How To Sell Shit

by Jeremy Schoemaker on July 6, 2010 · 139 comments

2 weeks ago we were in L.A. meeting with the Fox Audience Network folks (formally MySpace MyAds) and during the course of the night we got into this discussion about how all of these people are entering the world of “making money online” or “making money from home” but have no clue about the basics of salesmanship or marketing. Offline or Online.

I am talking about the “weapons of marketing” if you will. Things like scarcity, fear, authority, association, trust, perception, social proof, and call to action. Course there are quite a few I am leaving out off the top of my head.

Its amazing to me how many people just make a website, landing page, ad, email – not incorporate any of these – fail… and then give up “cause it doesn’t work”.

So… I think I am gonna put together a free video defining all of these and then show my past emails, posts and adcopy about how we use them and how well they worked.

Now most people would read this and think… wait your going to show me how you got me to buy stuff and then think I am ever going to buy stuff from you again?

Yes.

So it will take us a bit to put together but watch for this in the next week or so.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2896 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 139 comments }

1 Ron Hekier

Good point. Sometimes we get so pumped up on an idea and spend too much time on the design and forget about the close.
A – Always. B- Be. C – Closing.

2 Chris Pontine

Good point Ron.

The close is so important and if we utilize all of our talent in the first part we could lose them when it comes down to crunch time.

Next thing you know you just deflated your pumped up passion.

3 Profit Addiction

Awesome, looking forward to it.

It is sickening how many small/local businesses have websites for the purpose of selling something, but have absolutely NO call-to-action.

4 POOPeGIFTS_com

I know how to sell shit. I just need to figure a way to ship it! ;)

5 Adam

One of the few books I was told to read before I got into this industry was “Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers” by Seth Godin http://amzn.to/csnnUq

Taught me tons about the psychology and shiz of buyers etc.

Great read recommended for everyone.

6 browie

Can’t wait for it.

I want to sell shit

7 Edgar

I cant wait to watch it,

8 d3so

Can’t wait to watch it myself.
There has to be value in what you’re trying to sell otherwise u can most likely get your money back.

9 jtGraphic

Example:

New website I’m working on is in Alpha. If you sign up now, while it’s public, you can stay on for the private beta. There are only 100 public invitations and then the system is closed. You need to get in with this tool now so you don’t miss out. It is amazing for your SEO. I think one other commenter here (Profit Addiction) is already using it. All you have to do to sign up is submit one website. Oh, and that website is http://www.topcommenter.com. Don’t miss out, because you’ll regret it.

I hit Scarcity, Fear (on some level), Call to Action, Association, Social Proof, and Trust. I think it might be a stretch to hit perception.

That’s how you make a pitch. Imagine what you could do with a whole blog post.

10 Gregg Zban

Those are some great techniques, but how about asking for the sale. That is usually the most difficult thing for people to do. They make the case, pitch pitch pitch and no close.

11 Manisha Sithembile

People underestimate the power of sales. Companies invest millions in training and materials to teach people how to sell. Without sales, there is no company. Looking forward to the post.

12 The American Dream

I’ve found Zig Ziglar’s stuff to be very helpful. Sometimes it’s about motivation and attitude, esp for small business owners. This will be a good post.

13 best surveys that pay get paid

I totally agree with what you said. I personally know few guys that started working to have a home business and dropped their idea with 5 days as they think its all useless and only the BIG players can earn money.

14 WanderingMommy

I once had a job doing cold calling. It is the most brutal aspect of sales. If you can get good at cold calling, then you can pretty much do just about anything in sales. I know cold calling is counter-intuitive for online stuff, but the concepts are the same. Selling is a process, and I agree with you. There is a lot of psychology involved.

15 internetFTW

How did you figure this out? Just by doing it, or did you read a ton of stuff?

16 NicMoon

I hate sales. I think I would rather jump off a bridge.

17 David R

It’s all about the sales. If you’re not good at it, you better figure it out fast. Or enjoy life in the cube farm!

18 Farzad H.

So true. I even picked up a few pointers from your Jeff Walker post last week. I need to spend more time mastering this part of the business.

19 Screechy Rich

Awesome. Read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” for thoughts on sales and the importance of selling. There’s also a ton of free material at the library.

20 Vince

“Things like scarcity, fear, authority, association, trust, perception, social proof, and call to action.”

Isn’t that just adding more layers of complication to something? A good splash page with a strong call to action has been working for me so far. My guess would be that bigger brands may be interested in some of those tactics.

21 Chris Green

I always appreciate your perspective on different aspects of business. This is one area I have not been able to excel in. Thanks.

22 Raul Lago

Nice title. Could be a best seller. LOL!

23 sasha_482

We were required to read the “Little Red Book of Sales.” That’s a good one too.

24 MVZP_01

Little Red Book of Selling: By Jeffrey Gitomer. Its small, and more of a desk reference. But good for basics.

25 Jillian

Blah Blah Blah! Sounds like the same old regurgitated and re-packaged bull crap that has been pimped by many a charlatan for decades on late night infomercials.

26 Jillian

If you were not such an ugly bastard you probably would be on late night infomercials running your scams, lmao!

27 blood pressure

Looking forward to seeing that video.

Some people, no matter how hard they try, will never write good ads or website copy. That’s why there are plenty of people who you can outsource it to, and really pump up your conversions.

28 Andrew Cordova

Good shit!

29 MtgGuy

People fear asking for the sale. Frank Kern made a joke about it at his seminar — Jeremy will remember. Frank had some HUGE BALLS and just said “Buy my Shit!” Simple and too the point.
If you don’t ask for the sale, there is a good chance people won’t buy. Direct or Indirect — you must ask people to buy

30 Tech

It’s a good point. People think when they put up a site an audience will magically appear.

31 enajyram00

Translation: This is the Schoemaker way of saying, “YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA OF WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.” Get your sales down, folks.

32 newmediaist12

Sales involves very mysterious elements. It requires know-how, experience, luck, determination, diligence and some more stuff. See, Shoe? I am just reciting what I’ve learned from your blog. LOL

33 Yes2Freebies

Oh yes! Another free but fully-loaded post from Shoe.

34 Justin Dupre

Maybe those people need to go back to Marketing 101 class again to get it right. Looking forward to the weapons of marketing video.

35 Paul Avery

I think people are selling all the time. Most people do not realize this.

We are selling ideas to our spouses
We are selling ideas to our children
We are selling ideas to our parents
etc.

Hey, hon, what should we have for dinner tonight? Pizza?

Am I asking a question or selling the idea of pizza?

Ok, so in the world of selling actual products, I think the value should be built up to the point where the customer arrives with credit card in hand. ramble, ramble… I need more coffee.

36 Susan Armand

Quite a bit of wisdom in that statement.

37 blends

Creating website is easy.. but to marketing and build the good website the hard thing and need the good method..

38 WhoisDoyle

Hmmm…this is a link of a picture I dug up that puts a literal meaning on the term “selling shit.” Enjoy! http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w145/lamfootseng/DSC01084.jpg

39 John Dillon

There are a million sites and books that try to help you understand selling. I think it’s a matter of going out there and doing it. Baptism by fire.

40 Richard Pascal

Do a search for “sales tips” or “sales training.” The choices are overwhelming. I am looking forward to seeing something that combines classic advice with an industry specific slant.

41 moolahmachine

Shoe, the question you placed at the conclusion of this post is just epic. Most people have a sales problem and don’t even know it. Will this apply to all types of verticals? Looking forward to watching the video post you promised.

42 Norman Nevelle

Going from start-up to profitability is one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business, as you know. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. As Seth Godin put it, we must always be selling, whether we feel like it or not.

43 Fiona Wong

Our sales execs rake in $20,000 – $30,000 bonuses each year. I think my agency understands the power of establishing a key relationship, and they are willing to reward that effort.

44 Roshaun Philips

Interesting. I thought about it and realized that I had purchased from you because I trusted you, and I knew you were reputable because you are speaking at the top conferences alongside other experts. There you go: authority, trust, perception, association. Pretty amazing.

So Now how can a nobody apply those same tactics?

45 Hans Anders

Planning and focus are a big part of it too.

46 Gary Smith

Yep… probably the biggest mistake made by sooo many budding entrepreneurs is that they don’t have a plan – they have no idea what they really want to do or be. That cuts out focus straight away as they have nothing to focus on…

47 Gary Smith

Should be an interesting read as long as it isn’t about peddling crap like ‘I made $10,000 last month and you can too’. Oh, what’s that? Oh yeah – I’ve been living on Ramen noodles for 5 years and I finally got a shitload of JVs to sell my crap ’cause I gave ‘em 95%. Eh? Whaddaya mean I must have only made 500 bucks?

Anyway…you know what I mean…

48 Andrew Says So

It’s the shock that most web-based businesses feel at some point. It’s not as if “If you build it, they will come.” You really do have to work to get and retain customers.

49 SmallBiz Sue

It’s really harder than it looks. I agree.

50 Guy Cleveland

I just read an article on how many startups leave their hometowns, due to lack of support or lack of funding. By providing some business advice (like on sales), I think that posts like these may help people stay put and be able to pursue their dreams. We need entrepreneurs like you to create jobs and stimulate economic growth, whether its in Cleveland, Lincoln, or Tuna Fish, Idaho. You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to be a successful online business, but you do need expert advice to really build that business and make it grow.

51 sanjay

Is there going to be a Shoemoney Sales System?

52 Ara600_m1

Seriously. Will there be?

53 Jim Petersen

The “Making Money Online” niche is a good one, if you can get into it. I think that that one would really require some serious marketing weaponry. Some of those products are expensive,, and you’re trying to convince people to buy before they’re even making money.

54 Robin Sterling

I don’t know why I find sales to be so terrifying! I am not a closer. I am looking for some sales tip that can be applied online that will prevent me from doing the face-to-face interaction.

55 georgeblanco

Hmmm. Very curious about your video and hearing your perspective. On the one hand, you’re still pretty young, but on the other hand, you do have access to some of the brightest and best in the industry. Not to mention the fact that you’ve been incredibly successful. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

56 WilmaP

Booya, Fox Audience Network folks! You’re talking to the best in the industry. Can’t wait for the post, Jeremy!

57 B.Logan

Really important to consider all aspects when launching an online biz. Sales is key.

58 Husher50

Timely post. I need to figure this shit out or I’ll be working for the man again. Freelance is great, but I still need to close!

59 spameater

I’ve looked for things like this in the past, and have only found an SEO’d list of tips that just serves as content fluff and has no real value. So your thoughts on sales, esp in video format, would be especially helpful.

60 KrisM77

Great topic. Like Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.” Shoemoney style.

61 TheSandMan5050

Reminds me of a funny article I saw where a company had purchased the rights to 7,500 souls. The retailer, GameStation, added the “immortal soul clause” to the contract signed before making any online purchases

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/15/online-shoppers-unknowingly-sold-souls/

Maybe that could go onto your list of weaponry? Sneaky sales tactics…. or creative gimmicks…. or free publicity…

62 nealcal

I thought you were kidding! How can someone get away with that?

“By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul.”

Didn’t someone also recently auction their soul on eBay? I guess if you need a product to sell….

63 Baseer Hannan

eBay sells shit all the time.

64 GQmeansGeek

I love the Shoemoney videos. BTW – Will there be another Shoemoney Stories coming up soon? ;)

65 ExclaimedIdeas

The more you read, the better off you are. A lot of success comes from hard work, luck and timing. AND SALES.

Here are a few books I like. “Be a Sales Superstar” by Brian Tracy – Quick, practical read. “Selling to Big Companies” by Jill Konrath. “Little Red Book of Sales Answers” by Jeffrey Gitomer – great “blunt” sales knowledge. Also I try to listen to audio CD’s while you drive. I like “The Psychology of Sales” CD set by Brian Tracy. Plan to add you to my sales arsenal.

66 Bputitout / Putitoutthere

Yowza! This post is going to leave a mark…on the inflated egos of those Fox execs!

67 joonlee97

If you can turn someone like me into a sales machine (online of offline), then you’re sitting on a gold mine.

68 floresparati

I see a few negative comments here. You guys have to remember that Shoemoney is talking to people all the time… newbies, experts, and many people with problems. He is a problem-solver by nature, and he has an incredible amount of insight due to his blog. Sales is a big deal and presents a ton of challenges for a lot of people, including myself, a flower shop owner. I am looking forward to this and would like to add some tips to my own set of tricks! Besos, Jeremy!

69 BigMoneyBrooklyn

Is this post part of your marketing weaponry? LOL… Like building anticipation or something.

70 Alan Alan

At the end of the day, it really is all shit, isn’t it? I have so much shit I don’t know what to do with it all.

71 Gabby Dell from SC

This is going to be a good one. The examples are always super helpful.

72 Fields of Clover

Do you approach this stuff in The Shoemoney system? just wondering.

73 Paul Avery

ha ha ha…. if you can sell ‘shit’ you are a god.

Wait, hang on, don’t people buy cow and sheep manure from home depot for their gardens?

So Home Depot knows how to sell shit.

Why is this so funny….

74 thoushallpass

so necessary in every field. sounds like this will take quite a bit of work. good luck!

75 Benito Salvatore

Just found a stat saying that 1/3rd of all small biz owners would sell out for the chance to go back to employment with someone else. http://blog.entrepreneur.com/2010/07/selling-out-for-a-job.php So for those of you who think that the grass is greener…. You better pay attention to this bit about sales. Take it from an old geezer who has done both. It’s not as easy as it looks.

76 H delacruz

I think most business owners would do ANYTHING to keep their businesses afloat. Even if it means mastering sales. Who wants to work for other people? It’s the freedom and independence… That’s the end goal.

77 PokeYerFace

show me a hot chick in a bikini and i’ll buy anything. less is more. see Maxim for examples.

78 Melanie Johnson

I am counting on you to free me from my corporate chains. Go Shoemoney!

79 TomYoon

You hit the nail on the head when you said how all of these people are entering the world of “making money online” or “making money from home” but have no clue about the basics of salesmanship or marketing. It’s dreadful to watch. Offline or Online.

80 Cristina Dy

The next time you have a discussion with these losers, bring an umbrella…so you can take cover from all the crap they spritz. I just hate it when someone clearly doesn’t even have an idea about a subject but goes on to initiate a full speed “pretend discourse” as if he or she obtained a master’s degree on it. Blick.

81 Paul Avery

[quote]obtained a master’s degree{/quote]
I don’t have a masters. I was in a discussion once with a person that did have an MBA. I made a statement that bad debt was around 3% of receivables. He said “well, in my MBA {insert name} they said bad debt ranged from 2% to 4%.”

I guess you cannot buy common sense in an MBA course.

82 AL0101

Your titles just crack me up. LMAO.

83 AurorMine

Not sure how this is going to really help me. I think that when it comes to sales, you either have it or you don’t.

84 Heinrich Sture

Never give up! That’s my best advice.

85 Jona712

Hey…. As for the “fail”… Not everyone can be a winner. It’s just not possible for everyone to be successful. Someone’s gotta lose. I just hope it’s not me.

86 Bryan Jake T

My whole life is shit. I eat, sleep, and dream about shit. Why not sell shit too? Bring it.

87 Nicole Burns

Sales is a constantly evolving enigma that we can never define. Although there are existing theories and applications about it, we still can’t grasp it. My .02 cents.

88 ILoveMemes

Finally…. something different. Everyone talks about shopping carts, user interface, splash pages and so on. But sales and marketing is so much more than that. Our country was built on these same principals. Where would any company be without the psychology of marketing and sales?

PS – I think its refreshing to know that a leader n the industry is willing and able to share this information for FREE. Talk about paying it forward. Thanks Shoemoney.

89 Runs With Scissors

What if giving stuff away for free is one of his sales tactics? ;)

90 E. Langdon

Sales and marketing… Like a Bon Jovi song that won’t go away. Love it or hate it, it’s there!

91 Big Al

I hate this coming soon stuff! Just post already!

92 smstudent

Attitude is everything when flying solo. I’ve listened to a lot of positive thinking tapes. It’s really helped. The positive affirmations are really helpful, even if you feel like an idiot doing them. Sammy Davis Jr. used to kiss his ring and say “I am a star” before going on stage. Think positively… I use that as part of my strategy for every day living. It just happens to roll nicely into sales and marketing.

93 lawrenceq

I agree, and I’m working on the fundamentals of business as we speak.

94 thebloggingrobot

Looking forward to this upcoming post you’ve got in store. I love the surprises/different style of thinking on this blog.

95 Nikki Stewart

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

— Zig Ziglar

96 Rylan Howie

Photography is my passion, and how I support myself. Sales will remain to be a challenge. I consider myself more of an artist. That said, I am forever challenged by the business end of things, including sales. Apart from not knowing how to do sales, I spent a long time selling to the wrong people. Hope the post touches on the subject of targeting the right people. I learned the hard way… You have to know who your customers are. Otherwise, you are wasting everyone’s time.

97 Dmitrii Anastas

Sales is always a problem, esp for new businesses.All attention should go to sales and revenues. If sales grow, expenses will take care of themselves.

98 AnnieP78

If I had the talent to sell shit, I’d be filthy rich by now! No pun intended.

99 medomoc

The title for today’s post definitely grabbed my attention. :X

100 FirenzeZ

You know how these media execs act, Shoe. Can’t trust them a bit. Just full of hot air where talent should be. Maybe you should add an exclusive media executive sales seminar in your to-do list. Let them learn from the master himself. Hehehe. What do you think?

101 WhoSaysWhat01

There are more resources about how not to sell than the other way around. Looking for the perfect sales strategies is just like discovering the location of the Fountain of Youth. Virtually impossible.

102 socialanim00

“I hate salespeople. Especially telemarketers. So I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up and the person on the other line said “”Who’s speaking please?”” I said coolly, “”You are.”””

103 Almira Keefe

Yo~ Marketing FIRST… then sales. You start with a plan / strategy, and sell from there. You’re saying it in your post… I’m just restating it in bullets for you. ;) Can’t wait to see your video!

104 Kyle

Did you know a top salesperson can outsell an average one 4 to 1? Everything I’ve ever read discusses the importance of the sales function.

105 Undercover Affiliate

Shit happens.

106 Great Picture

It’s amazing, Mostly people don’t know what they do and why they do it. This article is strictly about it

107 PattyT12

In my own perspective, succeeding in sales has a good and bad side. When you’re having a good sales run, you instantly have a reason to celebrate. However, doing really well in sales presents another problem: staffing up, keeping up with demand, being able to respond to customers, etc. I guess this could be a good problem tho. Just takes some preparation.

108 California Dreamin

I swore that there was a book called “How To Sell Shit.” I was wrong, but I did find this one… “A Shitload of Practical Uses for the Most Flexible Word in the English Language”

http://www.amazon.com/Shitload-Practical-Flexible-English-Language/dp/0962870072 LOL!

109 James Is (Not Working)

I think that the good old days of being able to slap up a website and driving traffic to a killer vertical via just PPC and SEO are harder and harder to come by these days. This is really true for people just starting out. I can’t imagine trying to launch a dating site today and trying to compete. Seems like a long road to climb. There are now so many nuances involved. You really do have to think about branding, and community, and yes…. sales.

110 Ankara Web Tasarım

I swore that there was a book called “How To Sell Shit.” I was wrong, but I did find this one… “A Shitload of Practical Uses for the Most Flexible Word in the English Language”
Ankara Web Tasarım
Eskişehir Web Tasarım

111 Go Harry Go

Hard to think that there is a sales angle to digital, since so much can be automated. Provide outstanding service at every turn, and whatever products you create from your expertise, always offer a money-back, “risk-free” guarantee. That’s IF you can get people to buy. The trick is in getting them to convert to a sale.

112 Hollaback Will

If I could only figure out how to sell shit as well as Apple does.

113 Ethan

Interesting! This will be a good one. Like a trip into the archives or something.

114 TODHD

Anyone can sell anything, it is all about persuading people to buy it

115 OWillWritesWell

OOooohh…. Shoemoney’s Deepest and Darkest Online Sales Techniques….Proven techniques. This should be good.

116 BearPile

You’d think that running a site means that you don’t have to think about these things. But there are components you have to think about no matter what vertical you’re in. I think the “Make $$ Online” route would be challenging. Who’d want to try and compete with the likes of ShoeMoney and some of the other established gurus? I’ll stick with my niche sites for now.

117 Sanjay

Sales = Boring (This is just how I really feel)

118 WhateverWorks

So much to learn. I had to start with hosting sites, building landing pages, then email lists, SEO, shopping carts, analytics, paid advertising, and a million other things. Who knew that I’d end up being a business owner and having to learn about business too? Sales, branding, customer service… It never ends!

119 Get That Ball

Fox media people = 0 Shoe = 1 (+1,000,000 points more for the upcoming winning post.) Let’s hear it for the affilliates!

120 Jason S.

I am laughing at the title. I keep picturing the process of selling shit, quite literally. “Hi! I’m Jason! Your local shit sales guy. Would you like that next day delivery? Wrapped? With a gift tag?” I crack myself up.

121 veronica_sm

I already have problems. Add figuring out the elements of perfecting the art of selling to the list is making me crazy!

122 Not The Real Shoe

From one IT guy to another, let’s hear what you’ve got to say.

123 wisdom teeth removal

looking forward to the video

124 fuar standi

ofcourse with ebay

125 Christian

Looking forward to it!:)

126 Get-paid-to-read-mails

Hey i loved reading this rant…appreciate bloggers who tell it like it is.. Appreciate your blog and everything you share with us – you’ve been a big inspiration to me. Keep it up….

127 Blue Mountain Chalet Rental

How can you sell shit if you cant define shit? Define shit please! LMAO

128 Steve

It’s cool that they give up cause I don’t want the extra competition for my business. The more that give up, the more share of the leads come to me.

129 Cashmere

Waiting for the video! I just started a free tarot reading service and was wondering how to get people to opt for paid readings.

130 FB

So this is going to be the “Shoemoney Back to Basics” post? Sweet. I’ll definitely be taking notes.

131 Tim @ Classic Car Auto Insurance

Looking forward to this one. The ABC of marketing online…

132 Disney World Savings

Hi,

Awesome post. Can’t wait to see how good the weapon of marketing will be. I want to sell shit as well.

133 SnowBall

What’s that saying, you can lead a horse to water, but that doesn’t mean you can get it to drink? Something like that. That’s the big question. You can show a person an ad, but how will you get them to buy? Gnarly.

134 Jose

this is all a bunch of bull. You can’t sell if nobody is buying. you can write books, dream about selling, try to make a guru of yourself out of your bullshit, and still, if nobody is buying, it all comes down to hot air.

135 Nikki

Alright… we’re ready for follow up posts! Lay it on us. How to sell sh*t part 2 anyone?

136 Allan and Dawn

This certainly is of great interest – but I can’t find the video?
I’ve searched the site and nothing. What title should I be searching under?
Allan

137 stevea
138 Kim- Disney World Savings

Great Comments – you do need to know at least the basics of marketing and sales

139 Adalberto

I believe this web site contains some really excellent information for everyone.

“There is nothing so disagreeable, that a patient mind cannot find some solace for it.” by Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

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