If you can sell you’ll never have to worry about money. Even in hard times you’ll still turn a profit. You could always sell a service or whip up a simple product.
For example: When I wanted some extra money for a vacation, I made up flyers and offered to do kids’ homework for them. There was no input cost and all the money was pure profit.
Anyone who doesn’t know how to sell will always be financially dependent on someone else. They become reliant on a paycheck and consistent work. If there are layoffs or a merger, these people are doomed.
Joseph Sugarman marketed and owned JS&A, a mail-order company that sold space age technologies. During the 1960’s and 70’s his business was directly responsible for helping popularize electronic products like the digital watch and cordless phone. There’s a good chance your parents or grandparents bought one of their first computers or calculators through a JS&A sales letter he wrote.
Sugarman also created BluBlocker Sunglasses. His ads sold over 20 million pairs and many of his live QVC demonstrations would earn his business millions of dollars in a single afternoon. To this day marketers study and dissect ads that Sugarman created 30 or 40 years ago. That’s how powerful his marketing was.
Triggers is a collection of Sugarman’s best sales secrets. When you want to double (or even triple) the number of people who buy your product, use his advice.
How It Works (And 3 Triggers You Can Start Using Today)
While the majority of Triggers explains a lot of the science behind selling, the last section tells you exactly how to implement what you’ve learned. There’s a series of worksheets designed to help you act on what you’ve read so that you can increase your own sales.
Here are just three of the triggers I’ve implemented and found valuable:
1. Having Authority
There’s something you know that most people don’t. I have a website that reviews writing software like Scrivener. My expertise is that I’m an author with 40+ books who endorses it. Maybe you’re really good at sports, or know a second language, or majored in computer science. There’s some aspect of your life where yo have authority over a certain topic.
People want to buy from someone who will steer them down the right path. They don’t want advice from a nobody or armchair expert. Joseph Sugarman called this integrity. According to him, this had nothing to do with morals but was about whether or not you could deliver on your promises.
“Anybody can have integrity as long as they walk their talk. A criminal can have integrity. You don’t have to be honest or sincere.”
To illustrate this point, Sugarman told a story about a business woman who was mugged. A hardened criminal pulled a gun on her and said “your money or your life, choose wisely.” The man’s threat sounded so sincere that the woman didn’t even think twice about handing over her purse. Later, when she was filing her police report, she mentioned that the robber was a more convincing salesman than most of the people who worked in her office.
If people think that you’re a man of your word, they’ll listen to what you have to say and do what you tell them to do.
Side note: If you’ve been following Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, you’ll know that one of the things that makes him popular is his refusal to back down or change his stance. Sticking to his guns and having integrity has made him lead in every poll.
2. Address Your Faults Without Apologizing Or Hiding
Sugarman once ordered a shipment of air purifiers. When they came he was horrified to discover that the units all had ugly filters on top of them that looked like piles of steel wool. All the competitors had sleek-looking products and his looked like it was covered in carpet.
Rather than giving up, writing lies, or pretending that the purifiers weren’t ugly, Sugarman made their appearance central to his pitch. He titled the sales letter Miracle Fuzz and a good portion of the ad was dedicated to discussing how great the design was. Not only did people buy in droves, but they also loved the product and couldn’t stop raving about it. He addressed the elephant in the room and disarmed any criticisms before they could arise.
Around the same time a plane crash occurred. People died and many Americans became worried about flying. Rather than address the issue or clear the air about what happened, the airlines hired celebrities to write testimonials for them. The ad campaign flopped, people hated how hollow the response was, and air travel continued to suffer.
Very few people will every stand up for themselves and take care of the problem at hand. Even politicians and actors fold like lawn chairs at the first sign of trouble. When you stand up for something and turn the tables, you have full control over the situation.
3. Keep Your Audience Engaged
A salesman must engage his audience. If no one is willing to listen to you talk, or read your sales letters, why would they ever buy something from you? Most people are boring. As a result, they’re terrible at selling things.
When you only talk about yourself, you lose your audience’s interest. As the old saying goes: “People don’t listen, they just wait for their turn to talk.” Give your customer a chance to talk. Let them envision the product, tell them how they can benefit. If possible, give them a way to interact. Even something as simple as filling out a quiz or taking a test can boost sales tremendously.
When Sugarman wanted to sell a high-end computer through print advertisements, he created a genius way to get clients involved. Instead of sending them a regular ad, he gave them a challenge. In his sales letter there were several misspelled words. For every misspelling the reader found and circled, they got two dollars off their computer purchase.
People spent hours pouring over the sales letter, reading every single line as critically as possible. As they read more, and found more errors, their interest in the computer started to grow. Even readers who’d went into the ad with no interest in buying anything became so engaged and invested that they decided to order.
Make whatever you’re doing into an event. People will get so caught up in the action that they’ll buy without hesitation.
There’s no skill more important than learning how to sell. Triggers walks you through 30 practical sales strategies that yield amazing results. Additionally, the worksheets and reference material in the back of this book makes it easy to implement what you’ve learned into your own projects.
Reading the book and doing the worksheets will boost your sales or increase your brand. Whether you’re publishing eBooks, running a brick-and-mortar store, affiliate marketing, or launching a blog, Triggers has plenty of great advice that can help.
P.S. Marketing books never format well when transferred to Kindle. This one is no exception. For whatever reason, all the book’s in-text examples appear at the end of each chapter. It’s kind of inconvenient, however the Kindle version is ¼ the price of its paperback counterpart.
P.P.S. If you read this book and enjoy it let me know. I have a pretty big Twitter following (around 1,500 people last time I checked) so you can shoot me a Tweet telling me what you thought of the book. I’ll share it with my audience and then you’ll get free site traffic and publicity towards your own website or brand.
(“Triggers By Joseph Sugarman Review” – Where I discuss additional sales tactics)