while
I believe there is a way to market/sell from a genuine place that
doesn’t feel pushy, you MUST be willing to sell if you’re going to
change lives, make money, or have impact. Selling is focused
communication and even when you’re not in launch mode you’re always
selling and striving to create raving fans. If are a business
owner, selling is a fundamental skill set like marketing, finance,
copy writing(just to name a few). I’m certain if you omit selling
because it feels pushy, icky, or whatever, you are leaving money on
the table. Point blank selling is quite often the missing link in
people’s business.


Just my 2-cents Lacy: When I come across a site with a very light background with very light text, I leave immediately – I’m done. It takes too much effort to read and whatever the subject matter is I can find it somewhere else. My thought process is that if the creator of that web site is so unaware of how hard it is too read then nothing else they have to say has any credibility because they are unaware of the obvious that’s right under their nose. I’m not being a dick, just giving you some feed back…

Michael Sorel

Derek, I added you to my RSS, but I typically skip over your videos (no offense). This one I clicked, and I’m sold. Your age works against you, but your communication and points give you a much older, wiser, more helpful appearance. I’m 28, you look like you’re fresh out of marketing school. I don’t know your educational background, but based on the success of your site, I’d assume you paid attention. Congrats on becoming a forerunner.

Anyways about myself, I have over 100 products not for sale but to market. The problem is I want to sell myself as the next generous inventor. I’m picking up CAD and working on prototypes, but it seems before I can properly market one I come up with 2 more.

The problem is I don’t want the money, I want what Michael Hyatt calls a Platform, like you. I want to communicate my ideas to people to better their lives; either my inventions and products, or my tips and tricks.

So if I’m selling myself as the next Ben Franklin/Leonardo DaVinci, what would you recommend I sell? My best 5 first? All of them at once? Do I really want all the attention?

When it all boils down I want to do what you do, speak to a tribe. I’m happy to say I’m a member of yours, and I hope you don’t feel offended, but I’ve had a 12×22 ft greenscreen in my room for about 3 years now, and I might just copy your style of video execution along with my imac and final cut. Would you be opposed to me making videos just like yours? And to humor me, what do you use as a teleprompter?

Thanks for your dedication to the betterment of the economy, it will ensure the future for the world.


everything you say is totally on the mark. I don’t know why I can’t seem to put these things together until you say them, but as soon as the words come out of your mouth, it makes perfect sense.

Dynamite video, on one of the biggest questions of all time.
Thanks again,


Thanks Derek, for another awesome video. It’s so true, we’re all so scared to ask for the sale….and then we wonder why sales are low.

You gave me the confidence and green light to be pushy when it comes to sales….just what I needed to hear, at the right time! 🙂


Holy Moly! I just paused Lincoln on pay-per-view and just watched this whole awesome video start to finish. I just wish I had grabbed my spiral notebook and taken notes. So many excellent points that I can apply to many parts of my life. I really want to thank you for sharing this info. Take that Academy Award winning movie…


My problem is that I don’t have the money for advertising so I am having a problem getting my name and services out to the public.


Excellent video Derek!
I’m not naturally prone to having the mindset of a salesman, but I think we all should remember that if we’ve found or created a great product that will actually help people, we need to “sell” them on it.
If the product is indeed helpful then most of our customers who buy-in will thank us for turning them on to it.


Phil Maguire

Hi Derek

First of all, thank you for taking the time to make this video to help us. I do appreciate it.

Second, I am not convinced by that first psychology experiment you mentioned because the sample was biased – ie students who usually consider themselves far too highly especially if it was a prestigious university. When it comes to finding work, most people UNDERvalue their skills and experience which I would suggest is a less biased example

Third, I do agree with that research on people thinking that they are different but only because people are utterly obssessed with particulars. For example, you recently did a brilliant webinar along with Pat Flynn and others where you used someone’s photography business as an example. Later you received an email comment to the effect “You mentioned photography but what about WEDDING photography?” As if wedding photography was somehow not photography (facepalm). Most of the time, it’s just a lame excuse “Oh Phil if you were in my exact circumstances, you’d think differently”. To which I normally reply “You’re right. If I were in your exact circumstances, I would think differently – I’d get the hell out of them like I’m telling you to do”

Lastly, there is a market for everything. I’m old enough to remember the madness of pet rocks. Or Cabbage Patch Dolls. Or even ornamental horse brasses. So as far as I am concerned, selling is simply finding the right product for the right market. That means that if something of mine isn’t selling, I presume that either: I haven’t found my market and I should look elsewhere; or that the market is so small and diverse that I have the wrong product and I should consider another product. A little keyword research on Google will tell me if it is one or the other and I make a decision accordingly. So where is the need to be pushy?



I enjoy every single email that I receive and your videos are “superfly” as well as informative. Today’s video hit my business nail right on the head. I publish the Albuquerque Sun Post, a local weekly online news magazine that reports on the positive news of Albuquerque, N.M. and its surrounding areas. (http://www.abqsunpost.com)

We cover charity events, write features on individuals, businesses, and foundations that make a difference within our community, and we bring exposure to students who are kicking some major academic and good service works butt.

My challenge is selling the ad space within the online magazine. I have a large reader base, use Constant Contact, use Facebook, and Twitter to promote our content. Yet, it is still a challenge. I believe our prices are exceptionally affordable. Especially compared to the two other news websites in town. Although our magazine is popular, I think the biggest draw back for potential advertisers is that we are a new publication.

Please help… social triggers guru!


I know I have a good product, but I keep doubting the product (or myself) and trying to make it better rather than finding ways to make people aware it exists. I’m at a loss for how to market it, other than on my newsletter list and website. How do you get it past your inner-circle?


This is one of the fundamental blocks for entrepreneurs. Outside of proper business modeling, one of the benefits the “lean movement” has spawned is the (old) idea of testing. (This is the “MVP” part)

NOTHING is more important than knowing your audience. But how do you get to know them? THAT’s THE question.

The answer is testing. Derek cites poker players in his example, and it has a practical side: poker players will often face players they aren’t familiar with. I watched Mike Matusow — a very good elite player — once when playing someone he didn’t know. And I observed how Matusow would toss out very small bets to see how the player would react.

You need to do the same; SMALL bets that minimize risk and perform reconnaissance.

Nia Vardolos was unknown when she rented out a small theater and ran her one woman show that would eventually morph into the successful “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” She didn’t lose her mind trying to sell to a studio who isn’t interested in gambling on an unknown.

The early hip hop djs snuck on one of their tracks at parties and dances and watched how the audience reacted. Then, when the audience reacted well, they sold their discs.

The founder of Zappos had an idea, but wasn’t capitalized. So he approached a local shoe retailer with a simple prop: if I get you full price on your shoes, will you let me take pictures of your inventory? The owner agreed, the pics went up on a webpage, and his test audience reacted positively.

In each case, ***risk is minimized*** and information is garnered. THINK SMALL with the idea of targeting your audience for feedback. If you get negative input, that’s where you pivot and tweak, try something new. If you get positive feedback, build out and go a bit wider.

Investors LOVE to see data that entrepreneurs have garnered. It’s akin to an unknown band – if they go to a music producer and say “sign us” that’s one thing; but if they show how they’ve been selling out a small local club and have thousands of followers and even some sales, which would you give the edge to?


The biggest challenge I face is engaging my audience. I do worry about being too pushy. What I got out of this video is to get over that fear. “Do not be pushy all of the time, be pushy at the right time”. I will be working on engaging my clients more by using call to actions and showing them what my business has to offer. Thanks!

Sean Mysel

Well done D! Perfect example, I worked for weeks to create a golf class on how to intentionally shape shots like the pros do. In fact, I tested it out on a dozen of my current students with great feedback.

Yet, when I punched out the email…I got two sales! That’s it! I almost always sell out my classes. What I found is people just don’t think it’s possible to actually shape their golf shots when in reality, it’s actually easier for them to do that than hit it perfect.

Just had to explain why this class would benefit them more.

Great vid!

Ezra @ Inbox 2 Romance

Thanks for the great tips Derek. I know I can definitely improve my sales page, and I plan on focusing way more on testimonials and sample content, as some of your other readers have suggested here.


Hey Derek,

I am 100% not doing all the things you suggest. And you are entirely right in everything you said int he video.

I would love your advice – I’ve been giving it all away for free because I frankly never thought my site would find an audience. But happily it has – WOO HOO! Good subscription #s, solid readership, 50% repeat traffic (this is a good thing right?), nice growth, backlinks, etc.

But it’s all there for free. Yes I’m working on an ebook. Yes I do offer some consultative services. But in the short term I want to take down some resource collections I’ve put together that are very popular and turn them into a newsletter signup incentive. And here’s where I’m getting a little hung up (and I doubt I’m alone in this).

I’ve always been really generous with my time and content. Now I’m changing that slightly and making things slightly less generous. So….my FEAR is that I’ll alienate or piss off loving fans and seem like “just another jerk on the internet”. I KNOW I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE AFRAID OF THIS! Is there a good way to communicate this change to loyal readers in a way that will help them understand and even support this change? Any examples of other people who did this successfully and/or how they did it? Would love a good kick in butt on this issue 😛

Eric Roach


I’m releasing a new product into the social media space. The focus is on not just selling yourself, but having ambassadors both inside and outside your company help. Companies seem very interested and we are moving forward with a bunch. Question: 1) how do you go about trying to price your product 2) how does the idea of social advocacy or collaborative selling hit you?


Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Fit Missy

My biggest challenge is that I assume that all my new fans on fb, pinterest and twitter followers all know what my product is since they joined my page….

well lets just say its crickets….and I have to push it out more often


2nd challenge is what you said…afraid of being pushy. My product is super awesome and almost under-priced (as told by my customers) so I need to stop being afraid and keep selling it!

Maria Killam

This is a great post and awesome conversation! Here’s my 2 cents. You need a HUGE following to make a living on the internet.

Way less than 1% will buy your product which is mind boggling to me. When I launched my ebook over a year ago with a system on choosing colour that I have created that I teach to architects, designers, colour enthusiast all over the country, with my numbers I estimated that if I sold to 1% of my readers I would make $30,000 per month, haha that so did not happen.

I did $10,000 for the first few months and now that has trickled down to around $3000 per month because now only new readers buy my ebook.

I have almost 10,000 subscribers to my site and depending on how many times I post I get 5,000 – 10,000 hits a day and when I launched a webinar lately 115 people bought it.

Those are the hard facts and my advice is to keep putting out great content!


    Thank you for sharing your stats! I’m leaning towards an ebook and our numbers are pretty similar. Personally I would be DELIGHTED to make $3K a month. While this wasn’t your intention I think you just gave me a solid prod in the ebook direction ;P


Chef Kendra

This was a very informative video, but I still hate selling. 😉 It’s hard to be pushy when that’s against ones personality.


Aha moment-Now that I think about it, it is really easy for me to buy something when I hear a specific example about how it can apply to me.

Great and very entertaining video! I am re-designing my website with the RIGHT opt-in areas. I never thought about giving different examples of how my service can help different people. When I create my content, I will hear you in my head saying, “GIVE examples of how it applies to them”.

Thanks for the great advice.

Heather K

SO true! I’m a wedding photographer, and in my industry, it’s really easy to slip into the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. We work hard on our art and think that everyone is as interested as we are in it. Not so.

I’m going to think more on how I can apply this idea to push more. I already try to make my blog not just display my work, but do my selling for me- and those are two different things. 🙂


I suck at selling! I think.. Never really had to.
My business was always word of mouth.
And for a mom with small children, that model worked great… (Cause it prevented me from growing too BIG..

Now that it’s time for growth, the game has changed.

Great vid Derek. As always.. Concise, applicable and ready to use right out of the box (no assembly required) golden nuggets of wisdom.

I love your style.

I’ll work on my features, and benefits and work it into my elevator pitch.

Maybe I’ll see you in a NYC elevator some time.

Thanks again!


Hi Derek,

Thanks for your newsletter, loved the tips on pics w/words vs. plain pics! However, I must not be doing SOMETHING right as far as online sales go. (Frankly, mine stink!)

I make natural soap, lotions, deodorants, etc. that my local customers LOVE and buy all the time (possibly because they can smell the products in person?) My wedding favor soaps sell very well, but I believe that’s probably because the customers are much more concerned about how the soaps LOOK, and scent is secondary.

I find that people buy more as a result of my Facebook postings than my
website. I’ll be opening a studio/shop later this year, but I would still REALLY like to increase my online business!

Any help/critique/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,


    Becky, we’re in the same boat when it comes to sales. The locals love me, but my online sales suck. I know intellectually that there is little difference between physical product creation and content creation, but I can’t seem to generate the same kind of organic sales from it online.

    All of which to say that I’m not much help to you, but I did wanna tell you that I like your site. It’s clean and functional.

Lana Waller

Loved it Derek. Working on a way to pitch to Home Buyers as we are a Real Estate Brokerage. I don’t want to sound like all the other Realtors out there just talking about themselves and the awards they have received. The only other people who know what the awards mean are other Realtors in most cases. I want to really showcase what we can do for them, and how our negotiating skills saves them money on their purchase. With over 25 years doing this as a business I know we have the market knowledge and experience, just trying to find the best way to get that point across.


Hi I am new to selling so I am pretty lost. I know that when I talk to people I can sell the items but I’m having a hard time getting a good online customer base. How do you get loyal online customers?

Mark Harbert

Derek, I have to say, this video was bad ass. I have a good sizeable list that gets a ton of value from me all the time, but I have also found that I don’t believe I am monitizing it to its full potential. This post just showed me why. Without a doubt man, you nailed it with this one. I started thinking about why I buy products and services online, and its usually when I see it being pushed hard. Its kind of like in your face so much and the benefits are talked about so much that I just have to check it out and usually end up buying. I realize I don’t do this enough with my list and therefore don’t monitize enough. Thanks for this value man, I will make you a deal, next time you sell something, i will buy it ok??? LOL Awesome Awesome Awesome!!!

Dee Briggs

Hi Derek,
Boy….did you hit the nail on the head. How do I know? I made the same mistake your friend in the video did. For my first free product, I just sent out 1 email and thought that would do it. Wrong!!! Now i have a great free ebook as my front end and a fab video course as my backend. I am now aggressively putting my marketing strategy into action. This is so much fun. I think most people don’t realize there are 2 major parts to building a business online. 1)Create a super compelling offer and content rich product and then 2) create a killer marketing strategy and put it into action. Loved this post! –Dee:-)

Vincent Benedict

I am writing this before watching the video as my broadband is slow and the video is buffering. I have hit a wall with my product. I have the biggest facebook page about panic attacks and spend all day engaging and answering questions via facebook, skype, mobile etc. I also have my website with a chat facility for answering questions. On my homepage, I have rewritten the “Who am I?” and the “Online programme” page, as suggested by various marketing gurus. My product is £39.99 and includes personal support for me throughout the programme. Great feedback on facebook from those who have tried my programme and turned their lives around.
End result is that I am really struggling to get people to invest in my programme. 4600 fans on facebook and 100 people a day on my website and sales are so bad it is embarressing. Would appreciate any help. Sorry about the video but will watch once my computer is working properly.


    I used to have an “Ask a Question” link on my site and damn if I didn’t spend HOURS answering those questions. So I took it off. No more questions. Ask in a comment – if it’s a newer post I’ll answer it. If it’s an older post maybe somebody else will. But I’m no longer answering EVERYTHING.

    The result? I get people emailing me ASKING to pay for consults. I do 2-3 a week. I don’t market them. You wont find me offering them on my site. I’m asked for them via email.

    This was not the expected outcome for me at all. But I think Briar is right – you aren’t leaving them hungry enough.


      Alexis, I just clicked over to your site, and wanted to let you know that your load time is really slow, and I JUST read a post from Amy Lynn Andrews about WordPress sites being hacked, so I thought I’d mention it. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman.)

      I absolutely love your content, though.


        You are very kind – cheers 🙂

        Luckily no you just ran into a VPS load problem. If you check back (not that you need to!) it’s fine. Had a ton of traffic earlier today so was close to maxing out on the server. Because I’m cheap 😛


    Just off the top of my head, Vincent, I wonder if perhaps you are TOO accessible. Why pay for consulting if I can get it free on Facebook?

    Now that you’ve built your brand on FB, it’s time to let it go. Either hire a VA to help run the page, or open it up to your community and ask for page mods. DO continue to post relevant info, but start pulling back your free access. In this way, you make access to you more coveted, and thus, worth paying for.


Great stuff, Derek. I really like the poker analogy… I’m just not sure how I can apply it to me. 🙂

So, here’s my problem. I sell a physical product–organic massage oils and personal lubricants. Because I didn’t want to be pigeon holed into only working with XXX sites, I’ve tried hard to keep my products approachable, or “clean.” Of course, this just pigeon holed me into an even tighter market–the crunchy stay at home mom with no independent income.

This led me to a pivot, which I’m working to launch at the end of the month. I’ve got my new tagline, “A Lifetime of Touch,” and a whole new line of products that I’ll launching. Specific products for baby care, pregnancy and postpartum care, all the way on through to menopausal care. (I’ve got some great products in the works for men too, but NO IDEA how to make such a polar shift in marketing work.)

This move should drastically increase my customer base. But I’m also feeling like it drastically increases my need for marketing too–instead of just pushing out one promotion or sale for all my products, I want to be able to advertise to the individual, which means targeted promotions for each individual product, right? How do I make this work without my customers feeling like I’m selling all the time? How do I make it work so that *I* don’t feel like I’m selling all the time?

I LOVE my product, and I love what I do. I do well when it comes to local sales, even one-on-one sales. But my overall online sales suck.


I have an 80-page ebook (in spanish) about the principles and strategies of female seduccion that I promote on my blog site. I watched and download your seminar regarding mastering online selling, loved it! It made change things to make it better. So, I focused on getting leads through Facebook ads. I’ve got my email opt-in form everywhere (even on my Facebook page). So, my biggest question regarding selling is: when is the right time to pitch in my product? How many email messages is it necessary to create trust, so that I pitch in my product? How frequent? Any suggestion/alternative will help, thanks Derek!!


Hi Derek,
Great video!
I spend a lot of time on marketing my product, an Online Drawing Course. Recently I made a free ebook and it’s great for list building, but it doesn’t bring the conversion I expected, although my sales copy is done with the help of an expert during a workshop and it seems pretty strong to me. Now I’m not too sure about it anymore.
Also: Promoting is fun, but takes a lot of time. I’m trying tonfigure out how to do this in a time managable way.

Chris Aitken

Hey Derek — great, actionable content, as per normal. Thanks. Question: what’s your view on the use of “free trials” (versus not) for online membership sites? We’ve tested free trials, sample video courses, and even emphasizing our 30 day money-back guarantee. Nothing seems to significantly move the needle one way or the other. Would love your thoughts …

Thanks, Chris


Hmmm… no challenges yet as I haven’t tried – I’m a total newb to this whole amazing on-line world. It’s just opening up for me, with the help of B-school. So thanks for tips which I’ll definitely incorporate when I am ready to launch / promote / sell.

cassie | mmspark

Thanks Derek. Love the strategic pitch idea i sell most products & programs when i email a special to my list. But going to pitch smarter now. Great videos btw!

Linda Ursin

For me, it’s more about finding the right words to use on my sales pages so they will opt in

chelle webb

I am having an issue with how to frame an elevator pitch on how to describe my product line/idea in the least amount of time but the most emotional heart/soul connection. I am so passionate about my product idea and the story of how it came to be….. one lady cried today when I told her….but we were talking for 10 minutes……………………… I am ready to pull my hair out. I am going to the women’s ” Count me In” in June, flying to L.A. to pitch my business idea but I want to be prepared, so they don’t tune me out … is there any resources you would recommend? I am a B-School student right now, so I have done the customer avatars….I have that all down, so it is the NUTS & BOLTS pitching that I need help with!


I’m working really hard to get our restaurant on the map. We live in a really hot neighborhood in Pittsburgh, but our location is off the main drag, meaning that many people will head to our competitors instead of us. I’m trying really hard to position us as the cozy spot off the beaten path with delicious food. I’m still working on learning when to push specials and such. These videos are very helpful. If you have any insight on how we might grow more consistency, I’d appreciate it. Our weekends rock, but our weeknights struggle. Thanks!


Hi Derek,

That’s a lovely video.

What kind of examples work?

Cheers 🙂

Donato Barros

Very good your article!

Deb Burdick

I am great at what I do (helping people feel better, think better, and perform at their peak), but not as great at promoting it. I just promoted my first Mindfulness teletraining and was so happy that 350 people signed up for the free one but then only 14 for the paid one. I felt uncomfortable sending out 7 emails to promote the teletraining which promted people to unsubscribe like crazy. I like your comment about pitching hard but not that often. I am in the process of changing from a one-on-one private psychotherapy and neurofeedback practice to an online teletraining and group coaching. It is an amazing journey.

Meghan Leahy

I thought this was great…thank you.


Hi Derek,
Ok here it goes… I am a photographer and my product is fine art photography. What solution to what problem will be solved by some one buying my art? To fill an empty space on their wall? Is that really such a big problem?
Art is not something one needs and most can live without it. So how do you sell a product such as art?

    Cassandra Tondro

    Hi Chris,

    I agree with Nathalie, that art fills an emotional need. You know how a place looks with nothing on the walls. It’s empty, sterile and vacuous. Art can provide inspiration, warmth, interest, or any number of other feelings.

    Nathalie, I looked at Cory Trepanier’s website. Wow! Now there is something to aspire to. His work is beautiful, but he’s also great at telling stories, through videos and even full-length feature films.


      Hi Cassandra,
      Yes, Cory Trepanier is an interesting artist I’ve just discovered through Robert Genn’s newsletter. I like the way his persona fits with his paintings.
      I have looked at your website and I concur with Catherine, you have an interesting story to tell and it’s not brought enough to the fore. The mystique surrounding creation is fascinating and intriguing (especially for someone who doesn’t create art) and revealing bits of it to arouse curiosity is powerful.
      There is a general trend towards being less wasteful and becoming more aware of our environment and how it affects us so what you do is cool. People who share these values could be potential buyers. The difficulty is to find out where they hang out.

      I’ve looked at your website and you are showing interesting work, especially your photos of exotic plants though to me it’s not clear what your website is for. Is it to showcase your work? Is it to sell? Your love of exotic plants comes out stronger but when I see your other photos I wonder where they fit in (though I appreciate that as an artist you want to explore things).
      Best wishes,


    Hi Chris,

    Selling a painting is a similar story. Art is perceived as a luxury or perhaps an indulgence.

    I seem to recall Derek mentioning before that buying a painting is an emotional issue: a buyer has to feel a connection to the work and I would say a connection to the artist too.

    What motivates a person to buy art? Aesthetic values? Something to do with status? A compulsion to collect?

    Robert Genn talks about Cory Trepannier’s “ideas on how to make it” as an artist:

    Best wishes,


      Thanks so much for talking the time to respond to my question, I appreciate it very much. I also enjoyed the article about Cory Trepannier too.

Linda B

Derek, love this video! I know I gotta sell it. I design sell jewelry online (just changing over to my own website. I’m also on Etsy http://www.lindab142.etsy.com

I get what you’re saying about thinking my stuff is special, yada yada, but I need help. For example, I’m on a promotions team and we promote each others work daily. Others make jewelry, too and other items (crochet, repaint figurines, notecards and some things I’m not fond of, like how can somebody actually buy this figurine?) get sales from these promotions. Me? Not so much. I cater to a small population of the market, by making Jewish jewelry and women’s headcoverings (and everyday and occasions jewelry). I do have other interests in jewelry design too and am working on techniques and new items to appeal to others.

I’m starting to build my website and email list, and I’m not sure if my free irresistible offer should be 1) a guide to cleaning and caring for your jewelry, 2) a guide for birthstones and birthdays or 3) discount coupons.
I want to connect with my subscribers, and am identifying my dream client, but I don’t have many of those yet. She has unlimited funds and my clients now don’t.

I’m listening to teleseminars and other mentors, but I feel like I’m spinning. My content is my jewelry and I want to sell that. Help, please.

Also, what do you think of my Website?

Thanks, Derek. Appreciate the help.

Kevin @ The Rebooted Body

I’ve always been put off by the IDEA of sales pages. But with my latest project (a free blog with a premium members section/course) I’ve created sales landing pages for conversion.

I’ve been at it coming up on two months and I have four sales and around 25 on the free newsletter. I also launched a podcast this week and just got approved on iTunes.

I believe HIGHLY in my product, I’ve underpriced it as somewhat of an “entry level” price that I plan on raising. But I figured I’d be selling more, especially since the barrier to entry is so low ($1 for first 30 days, cancel at any time).

I have no idea how my sales page SOUNDS to prospects. I know how it sounds to me, but I’m always questioning if it’s the right copy for THEM.


    Honestly, because your price point is so reasonable for the product you’re offering, paying all at once really wouldn’t be off putting. It eliminates the sketchy subscription model, and gets rid of that feeling I have that you’re gonna take all my money.

    Don’t be afraid of how much something really costs. If its worth it to me, I’ll pay for it, especially if you make me want it. You’re close, but not quite there yet.


    I am a fitness type person and I really like your site (clean layout, nice use of graphics, etc.). But I am definitely not a fan of any sort of subscription deal ESPECIALLY if it’s on a site that’s not well established or has huge brand recognition. I think there is a certain “safety” in a one-time purchase that an ongoing expense lacks. Would I sign up for an ongoing subscription from a site like CopyBlogger? Yep – they meet my criteria for well-established and huge brand. But a smaller site like yours (or mine for that matter)? Personally – no.

    My advice is to consider a different pricing scheme that speaks to peeps like me who might prefer to know upfront what they are paying for and are willing to one-time it. Good luck!

      Kevin @ Rebooted Body

      I do explain the total cost up front and that the subscription ends automatically after the sixth payment. Don’t you think there will be some people who would rather not pay for the whole program up front because they’re not convinced it will work for them?

      I do see where you’re coming from, but I thought the opposite would be true — that the low barrier to entry would be better than trying to get people to cough up the entire amount up front.


        I can only tell you about my personal preference. Maybe some A/B testing might answer your question?


    I am NOT your ideal customer (a lifetime of being underweight which has given me a phobia of sweat–that part is close, at least), but I will tell you that instead of being sold on your program by all the initial $1 offerings, it feels like you’re about to hit me with a $3000 credit card bill. And by the time I got to your EXTREMELY reasonable total offering, I couldn’t get past the sensation that you were trying to steal all my monniez.

    I will tell you though, that I really liked how you presented your lack of credentials. Us “students of life” often get overlooked because we’re missing letters after our name. But at least in my own personal experience, I have often found a richer experience (and often, better knowledge) from someone without all the letters.

      Kevin @ Rebooted Body

      So Briar, what do you think I can do to improve that and NOT make the program sound like it’s going to cost $3000 or that I’m trying to steal your money?


Very good video, my team leaders in the company I am with actually teaches similar to this and more, it’s good to here it again, and great to get the training I am getting from them. We actually have a proven system with a few steps involved before we set up someone with a wholesale account and pay the same for the products as we do. Our company offers the correct marketing for us to show value of what we have and why you need it. That is the key because it is true, if people don’t see the value of why they need it for themselves, then they are not going to buy it.


Great video, Derek.

I created a kick-ass product, and I’m not afraid to sell and go hard in the paint with it. I’ve been doing numerous and consistent posts on FB and Twitter to promote it (I will be all month).

I think I have a very solid.. I’ll even say, very good, sales page. But so far, since promoting it since April 1, I’ve only had 1 person opt-in to receive the free offer. (The free offer leads to my sales page for a full paid offer).

So I’m not sure why I’m not selling… based on your video, maybe I need more testimonials on the sales page to address the belief that their ‘problem is unique’.

Any feedback you have I’d greatly appreciate!

Max Miller

Very good Derek and right on the mark. Fortunately we talk to some of our customers once in a while. We are not afraid to ask if their experience with our website, order process, shipping and product is good. The answers are very helpful.
Many of our customers have been with us for 15 years. When asked why… when they have a question, they know that a real person will answer the phone.
Thank you.


Fantastic content Derek! The most impactful thing for me to hear is that I need to focus on how what I have to offer can solve their problems. Seeing as how I believe in my own Coaching ability, I assume that they know I can help. Now I know that’s not the case.

Thank ya sir!

Michael Motylinski


I actually believe my product should sell itself!

I get healthy traffic but not the amount of sales you would think.

It is a vacation coupon book. It’s simple. Buy my book. Save

a ton of money on fun stuff to do. I don’t know how else to sell

this thing.

Anyway, another great video. Thanks for getting me thinking.



you hit the nail on the head with this video. I need to start sellinh harder.

    Joe Black

    Sell Smarter


      Seems so simple. Care to elaborate?

      How do you know that you have a product that people love? They could be “not buying” because they don’t love it OR (as Derek suggests) you aren’t selling right/hard enough/etc?

      I’m struggling with finding my inner sales person (moving from “giving it all away for free” to productizing and charging) and none of this is simple from my viewpoint 😛


        I love your blog! I’ve been using your tips since September, when my daughter was 2 months old. I have a suggestion. Host a forum on your blog. People could pool their experiences and help each other out. The tougher cases and people who need hand holding can buy directly from you. Either way you are still providing a great service. I see all kinds of genuinely helpful people in your comments, but my goodness, by definition, comments sections can’t gracefully handle that much discussion.

        Robert Miller

        Dear Alexis

        I believe Joe Black is saying consumer behavior is 20% and having a quality product is 80%. Most people are trying to use consumer behavior as 80% and the product 20%.

        To ascertain if you have a quality product you need to do the classical approach with a focus group. However you can use the social media sites to ascertain information as if you had a physical focus group. Offer something for free, to get information. My product started out as a hobby, from that I was able to make the transition to full time. The hobby phase is how I refined the product for selling. I would give it away and then ask for feedback. Over time I had the right product. Then I used the pricing strategies that Derek talked about. Have a high, middle, and low price. Within each price they could see the difference in product.

        site derelicpipefactory.com


Joe Black

People buy great products every day. Sales people that don’t sell a great product need to find a great product to sell. It’s not rocket science. Your product should do 80% of the selling and the other 20% is positioning your product without spitting up on yourself.

People ask my why I’m such a good sales person, I tell them… well… easy, I sell stuff that people want and love. It’s my product that great.

Derek you make it way more complicated than it is. I watch kids struggle all the time and think there’s a magic solution from guys like you… then I look at what they’re selling, and I laugh and say well no wonder. Your products sucks or is hard to sell. Radio reps right now are a mess, everyone I meet is sucking wind… they ask for advice, and I say get out of radio, it’s dying. Duh.

Derek Wyatt

I have a new website for people to discover local art and artists: pdxartclub.com

I’m looking for suggestions on building brand new audiences. I read DSG’s how he got to 100 fans, but I need traction beyond that. How can I build an online website that is driven on connecting with people in the real world? How can I sell them on joining a site that has a Free membership?

    Robert Miller

    Dear Derick

    I launched a functional wood art gallery. Besides using Facebook, I also used instagram. I started on March 27th the ecommerce site, one week later created instagram site. Within 5 days I had several stores asking me for price sheets. Also have over 100 followers. Now when I post a new picture within minutes the likes start pouring in. Instagram had a serious impact, more than Facebook.


      Derek Wyatt

      Thanks Robert!

      I decided on Instagram when I first set out, but haven’t developed it yet. Also I’m figuring Pinterest will have an influence on my members. Now to get Instagram to post to Pinterest…

      Anyone know of a solution? IFTTT doesn’t support Pinterest. In fact, very few things push to Pinterest. C’mon Pinterest, I’m trying to streamline my efforts 🙂

      Thanks again, Robert for the advice!


Great video and huge help! I am new to entrepreneurship. I have been a teacher for twelve years and have just started a company called Girls Dreaming Big. I offer a three tired service that the kids I teach say they are interested in, but it is not translating to them signing up. The website just launched on March 27, but I feel like something isn’t translating. The kids I talk to face to face get it and are excited, but I’m thinking if you just go to my website and read about it, I must not be selling it well.
Thanks again for the great blog post. All of this is unchartered water for me and it really helps to have people like you providing such awesome information!

Niveen Salem

All valid points Derek….my problem with selling is your second question: I don’t know what to say! I talk about the product’s benefits and then feel shy to ask/close…knowing that maybe I should say something like “would you be interested in trying this? or do you think this product will fit your needs?” Again, I don’t know how to bring it in a way that doesn’t sound “sales-y”.



    Hey Niveen,

    If you talk to the problems that your product solves and step from your side of the fence (the salesperson) to THEIR side of the fence, the person with a problem, then you’ll find it will be a much more natural process where at the end it will be more logical for them to BUY from you than not.

    Using phrases like “would you be interested in trying this?” have been proven to repel sales, as there are certain words that cause sales opposition and other words that cause a natural warming to us in sales.

    I often ask people are you OPEN to the idea of… X (most people want to at least think they’re open to an idea)…

    Give it a try, don’t close or even think of closing, just allow it to happen, because you’ve been so helpful, informative and natural to your prospects and then allow them to buy, by asking if they’re OPEN to the idea of giving it a TRIAL run 🙂

    Hope this helps… I would be interested in Derek’s thoughts on this also.

      Niveen Salem

      Thank you Adam for your insight! Yes…I forgot that one too. I’ve tried it before and it did feel better. I normally focus on the benefits rather than the features of the products and start by asking lots of questions to help me form my dialogue which ends up in a product demo (I work in the anti aging / health and wellness industry).

      You’re absolutely right by positioning ourselves not as marketers or sales people but rather as a customer. Knowing their problems, addressing them through the presentation and relating that back to how it positively impacted our personal lives is the KLT formula.

      Thanks again 🙂

Dianne Bengtson

I give free introductory seminars to attract students to my paid seminars (social media and internet marketing topics). I have been told that I give too much information. People leave with their questions answered so they don’t need to pay for the additional seminars.
1. The introductory seminars are conversational. I build a nice rapport, but pretty much answer questions as they come.
2. When I tried to do a structured slide show, I ended up saying “That’s in the next seminar” over and over again. How do you gracefully prospect with an information product and still have something to sell?

    cassie | mmspark

    Hi, I’ve struggled with this in the past. Two pieces of advice really helped me change my business for the better. firstly, with freebie info focus on the why and what, but not the how. The how should be your paid programmes and products. secondly, when running free seminars or webinars offer only three main leaning points, rather than covering everything. Hope that helps. it’s a constant learning process running your own business, isn’t it!

      Dianne Bengtson

      Thanks Cassie. I’m creating a new slideshow right now. I will give it a try!

Adam Price

“Whether your trying to get someone fit or selling the best software beeps” LOL…

I so LOVE your bloopers at the end of each video Derek, you’re a funny guy.

Your message however is very deep and important, I think if you’re selling at any point in the conversion process from “new prospect” to “first purchase” then you run the risk of LOSING the sale.

I know what you said about “Pushing hard at the right time” I still don’t believe we should do that, as some people will think “Aaaagghhh, he’s hiding his true motives here” and go the other way.

And I know that the traditional sales trainings teach us “ASK” for the sale, or you’re competitors will eat your lunch… Well… not true entirely if you make it easy for prospects to BUY from you (and there’s a big difference).

I’ve often said to prospects (and this is UNHEARD of in most sales scenarios)… “I can see there’s not a fit here between what we offer and what you’re looking for, there’s a great little place up the road from here and I know they have a closer fit to what you’re after, let them know I sent you”…

And I let them go, but I had given them so much information, been so very helpful, really listened to them and exhausted all their questions…

Here’s what would typically happen…

1. They would go down there and ask all the questions to them thinking they were going to be treated like I treated them… WRONG!

2. They would come back to me (their security blanket) and ask me, “What’s the difference between this one they offer which is $300 cheaper than yours?” and my reply would be “We’ll we can’t really compare the two, as it’s like comparing apples to bananas, but lets take a look anyway”…

3. I would compare the two and EVEN if they were identical, I knew my service and after sales support would beat them everytime hands down.

In the end I would say to the prospect… “you could go up to store x and buy that computer and have a perfectly well working machine, I have no doubt in my mind about that they’re very good!… however with ours for a little bit more, we’ll give you a WHOLE LOT more…” and then go into the after hours support, free install and tutorials, open 7 days etc etc…

I must admit that I had researched ALL the companies in my city over some 200 of them selling computers, I knew the ins and outs, good and bad about all of them, I knew who was being honest and who were outright shonksters.

So a little bit of market research and actually going to your competitors and acting the newbie, know nothing, client is a good guerrilla research thing to do.

I would never refer them to anyone I knew was a shonk, but the guy who was very good, but was just a few steps behind us and I could ALWAYS be in front, because I was researching them like mad every week 🙂

The point is, if you allow people to BUY from you, and NEVER EVER sell to them, they will be your client for a long, LONG time.

Mix sales with good internet marketing, Derek you’re fantastic at saying “Join my list” and people do, so if you’re in sales I always say to prospects, why don’t you like to get my free “X” and we’ll stay in touch whether you buy here or elsewhere?

So I think if you sell, you run the risk of LOSING a sale, but if you become a form of trusted help and advice, then you’ll run the risk of them BUYING from you, what a great risk that is 🙂


I teach online courses to people who have learned English as a second language. I have tons of people following me on Facebook, but I think that probably 80% of them live in areas where they would never be able to buy my programs due to economic reasons.

I would like to really focus in on international professionals already living in the US and Canada, but find it a bit hard to really target these people.

I also find it very hard to be a “marketer.” I love helping people. Those who take my program and put their minds to it really learn a lot. Many tell me that they have been looking for something like this for a long time. But I have a hard time going out and telling other people this.

My grandmother always used to say, “Don’t toot your own horn. Let other people brag on you.” Even though I know what I am trying to get across to people is not really bragging on how great my stuff is, it still feels hard to talk about myself and what I have put together. I would much rather have someone else talk about how great it is.

But, I figured that since I have already learned a lot about teaching, building online programs and such, I can probably learn to be a better marketer. It’s still the hardest thing I have had to do career-wise, though.


    Sheri, I believe it would be great to focus on international professionals already living in the US and Canada. Why do you feel it’s a bit hard to target these people?

    Regarding marketing… I believe it helps to understand what marketing really is about rather than what you think it is. Of course, I don’t know what exactly you think marketing is, but I sense some negative images in your tone. When I didn’t know what it was about, that’s the kind of images I had as well, to be honest.

    But, now I believe marketing is more about 1) understanding who your prospects are and their deep desires, and 2) telling and showing them, clearly, why what you offer satisfies their deep desires. #2 is important, but I think #1 is even more important, because when you know who your prospects are and what they really want, #2 is simply about making your offer so obvious to them that it’s stupid not to take it.

    In this sense, marketing is about helping people 🙂


    Hi Sheri,
    Some ideas:
    As you are targeting professionals, are you on Linkedin? Could you create a group within Linkedin?

    International professionals tend to work for larger organisations so could your online programs be bought by organisations for their inhouse L&D resource department?

    Can you interview some of your past/current customers to pinpoint why they chose your course and what worked for them?

    Best wishes,

    Niveen Salem

    Sheri…just a quick idea that came to my mind as I was reading your note: most universities and schools have a program for ESL so maybe you can target the heads of the departments. Two of my friends are English teachers for difference ESL departments (one is international) so that is how I got the idea 🙂

    Another thing is try to reach the TOEFL students (can’t help you with marketing there 🙂 but try to do a quick research on people that takes it, their geographic location and how you can reach them.

    I took that test long time ago!

    Hope that helps ~ Niveen


    Hey Sheri,

    You know what I think the reason is that you dislike marketing yourself is because the thought of putting on your sales or marketing mask, your game face if you like is disconnecting your true authentic self and that person doesn’t like to sell or market or “toot their own horn” as you grandmother said.

    However, you don’t need to “Toot your own horn” to still be effective with indirectly tooting it, in a way that will make you feel way more comfortable about doing it and being YOU!

    Just pick out the top problems that you’re service solves, then speak to those problems and how your prospective clients will feel once they solve them, then back that up with testimonials and positive reviews.

    This will go a LONG way to helping you feel better about putting your best points forward and doing it this way you’re not really selling yourself!

    Does that make sense?

Ann-Marie Stillion

I am an artist who has just created a gallery. Can you think of ways to apply this thinking to art sales? This seems more ephemeral and the buying more intuitive. Like you can’t “sell” art if you know what I mean. That’s the problem I have.


    No, you can’t sell art, but you CAN sell the feelings that one can get from buying or owning art. For example, selling someone on the idea that they will appear more cultural and prestigious when guests walk into their home and see art on their walls, or sell them on the experience they’ll feel every time they look at their art… that sort of thing.

Kerry Swetmon

Good stuff, Derek. I especially resonated with “be pushy at the right time.” And, thanks for the laugh here and there:)


We have created a career blog that generates leads to a free ecourse, “How to Find the Perfect Career Fit For Your Personality.”

However no one buys the tools we recommend to get them there. We’re trying a more direct approach through webinars to see how that goes.

It would be nice to create a system that sold without having to use one off’s like webinars, sales, etc.


Thanks for the great video and for taking questions, Derek. I’m another who found you through Marie Forleo.

My challenge is: I want to sell craft kits online. My free content will be tutorials and inspiration for using the craft kits. My instinct is to offer new kits frequently – gives people a sense of abundance of choice so they can find one that is just their style. Plus there’s always a lot of new product hitting the virtual shelves of some of my competitors, so my customers are conditioned to look for the latest and greatest. A different group of competitors only releases a kit once a month, so by releasing kits more frequently I differentiate my business.

This doesn’t really jibe with the poker metaphor, does it! My experience as a consumer tells me people get bored, lose interest and forget about you if you don’t have fresh stuff often. At the same time, I don’t want to overwhelm my customer (part of USP is that the kits are simple and beginner friendly).

You’ve totally got me reconsidering frequent kit releases!


    Hi Catherine,

    I have not looked at your site yet but your comment made me think: couldn’t you build a craft kit that can grow and hence that addresses the novelty issue? I am thinking of lego: you can buy a starter kit and then buy additional kits that may or may not be standalone.

    Another idea would be to offer a membership to your loyal customers. It would work like magazines that sell collectibles or things to build over a period of time: you have to buy the mag to complete the collection or what you’re building. As a member, every week/month, you receive a new component to add to your craft kit.
    Best wishes,


      That’s a great idea, Nathalie. I think I aspire to a membership model but want to get my feet wet first as I’m not up and running yet. The “add on” option seems like a good compromise – you are selling often but as an extension to a known quantity that people have already committed to. Thanks for your ideas!


        Hi Catherine,
        You’re welcome. Good luck with the launch.
        Best wishes,

Phillipa Kiripatea

The world NEEDS marketing and sales.
Without them, the economy would be kaput.

If you’re scared of selling of what you’ve got, you may as well go back to a job, collect your wage and let your boss worry about the sales.


My clients make excuses like I can’t afford it all the time. How can you sell someone like that?

Khalid Adam

I think people have been conditioned to believe that “telling is selling”.

They aren’t aware of the multiple internal objections that need to be overcome and the importance of following up as a “welcome guest”.

I find most business owners who struggle invest more money into their products, lease, fitouts, etc and little to non on courses relating to selling and marketing.

How can people expect to be in business when they wont’ invest in their own education?

Finally, it appears that you use “pitching” and “selling” interchangeably but they are two different things and skills imo.


Thanks Derek!
To be honest, I look forward to your posts!:)
From my experience :
Before you sell your products/services, you have to sell yourself first!
People like to deal with people that give them confidence and hope!


I know what I offer can benefit others. I have Twitter, YouTube, and FB.I am not getting the results I should be. Any help is appreciated.

Loz James

Thanks Derek

I think this is your best video so far – sales psychology is fascinating.

I used to work in telesales and it’s amazing the amount of senior executives you meet who think sales is a dirty word – when we were the ones paying their salaries.



Angela Booth

Wonderful insights, Derek, as always. I’ve watched the video once, I’m going to watch it again.

The challenge for creatives (writers, designers) is that we’re not natural marketers. It takes a different mindset, and we need to cultivate it.

Michael Spencer

Rock Solid, Derek. Great work.

You said that poker players can play as little as one hand per hour but that they work aggressively when they do play.

As this relates to internet marketing is this because you wait for good products to come around and that doesn’t happen that often? or are you intentionally stretching out periods between offers so that you don’t fatigue your list? I imagine it’s probably a little of both, but how do you know when it’s the right time?


Michael Spencer

Nathalie Lussier

I love how you balance out the sales aggressiveness with good content, Derek. There’s definitely a “share good free stuff” mode and a “sell mode”, and as long as people feel comfortable in their sell mode, it can work amazingly well.

I’ve also found that it can be easier to have other people sell for you, so having testimonials or other people who know how awesome your stuff is… do the talking. So it’s not just you tooting your own horn, even though there’s nothing wrong with a little tooting. 😉

Lindsay Pera

I feel like I’ve learned a TON through you and the fab Ms. Forleo about how to successfully market and communicate my application to customers – but my goal and vision is to market my applications to other businesses for use with their client base (programs and courses). But I seem to be hamstrung at how to leverage a website & social media strategies b2b. I’m guessing it’s more LinkdIn than FB….more direct outreach than content….but any tips would be much appreciated! My attempts at reaching out directly 1 to 1 is resulting in utter silence….silence…silence. Any tips? Thanks for all you do! In gratitude, Lindsay

Steve VanHove

Thanks, Derek. Inspirational as always. Going through a marketing reevaluation right now and I appreciate your thoughts. Great delivery. 🙂


I love the idea of using lots examples of how your work could help a variety of people.

I have been building a list, but haven’t sold to anything to them yet.

However, I was just working on my first pitch to them, so this blog post was quite timely!

I think the biggest issue I have is getting out of my own way and remembering that my services will benefit other people.

Thanks, Derek!!


    Agree with Josephine! Customers need to relate. A real connection to you, even when you’re not there.

    Off to work on some examples! Thanks Derek for these insights!

Cassandra Tondro

Interesting, but my situation is different! (I couldn’t resist that.) I sell original fine art, which historically has been sold through galleries, using their well-developed personal connections with collectors. I’m selling direct through my website, and I haven’t yet found a way to connect with people in a way that makes them want to buy.

I do send out a monthly newsletter, and I post new work to my blog, Facebook and Pinterest, but so far not much luck selling online.


    Cassandra, I hope you don’t mind my (unsolicited) advice. First, when I clicked through to your website, I didn’t see you there! Since you don’t have the gallery as the middle-man, you can develop a more personal connection with your collectors. I want to see photos of you working directly on the first page, because how cool is your process for making art? Second, bring more detail and mystique to it! Perhaps find more ways to make people who buy your paintings feel like your patrons, not just customers. I would love to see more information for each piece – more photos with different angles and the story of how you created it. Put yourself on a pedestal. Your stock photos are beautiful, but I want the nitty gritty of how the work came about, too. I have a lot of engineer types in my family and I know this part is hard, but let your prospective customers share in the experience of creation.

      Cassandra Tondro

      Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my website and give me feedback and ideas, Catherine. I really appreciate it. I’m also interested in your craft kits. Can you add me to your mailing list?


        Hi Cassandra, you’re welcome! I’m not up and running yet, may I email you when I am? I just jumped over to your site and got on your list, love your heart prints!

          Cassandra Tondro

          Yes, e-mail when you’re up and running, Catherine. I look forward to it! Thanks, again, for all of your encouraging comments.


      WoW Cassandra and Catherine . . .amazing stuff! I love Derek’s Social Triggers . . . it constantly makes me THINK about the PERSONAL CONNECTION. Love the website Cassandra it’s visually pleasing and graphically handsome . . .but Catherine’s ideas about making the relationship “click” is just stellar . . .a whole new way to “touch the customer”. . . You two ROCK! . . .oh and of course Derek . . .it couldn’t have happened without ya!


        You are right, Darcie, Cassandra’s website has that super clean and fresh look that I completely respond to! Her art really pops.

          Cassandra Tondro

          By the way . . . the look of my website is a direct result of Derek’s two-day “Mastering Online Sales” workshop available through Creative Live! for $199.


          I took this class a couple of weeks ago, and revamped my website accordingly. It’s a great class, and I highly recommend it for anyone selling online.

          Cassandra Tondro

          Catherine, where is your website? I want to see your craft kits! It sounds like a great idea.

        Cassandra Tondro

        Thanks, Darcie! I did Derek’s Creative Live workshop a couple of weeks ago, and revamped my website accordingly. Now another level of changes required! So much work, but hopefully worth it.


I sell children personalized books how can I get more parents to buy my product

    Nitin Bidani

    Follow these steps:

    1) Be available where-ever they are looking / can look for the such books for their children such as
    a) Online
    i) Create online properties & promote them through various means
    ii) You may also want to create a FB / Twitter page for the same and post stories/updates related to the books. Relevant audience will engage and eventually buy your books
    b) Offline
    i) Creating stalls at the school events and various places where children visit would also help
    ii) If possible, distribute some pamphlets in the societies/malls and may be some offices too. Office is the time where parents are not in front of their children and miss them. Hitting that nail might prove to be beneficial
    iii) If you are willing to spend some dollars then you can also have your banners

Steve Farber

Hey Derek!

So, so true. And I hear ya. Here’s the thing, though: After 55 years on the planet, I’ve realized that, even though I have a decent ear for marketing, I’m not a sales guy. I’m a content guy…writer, speaker, and, some would say, “thought leader.” It’s become clear to me that instead of spending my time and emotional effort trying to overcome my own internal obstacles around the sales process, I need to find someone who LOVES that stuff to work with me and fill in the gaps. That would be a hell of a team. So, that’s what (who) I’m looking for now…

Even so, I’m really learning a lot from your blog and videos and putting much of it to good use. More important, it’ll all help me to be a better delegator when I find my sales hero. 🙂


I think my sales page definitely needs some improvement. I also need to communicate the value of my product better. It comes with 30 days of unlimited email support while buyers work on writing their business plans – and that’s incredible value, to ask questions of a professional business consultant for free, for a month. More and more I know that this is the value proposition.

So my question would be, how do I do a better job of communicating that value? I’m sure it will lead to sales (and yeah, I have more than one associate who can answer their questions, so I’m not concerned about too much volume).

Thanks Derek!

    Yassin Madwin

    I can help. There some tweaks you can make to your sales pages for better conversion. it’s free

      Jessica Oman

      It’s free, hey? Your name clicks through to a web site about how to get rid of hives…

        Yassin Madwin

        I was like no no don’t submit that website. I know you would judge me from a tiny blog for SEO purposes. I think you have two issues in your sales page. The first is you can do simple tweaks:

        Remove disqus: a sales pages doesn’t need any external links other than the payment button, and 0 comments on it? it’s like 0 testimonial.

        Use testimonials: testimonials start with concern before buying, why did i make that huge step to buy, the feeling i got after.

        Better headline: the main headline should be a problem, nobody steps on poop on the street while we can neglect a 30% off promotion. Problem first, benefit next

        the second thing is the whole sales letter need tweaks!

        You’re not selling hard, You’re acting needy. You’re acting like a consultant more than a seller.

        Examples: Well…many would-be entrepreneurs face three big FEARS…
        Those bullet points are gold nuggets you should use YOU are afraid, are You worried…

        “Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t really need a business plan.” No! we don’t give them options, if you give them a reason to leave they will. instead you should use something like this: consider what you’re not thinking right now, would it be fair if you can imagine yourself 3 weeks from now (positive feeling, positive feeling) let it picture it and then. the more you think about it, the more you will realize purchasing this eBook is the right thing to do right here right now.

        I made this comment like a post


        Hey Jessica,
        I clicked through to check out your site since I do a lot of work writing for entrepreneurs. I agree that part of your problem is you’re not leveraging the value of your email support program enough.

        To correct that issue I would recommend adding testimonials to the site from customers who have gotten loans after using your consulting services (either through this product or just in general). I would also talk more about what kinds of questions you answer via email, giving concrete examples of why people want to email you and questions they might have—this is one of those situations where they don’t know what they don’t know, which is part of why they need you (if that makes sense).

        I also think you could make better use of your top 2 headlines—the transition there isn’t immediately clear and smooth—and use additional call outs throughout.

        You might want to offer something free, perhaps a sample? At the very least it would be helpful for a potential customer to see a TOC. $97 is a lot to ask for this book (there are books that, based on what you share on that page, sell for a lot less—and I’ve seen free versions with similar titles too) so you’re really selling your consulting with the book as a free bonus unless you can really make an argument for why it’s incredibly unique.

        Another option would be to break this product up into a “class” and send it in pieces (one piece each week) to “write a business plan in 30 days” or something similar.

        Finally, I think the pain points of writing a business plan for an entrepreneur go well beyond not being able to find the time (which, honestly, a book and consulting won’t really help with). I think it’s more about things like financial projections; how do I prove I can do this on paper? How do I determine my market size, evaluate how quickly my company will grow, etc.

        I’d be happy to chat more if you want to drop me an email—I am a copywriter 🙂 but I offer a free 1/2 hr of consulting to anyone who asks (and who might potentially some day become or recommend a client).
        My email is Melissa (at) melissabreau (dot) com.


Hey Derek,
We all hate the idea of selling on price – So if you value your work more than your clients, in the selling process do you then qualify your price and/or sell the value in the price you are charging along with the benefits?


Hey Derek,
Great video!

I have a question – what if you don’t have an already established audience? How do you “push hard” so-to-speak without coming across as salesy or domineering? Or do you just resign yourself to a slower sales process as you build recognition? The product in question here is a book, but this could apply to numerous areas.

Yassin Madwin

I’ve Launched a product about Allergies, I thought It would make it. I didn’t use the lean start up because it’s not that kind of product ( i use such techniques for money-making related products).

I thought affiliates would go crazy about the highest payout. I’m kind of expert in psychology i used every trick the easy and the advanced to increase conversion.

I was like seller can beat this!

Nobody promoted my product?! even with the 75% commission selling the best product in the niche!!

The solution: Going back to traditional “counting on yourself” build a blog around it + SEO + establishing trust

Erich S

I have a small but loyal group of customers. My problem has been getting more conversions from new visitors to my website (as well as getting new visitors – but that’s another story).

I’m concerned that my products and services might not have enough mass appeal (ie. is my market segment too small?) but is that even possible on the internet? After all, the world is our marketplace, right?

Surely out of the whole world I’d be able to find 500 – 1000 customers!

David Bennett

That strikes a chord – your insight that people believe that solutions work, but not for them. Thanks.

Eddy Baller

That was a great video. Loved it.

Applies to so many areas in life too. If you want to make it you have to hustle.

P.S. what program did you use to create the white background?

Alejandra R.

Hi Derek! Another great video, loved your training module @ B-school! 🙂 What a hero!

Are you aware of any tried and tested formula (or research) out there around pitch frequency and success rate?

Thanks a lot for the great tips 🙂


    I’d definitely be interested to know more about this particular piece, as well.

    I’m a fashion expert and who runs a website and an in-person creative lifestyle workshop (www.pepperologie.com), and I feel like it is SO tricky to find the sweet spot of how much I should include my sales pitch (for the workshop) in my blog content and/or email blasts. The frequency issue is touchy because my entire business was built around the free daily style inspiration on my blog, and I hate to make my readers feel like I’m taking advantage of their attention (even though I believe SO much in my product that I know they’d love it).

    Anyhow – Loved this video (as always!), and it’s coming at just the right time as I’m announcing new dates/ticket sales this coming week – Thanks for more consistently great content and encouragement, Derek!

Mike Kawula


I did your CreativeLive few weeks back and have since changed from my NYC Programed Sales training Of Features and Have moved to Speaking consistently about Benefits to grab attention and what a difference.



We have a site where people are not use to buying this product online… They don’t understand why buying the package is beneficial, what are we doing wrong?


    Hi Julien,
    I looked at your site. I’m not entirely sure what I’m buying? Is it an app or a software program? I think being able to see the costs and being able to buy as you go is awesome! You don’t have a blog so maybe that would help. Writing about plants, gardening, landscaping etc. helping them first with content then promoting that content to other sites. Hope this helps 🙂


      Thanks Angela,

      We are currently setting up a blog thanks to Derek’s influence and are pretty excited about it.

      The site is downloadable landscape plans…it says that on the home page in two different spots. Do you have any suggestions as to how it could be more obvious?

Elizabeth Stark

Hey Derek,

Thanks for the tips. I am already a subscriber–came to you through RHHBSchool this month. I teach creative folks who want to write books or other projects. I have a small, devoted loyal following of students who sign up for my classes quarter after quarter. That group mostly grows by word of mouth, but I want it to grow faster. I guess my question is how do you answer people on the “why now?” question. Sure they have a great idea for a book or have always dreamed of being a writer or know that to express their heart’s desire they must put the pen to the page, draw out those stories, bring characters to vivid life. But why now? Why not put off that dream one more time and attend to the overwhelming business of life at hand? Kids, jobs, the laundry. They know about me, hear that my classes are powerful and life-changing . . . and yet . . . they are still waiting . . . Thanks for your help and for all your great ideas.


    We have a ghost writing and publishing company too. We have done over 100 books with many best sellers and award winners.
    I have a talk I give before groups of people who have expressed an interest in writing a book. I give them many examples of how people who have written books and not sold many have still been able to monetize their work.

    We had one guy who only sold 1200 books but his consulting business went from $150,000 a year to $400,000 a year in two years.

    After giving people all the examples I summarize by telling them that if they have something of value to give they owe it to themselves and their fellow man to get it out there.Life is short and there are always excuses. If you believe you have something of value ….get it out there. This has proven to be a pretty good motivator over the years.

      Elizabeth Stark

      That’s great, Jim. I love it! I tend to work with people writing fiction, memoir or creative non-fiction. I’d love to connect with you as someone I might refer people to who are doing more straight-forward non-fiction, how to, etc. Is that right?


We have a good product. In fact we have the best product. The number one supplement today is omega 3s and we have the best.
We sell it to the athletic market under our Athlete’s Best brand
We also have licensed our formula to another company that sells to around 800 gyms across the country.
No one gets the blood test results we do. Newsletters are beginning to recommend our product and sales are building but we want them to explode. Unfortunately, we spent all our money in R and D and in building inventory so we have limited marketing funds.
Your video was helpful though and we will take your advice. Thanks for the info.

João Leitão

Hey Derek, again great approach on “how to sell” our product. I totally agree with choosing one or two carefully selected products and be agressive with marketing. Greetings from the Gates of Sahara Desert!

Mark Trueman

Hey Derek,

Just saw Dan’s Ted talk the other day and was thinking about how this applies to sales. I was genuinely thinking what your take on this would be and then I got the email for this post.

The poker metaphor was perfect. It makes perfect sense. If you push hard for a few products that are genuinely good then people will listen to you and trust what you have to say more. If you just try and sell everything that you can get your hands on, you kind of become the boy who cried wolf.

The concept of using specific examples is very interesting. Now that I think about it, people like Ramit Sethi use this technique in almost everything they do. I’ve noticed this before but didn’t understand to what extent this helps with sales.

Awesome post as always 🙂

– Mark T.


Great advice. Sell hard, just not often.


It’s crazy that we feel so dirty trying to sell somebody something that will make their life better… we desperately want OTHER people to do it for us. But to get to those people we got to sell them first! Bah!! I’m going to go send another email now, thanks

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome

Tanya Gauthier

I loved this! Great information. I wish I could share this video with my fibi & clo peeps b/c sometimes I think we feel like our sandals can almost sell themselves, but really, like you said, we need to do some convincing sometimes!

    Derek Halpern

    Nothing sells itself in this world 🙂


I have a free ebook opt-in that converts like crazy! But my paid products just don’t move. I have two theories:

1) I have attracted a highly budget-conscious tribe (my free opt-in is “The Ultimate Guide to Eating Organic on a Budget”) and they’re just not ready to shell out a measly $10 or $20 for my products.

2) My sales pages stink.

I’m thinking it’s probably actually a combination of the two. 🙂

    Derek Halpern

    Great point Lacy. When you’re attracting people looking to keep spending “on a budget,” chances are they’re trying to keep it on a budget.

    Why do you think your sales pages stink? What about them?

    Christie O.

    Lacy I LOVE your site, and I just left a comment on your discussion post. I’ll definitely be back.

    I looked at your free eBook and your paid ones, and I was struck by the titles. I think Adam is spot on talking about pain points, and I’m wondering if you should sell the “organic on a budget book” and give one of the other books away for free.

    Or don’t offer a free eBook at all. Have people sign up for tips and trick for eating organic on a budget and sell the eBook through that channel.


      Thanks Christie! I’ve considered it. I don’t know if that organic on a budget book converts so well because it’s free or because of the information I provide. I’ve thought of doing a shorter version and then selling the full version.


    One thing it *could* be is that you state the word “FREE” in your sign up text, as it’s the biggest word in your sign up text. The word “free” has a tendency to attract the budget concious reader to your site, and those looking for the free stuff. Personally I’d make that sign up section stand out in a different colour as well, and just replace the words “(for FREE)” with a simple “sign up below”.

    Your content is great, and there’s loads of it, but to be honest, I had no idea that you WERE selling anything here because your products are hidden away in a tab at the top (oh, and have just noticed the “Featured Products” section as well). There’s essentially a thousand things I could do on your homepage, and I think it causes page overwhelm. On this homepage, focus on a max of three things you want the customer to do (e.g. sign up to your list, read a few blog posts, find out more about a particular topic).

    You have some great links down the left of that homepage, but I think the link box is the “New? Start here”. Excellent! Guiding a customer through your site! But make that front and centre and dispense with the rest of the stuff blocking up the page flow (OR put that lower down the page). (I also am a true believer in two-column layouts for this reason!). If possible, try giving your “Products” link a bit more impetus on the page. Even just emboldening in would help.

    On to the sales page, your sales content is brilliant, you even have a video to help people – LOVE! But, the sales content starts WAAAAY down the page, so most people are greeted with the brief description and hit with a price BEFORE they get there. You know how your mum would always tell you “Don’t put out on the first date”? That, I’m afraid, is the sales page version of putting out on the first date. I know you’re using an ecommerce shop plugin here, so you’re obviously limited, but move more of that juicy content from the bottom up to the top.

    Secondly, I’d give more description to the names. A “Meal Planning Ebook” is a little, well, meh. I could probably google” free meal planning ebook” and get a ton of results (would they be as good? Probably not, but that title gives me no reason to pay money. “Meal Planning for Real People on Real Budgets” is a bit more like it, but ask yourself if that is really the way your target audience talk? Use the language that THEY use and title it so (not that I’m suggesting changing the name or design of the book, but just for the sales purpose, give them a reason to buy!)

    OK, I’ve blabbed on enough here, you have lovely content and I hope you don’t take any offence to my suggestions, but I hope that helps! Good luck!


      Robin Hallett

      I for one loved your blabbles Gem! Thank you so much, I learned a lot from your comment to Lacy!


        That’s quite all right, thanks for the feedback, Robin!


      GREAT advice Gem. Thank you so much for going into such detail! I can’t say how much I appreciate it.

      Can you specify where you think the “SALES” copy starts on my sales page (so I know which bit to move up!)?

      Thanks a ton.


        My pleasure : )

        The part that I deem as sales copy is what you have in the long description – also, you have a GREAT raving review which you should completely use AS the sales pitch. Social proof = KING! Also, the part of the description where it says “The book includes:”, put those points as bullet points, it breaks up the weighty content – people are far more likely to skim read on the web, so when faced with big chunks of text, they’ll tend to skip over it looking for the bitesize sections e.g. bullet points, headings etc.

        Hopefully that will give you some more conversions : )



    I agree with Adam where he talks about the pain point thing.

    Consider split-testing your sales page with sales copy that tells a story of someone in some kind of health pain or fear because they aren’t eating organic stuff. It could be your story, but it should be your ideal customer’s fear/pain.

    Also during this story, reveal the very best tips in the book, rather than hint that they exist in the book. I mean the VERY BEST stuff in the book. Just reveal it in the sales copy. Seriously. You revealed one tip, but you have 22 tips, so give away 11 of them in the copy, in story form.

    That way, when I read it, I’ll think, “Whoa! This is amazing stuff here. I’ve got to opt-in for the rest!”


      Good advice, Michael. I’ve considered something similar, but haven’t pulled the trigger!


    That’s very interesting Lacy, I visited your blog and found it’s wonderful… I just reposed the “Food Fight” video, so POWERFUL!

    I’m thinking maybe what’s happening with your disconnect between (1) a great converting ebook and (2) your sales pages stinking is that you’re not entirely liking the idea of “Selling” to people in the first place?

    If that is true, then go back to the PAIN points and problems you solve and just dig much MUCH deeper into these in your sales copy, don’t actually sell too much until right at the end.

    And then, don’t even sell, offer a TRIAL of some sort with risk reversal a guarantee, some testimonials in video format will also not go astray here also.

    Always make it about them and their problems and how GREAT it will feel once it’s finally solved or they know a little more about it (through your $10 to $20 product)…

    That’s not a great deal of money to invest and my thoughts are not that they’re not ready to shell out $10 or $20 bucks, but the fact that you’re not nailing their problems deeply enough.

    Also, on visiting your site also, I noticed that your mailing list doesn’t “STAND OUT” even though it’s right up top and also the top right, it just blends in… Look at Derek’s site here and notice how he has a purple box around his and the button says “GET Instant Access” use the word “GET” on your buttons, also test the words “Get My 22 Strategies Book Now!” and things like that, talking in the first person can help increase optins.

    Hope this makes sense and helps you 🙂


      Thanks Adam! You really went in-depth. Great tips. Thank you for taking the time! (And reposting the video—I think it’s a really important message!)


      Nice one Adam, helped me too. Cheers mate!

Tim Biden

“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”
Bullshit! If they don’t know it exists, they won’t buy it. It needs marketing. If they don’t think it’s worth the price, they won’t buy it. It needs marketing.

“Don’t be pushy all the time. Be pushy at the right time.” Love it!

    Derek Halpern

    Good insights Tim!

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