Do it right: prove, sell and upsell!

Just before I started writing this, I was reading Russell Brunson’s book Dotcom Secrets, and it occurred to me that it might be possible to create a simple, ethical, three-step process to selling. So while the idea is still fresh in my mind, I want to share it with you.

A common problem I have with a lot of marketing is that I find it pushy, manipulative and not very friendly. Therefore, I will try to outline an alternative which is ethical, educational and based on maximizing value for the recipient. I know these ideas might already be out there; however, I hope to be able to simplify many resources I have read over the years on the same topic.

Prove your value

If you are running a business, and you want to generate sales, instead of trying to convince a prospective customer, try to prove your value by letting the customer experience your service for free. This might sound backward, but your first challenge is not to make money. It’s to gain trust. Like myself, you have probably experienced disappointing experiences as a customer, particularly from salespeople.

Therefore, don’t ask for the sale. Instead, try to identify one thing you know your core market would really appreciate and offer that for free. Just make sure that what you give away costs you little and has a high value to those you give it too. Also, it will be a bonus if the free giveaway can lead to other things and if it can educate potential customers.

Make your first sale

When you have proven your value by giving away something for free, pay attention to how your customers react. If they approve of your freebie and start listening to you as a consequence, it might be time to take it to the next level—selling something which naturally follows from the freebie. For instance, if you gave away a free acupuncture session, a natural continuation might be another session.

Selling can often be more about relationships than the actual product and service. Research indicates that we have a natural tendency to want to give back in kind. This means, if you give someone something for free, they will want to “adjust the imbalance” by rewarding you. Yes, there are cheapskates trying to take advantage of you, but they are in the minority.

Upsell something ongoing

Commonly missed among many small business owners is the benefit of recurring revenue. That can be easily explained by the hassles of day-to-day business operations; however, it is a very costly mistake. You will have bad months, but do you have a strategy for getting through them?

A simple way to grow over time and have a predictable cash flow is to develop an ongoing deal your customers will love. Going back to the example of the acupuncturist, this might be an ongoing health program to do more than just reduce stress. Customers who value and trust you will appreciate your efforts, and you will gain peace of mind.


The three steps of this simple sales model are as follows: prove your value, sell your first product, and upsell an ongoing deal. The key to this model is to do what you can to make it value driven. You do not want to “push” your customers to do anything. Instead, you want to move them towards offers they will welcome.



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