It’s been a tough week for some of my blog coaching clients. One of them has been approached by a developer with an exciting new product. Of course he was very excited, my client that is, not the developer. He looked at the product and he tested it once, worked out what he needed to do to create a site for the product to launch from and then he stopped.
Although it’s not my remit and certainly out of my coaching jurisdiction, he asked me to look at the product. It was plain and simple and if it worked it would be really effective. I could see why my client was excited and I could see why he wanted a new, shiny WordPress site to launch the project from. But what I couldn’t see was the money.
If you ask me, I’ll tell you… I have few gifts in life but one of them is to see where the money is. If I can’t see money in your product or project, it’s doesn’t mean there is no money in it at all… just that I can’t see it. This instinct has served me well over the years. It’s why you don’t see me chasing every social media rainbow but focusing on where the money is, for me.
I expressed my concerns to my client, with my added disclaimer of “perhaps you can tell me where the money is?”. I always panic and think my radar is off… I then tested the product as instructed but guess what? It didn’t work. After 90 minutes of fannying about (a technical term), I managed to get it to send a tweet. Only the tweet didn’t come out as it should and I was recording my user experience for my client.
Client thanks me for the video (he loves video) and says he’ll get back to me and I didn’t hear from him for 3 days. This was unlike him, so I gave him a call. He’d just finished a speaking with the developer and my client had broke up with him. The developer had some very colourful language about this, he seemed to think that even a faulty product could be sold. His words were “it’s easy… you’ll sell tonnes. A decent marketer will shift 100,000 units no sweat, you can sell anything on the internet”.
My client is an incredible salesman, when we meet I ask him to rub some of his sales skill onto my hand. It’s not worked for me yet, but he always laughs and rubs my hand. We must look a right pair of crack-pots; a well-dressed, elderly gentlemen rubbing the hand of a short, fat, red-headed woman. He can sell snow to the Eskimo but he can’t sell something that doesn’t work. And neither can you.
Marketing online products isn’t easy. If it was we’d all be doing it.
What sales skills work offline don’t always work online and even if everything went well, you still have to test your marketplace and have a viable, working product.
Having developed a plugin, I can tell you it’s hard to balance expectations of the developer and your target market place. It’s hard to promote a product and it’s very hard to create a product from scratch, develop it, test it and then sell it. That’s why people partner up and do joint ventures together – to share the workload.
My client is very influential in his niche, and now a developer is hacked off with him. The developer is angry and burning bridges everywhere (secret code for bad-mouthing him). My client is not all that bothered, he’s pleased that he didn’t get burdened with a product that was a whole heap of problems.
Just because you think it’ll sell it doesn’t mean it will. Even just selling on the internet means you are bound by distance selling regulations in the UK.
Internet marketing isn’t easy and marketing and sales skills are exactly that- skills.