You Expect Me to Sell What?

John Wood for The Writer’s Life. And I have a confession …

For a number of weeks in the early '90s, I was a photocopier salesperson.

As memories go, it's not a very good one.

I'd sit in my little cubicle and phone up businesses and ask for the person who was in charge of the company photocopier.

Once I got them on that phone, I'd ask them a few quick questions about their beloved photocopier. What make was it? Were they happy with it? Did it do everything they wanted it to do? And most importantly, when was their lease up?

You had to make a ton of calls to find one qualified lead. Because most businesses already have a photocopier and they almost always are locked into a lease.

Once I found a qualified lead, I could usually get them to agree to a meeting because of our USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

With us, you didn't have to buy the machine – we'd just charge you for the copies you made.

Doesn't sound too bad, does it?

Here's how it worked.

Based on their history, we'd predict how many copies they were going to make in the upcoming year.

Let's say that figure was 4,000 copies per month – or 48,000 copies a year.

Then we'd determine the lease rate the standard way, and we'd divide the monthly payment by the average monthly copy figure to come up with the price per copy. And then we would present that price to the prospect.

But here's the kicker …

The agreement the customer would sign would be based on a minimum of 4,000 copies per month.

If the customer did 2,500 copies (or even zero copies) one month, they'd still be charged for 4,000 copies.

The lease was totally weighted in favor of the photocopier company.

The minimum billing issue was something they told us to not really highlight when presenting the lease agreement to clients.

It didn't sit well with me.

In fact, I had a real problem with it. I did not like having to sell a customer on something that I felt was not entirely fair to them.

I told my boss about the struggle I was having.

He told me that this type of lease was not out of the ordinary. He said that generally the estimate was pretty accurate and that I should just "go with the flow."

But I couldn't get my head wrapped around it, so I quit.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I've talked to a few people who are interested in becoming a copywriter, but the one thing holding them back is they don't feel they can put their heart into convincing somebody to buy something they don't believe in.

But that is not a good reason for not making the leap to the writer's life.

Because as a copywriter, you will never have to promote something you're not entirely comfortable with.

You can tell your client about your concerns and often there is a way to address them. Many copywriters influence the make-up of the final product.

And once you start promoting yourself, you'll find the demand is so great for good copy, you won't have any problems finding reputable products and services to promote.

Which is one reason I enjoy promoting AWAI products so much. I've seen firsthand the impact they've had on people's lives.

You only have to take a quick look at the latest edition of the Money-Making Websites success catalogue to know that Nick Usborne's How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites produces results. If you're willing to follow Nick's system and stick with it, it's a fun and interesting way to build up a residual income stream for yourself that is larger than many full-time jobs.

So why not start your money-making website journey today and take a very important step in solidifying your financial future? Once you do, share with me by posting a comment below.

I can say with complete confidence that it's a lot more fun than selling photocopiers for a living.

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Published: August 25, 2011

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