man in blue top giving box to man in gray top

How to sell

“These are the strategies to get more sales,” says one online guru while promoting his wifi business. “Five easy things to increase traffic to your site,” says another. There are all kinds of flavors of the same thing. It boils down to “I will teach you how to sell.” Or “Learn how to make money.” It’s hard to look away and not click on titles such as these, if you are lucky enough to find them in front of a paywall, instead of behind it. One thing’s for sure, there is a paywall somewhere. And sometimes the billboard type titles are so enticing that even the paywall does not dare to stop us. And we plow through it, wallet first.

If you are reading this article, you are proving my point, though I will not sell you anything, or teach you how to sell, not in the conventional way. There is an infinite amount of resources for that already. And they are effective. Well, it depends on how you measure it, anyway.

Stop to think

We never really stop to think about what we are really doing. And fare enough, we have bills to pay and mouths to feed. And after a few months of trying things out the “right” way, that is to say, full of integrity and trying to provide as much value as possible, we start hearing the creepy calls of the dark side. We start noticing a trend in our sales reports: they all look like a box of donuts, big black zeroes with blinding gaping holes. And we shift from creating so much value that people will eventually find us, to transforming into a marketing or ads expert, trying to make ourselves discoverable to the mechanical claws of the algorithm. We dismiss improving our craft, and try our luck exchanging our time at the marketing school slot machines. Our products, blogs, YouTube channel, and even artistic prowess suffer the negligence of our focus, as our virtual door to door salesman skills increase. The once amusing twitter threads about sales that demand your urgency become your daily dose of essential vitamins. You, too, begin creating sales that will end in 5 hours … 2 hours… 1 more left…

“Urgency and scarcity tactics can be useful for increasing your store’s sales. When your store uses scarcity, your customer perceives that there’s a limited supply of goods, which compels them to purchase the product.”

— Nicole Martins Ferreira, oberlo


And who can argue with new greens entering your bank account? If money is not an appropriate measure of success, what is? When we start, we believe, truly, that only the corrupt can run a business prioritizing money instead of quality, and then we find ourselves as rich and as corrupt, and we understand how this could happen to anyone.

It takes but a matter of months for the right time to create your own flavor of the course ice cream. Imagine the internet as a series of buildings, with different meetings happening within. You enter one of the buildings, a seller’s meeting. “Passive income is the way,” you chant along with the league of shadows. At the end of such gathering, they pass packets of empty scoops around, one for each attendee, and the leader sends you out into the wild. “Remember, never take off the mask,” he says. It’s not a pyramid scheme, by the way, those died a long time ago. But if you bring people in, they will like you more. Maybe you’ll receive a 3D holographic invitation to the raddest club in town.

Come, I’ll teach you how to confuse – I mean convert

So you should convert people into customers. All hail the magic number of conversion rate. When you are looking for a specific item to purchase, you may see a line of booths selling the exact same thing, but one booth calls you in. It speaks to you in an ancient language that you have never heard, but still you understand it with deep intensity. Most of the time you can’t really tell why. If you are not yet aware, it has been figured out. Specific color combinations, expert copywriting, charging you triple the amount for the same product, value perception. It is a science, the Consumer Psychology they call it.

Honesty in buying

You’ll do anything to avoid buyer’s remorse, or worse being embarrassed that you were scammed into something. But don’t worry, that is why humans created Choice-supportive bias or post-purchase rationalization to convince ourselves that what we spent our money, AKA our time, on was exactly the right choice, just because. We tell ourselves there was no way the situation could have gone any other way. I have family members who have thrown thousands of dollars down the drain, have been duped and scammed out of their noses, and burned by companies, yet still go back to said companies with rationalizations such as “Oh, they messed up as humans but their product is good,” or, “I just got a bad batch.” There are a lot of reasons to lie awake at night, and this might just be one of them. It is wise to always be brutally honest with yourself and practice sitting alone for a long time in the face of discomfort. That is when and where your true thoughts are allowed to emerge.

The risks that accrue to you for speaking the truth are so much more minimal than the risks that accrue to you from deceiving yourself and other people that they’re not even in the same universe…speak the truth!

Jordan Peterson

Moths to a bright light

And what about that little voice, gut feeling or whatever you want to call it, when you sense something about a person? Maybe it is an influencer, a creator, a YouTuber, someone that is inserting thoughts through your headphones, your ear canal, and straight into your brain. There is something about their body language, about how they speak, that you feel you shouldn’t trust. Still, if their skills as a salesman are advanced enough, you will be compelled to throw money their way, and feel gross about it during every step of the checkout process.

Honesty in selling

I, and probably you, have bought products from great sellers, and from not so great sellers. That is, people who are, or not, great at selling their products. But by far, my favorite way to purchase a product is from a person that gives away so much of himself, and shares so much value, that I go out of my way to search for his products and buy them. In a way, you become a mini shark in a made up version of shark tank, and you invest in the person, and not merely on a no-face shiny product. These buying experiences are not only fulfilling, and joy inducing, they also leave a great, non GMO, all natural aftertaste, as opposed to the artificial, over produced, compounded taste, and you will not only become a return customer, but you will find yourself talking about the product incessantly. You become a street marketer for a person, at no cost to them. But this can only happen as an accidental effect from the deep obsession on their part with whatever skill they have, and a page or paragraph with “their story” written by a copywriter does not have the same effect.

Lessons learned from the village elders

I recently discovered a woodworker that builds all of his projects by hand. That is, by using hand tools. He is an older gentleman, and he has a lot of videos spanning back a decade. If you were to squish all of the videos together and put them in a sack, you would have a bag as heavy as gold. This person completely put himself and all of his knowledge out there, for free. And this is a well renowned person in his craft, with clients of the highest ranks in various industries around the world. He could probably sell you anything, but chooses not to. In his blog, you find articles that are not perfect or pristine, with countless orthographic errors, but are still a joy to read because his knowledge and passion ooze all over his writing. You can almost feel his desire to share and teach. And you feel compelled to support him in any way that you possibly can. He makes it very hard for you to give him your money, still you try even harder. You subscribe to his YouTube, use the links on his website, follow his advice, and all because you truly believe it when he says “This should be free for everyone.”


You can buy all the courses of the world, and become a master seller, and take a shot of tequila every time your bank account goes up, and fall asleep drunk with your mouse on the refresh button. You can convince yourself it is the stamp of a successful person. The comfortable cushions of your sports car reiterate it, and so does the expensive food, and the empty hugs from people you call friends, who think they can become just as rich by osmosis. But as I continue growing and learning, I have to conclude that the best sellers in the world are the ones that don’t try to sell me anything at all. The ones that are so incredible at what they do, dedicated themselves so much to a thing that their value can scarcely be contained within the barriers of their skin. And the joy they have in what they do goes beyond what can be measured by physical objects. The joy sticks to you like strawberry marmalade on a new white shirt. You feel good not only buying from them, but finding on your own the way to transfer your money, AKA time, to them. At this point it stops being a relationship of buyers and sellers, but a relationship of time transferrers. Exchanging bits of life between one another. Paying for something thus becomes a statement of gratitude. A way to say, “Thank you for existing”. And what is a better measure than that?

Do you want to become a great seller? Become the best at something, instead.

Start by fixing your evening and morning routines.

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