Secret #34 Promotion vs Selling



Not all of us are able to sell however all of us can promote.

So what’s the difference?

It’s not that selling is bad. Developing sales skills can be very useful. But the sales process itself – learning closes, handling objections, distinguishing features, advantages and benefits – is too hard for most people.

Buying is one thing. Being sold is another. Selling tends to be manipulative and people have a built-in resistance to being pushed or pulled to do things.

People love to purchase, but hate to be sold. There’s another way to accomplish the goal of sales without the old paradigm conflict of buying and selling.

It’s called promoting.

When you’re selling, the result you’re after is to get the order.

When you’re promoting, the result is to successfully communicate value.

Do you see the difference?

When you’re promoting, your job is done once people understand the value of what you’re offering. The value of this book is that we provide ongoing support, personal mentoring and a large growing resource of information to undergird the first two.

Selling is a learned technique. You’re not born a sales person, it’s something you become after studying and developing the use of the tools and techniques of the trade.

But you are a born promoter. We all are.

Think of something you’re excited about.

Did you read Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus and think it was great? Did you love the movie Forest Gump? Is there a car that turns you on?… a restaurant with great food you enjoy?

When people get excited about something, we have a natural commitment to share that with somebody else. The more valuable the product or experience, the more committed we are to telling other people about it.

The Japanese have a word for this – giri. It means obligation. The wisdom behind it is that once you’ve been given something of value and from which you get benefit, you’re obligated to return the favour, to give it away to other people.

This sharing of your enthusiasm I call promoting.

It’s not sales per se – but a lot of things get sold by people’s promoting them. In fact, it’s the way most things “get sold.”

With movies I know film companies and producers count on word of mouth to sell tickets. That’s promotion – and it’s a more powerful and effective “sales” method than advertising or previews in getting people into theatres.

When Jurassic Park came out, it was promoted for a short time with advertising. People went to see it. Those people came away from the movie jumping up and down: “You gotta’ see this! This movie is incredible! There’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex that eats this lawyer who’s hiding in an outhouse…” Remember?

As a result of that initial response, the film company stopped all their advertising! Jurassic Park is the most successful movie of all time – over $750 million in sales worldwide. Over two billion people – two fifths of the world have seen it.

But when was the last time you saw it advertised? The ad budget for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero was much bigger than Jurassic Park’s, but it was a box office disaster! Why? People didn’t promote it. Well actually they did – they promoted the rest of us not going to see it.

We promote all the time.

In Affiliate Marketing, as soon as people get caught up in the process of selling, they lose their ability to promote effectively. The more people get into having to sell, trying to sell, the further they get from the natural, contagious enthusiasm of promoting.

Imagine taking a course on “How to sell people on going to see Jurassic Park.”

  1. First, you’d learn how to qualify your prospects,
  2. The pre-approach steps,
  3. How to initiate a conversation,
  4. build rapport,
  5. Discover their needs and wants as far as entertainment is concerned.
  6. You’d get trained on how to distinguish the film’s features from it’s benefits,
  7. How to lead with those benefits and weave them into an effective presentation.
  8. The course teaches you how, when the prospect says something negative, you go positive; when she’s positive, you go negative with a “take away.”
  9. You practice handling a series of common objections and learn how to overcome each of them.
  10. You’re given a script to follow.
  11. You learn the Assumptive close,
  12. The Ben Franklin close,
  13. The Colombo close.

Now, go sell somebody on going to that movie.

Do you see the dramatic difference between selling and promoting?

Do you like to sell?

Do you like to be thought of as a salesperson?

When people ask you what you do, do you say, “I’m in sales?”

How many men and women in your organization think of themselves as sales people?

Some people are great salesmen. Most people aren’t. But most people are great promoters. Watch children when they want something.

Which is easier to duplicate: sales or promoting?

When you’re selling, the issue is you as a salesperson.

When you’re promoting, what’s important is the value of what you’re offering.

With sales, the messenger and his or her ability to sell is the bottom line.

With promoting, it’s the message – not the messenger.

When you sell, you have to be a good sales person. When you promote, all you have to be is excited about what you’re talking about. The prospect isn’t judging your sales ability. He’s judging the value of the product you’re so enthusiastic about for himself.

When you’re selling, it’s about you. It’s personal. If they say “No,” they’re saying “No” to you personally. They’re rejecting you, because sales is about you getting them to buy what you’re selling.

When you’re promoting, it’s about them. It’s personal all right – for them. If they say “No,” they say “No” for themselves – not for you.

  • In sales, you want them to give you something – the order.
  • In promoting, you want to give them something – the value.

Sales is taking – Promoting is giving.

When you want something and somebody says “No,” how do you feel?

When you give something to somebody and they refuse the gift, how do you feel? You may be disappointed, but it’s their loss isn’t it?


Promoting starts with recognizing the value for yourself. What’s the value of your product for you? What’s the real value of the opportunity for you?

Ask yourself: What has this product done for me? What benefits have I gotten from using these products? How have they contributed to me?…changed me for the better?…made a positive difference in my life?

Ask yourself about your opportunity: How has being involved made my life better, more fun, more exciting? What new things have I learned? What new skills have I developed? How has it contributed to my life…to my family and friends? What are the possibilities for my future?

Then, share that. That’s your Jurassic Park.

Instead of counting how many retail sales you’ve made this week, count the number of people you’ve told about your products. Instead of counting how many prospects you’ve signed up, count the number of times you’ve enthusiastically shared your opportunity.

That’s what really counts.

Secret #35 University of The Third Age


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