7 Sales Secrets From My Best Sales Day Ever

Big Day Yesterday was our biggest course sales day ever in the history of Human Business Works, but this isn’t a post where I boast (oh, I rhymed!). These are some thoughts that you can implement to seek the same success.

7 Sales Secrets For How To Sell Big While Still Loving Your Community

First, I created the product that (as it turns out) everyone wanted all along, Mastering the Digital Channel. That helps, I guess. Having a product or service that is useful and that people believe will benefit them. My original version of the same course wasn’t as good, and wasn’t as well explained. So, I trashed it and built something much better.

Second, I stopped trusting my beliefs and started trust metrics. (Rob Hatch is forcing this on me more and more.) As much as I like Twitter, it’s not selling for me. My newsletter (my pride and joy!) sells 10x more by volume than my entire social platform combined, even though it’s 10x smaller by subscriber count. (Just think about that a moment. Let it sink in.) Want to trust metrics? Read this and this by Christopher S. Penn for starters. Also, anything Tom Webster says.

Third, I built a great recipe for when and how to promote (which I’ll share with my newsletter subscribers not this week but next.

Fourth, I’ve come to realize that my job on every other platform, is to be helpful, and hope that people pay me back by getting my newsletter, where my helpfulness will often translate into eventual sales (when I create or source the product that helps them succeed).

Fifth, I’m very clear when I sell. In almost every correspondence where I’m going to sell to you, I put the absurd label in the subject line “Pitchy Pitch. Selly Sell.” It drives marketers nuts. They hate it. Derek Halpern thinks I’m completely crazy (and he’s right). And this won’t work for you verbatim, but the truth is this: I get LOTS of emails from people saying a variant of the following: “Thank you so much for telling me you’re going to sell to me. I can’t buy right now and I’m really sorry about that. So I’ll see you Sunday.” My magical experience here ties to the next one.

Sixth, I’ve made it really clear that if you don’t want to buy, you’re very welcome in the community and I’ll see you Sunday. It’s never about pressure. I’ll sell, and you don’t have to buy. Because pressure promotes impulse purchases, which prompts unsubscribes. If I’ve gone to all the trouble of having you join my super wonderful insider monchu family, I want you to stay.

Seventh, I ask my community to vouch for me often. When someone asks me whether the course is good or not, I say, “Don’t ask me. Ask @ajaxwoolley or @walterakana or @taniadakka. I usually just pick someone from the course to speak up. That way, it’s not my word. It’s the community who is actually in the class.

BONUS: In every instance of my sales efforts, people know that they can just hit reply and that I will talk with them personally. Me. Not Rob or Ron. Me. And they can ask me any questions or share their trepidation. I’ve hand-sold dozens of these courses. Why? Because I never ever want someone to feel that they are about to buy something that won’t help them. I told four people last night that this course wasn’t right for them. Oddly, two of them bought anyway.

Love your community. Yes, you need to cultivate a marketplace to own your business, but you cannot (CANNOT!) consider your community to be a blobbish list of data that you can beat until your cash register is topped off. It will only work once, and you’ll never be able to sustain it. Mentor and friend, Jeff Pulver told me, “You live or die by your database” and I took that deeply to heart.

Glad you’re here. Oh, and if you liked this?

Please Consider Getting My Newsletter

Here’s exactly what you get when you sign up to my newsletter: I write you a weekly newsletter every Sunday. In it, I’ll tell you a story that will illustrate some point that’s useful to your life, your business, your organization, or maybe all of these. I’ll invite you to participate. I’ll be very personal. My goal is to help you build a strong, sustainable, relationship-minded business.

This letter is written be me, Chris Brogan. If you hit reply, the reply goes to me. I respond as soon as I can. Most people can’t believe how fast, but don’t let me get your hopes up. Sometimes, it takes a few days. But if you hit reply, I’m there.

If I intend to sell you something (and I do that, sometimes), it’ll be very clear. Somewhat comically so.

So join me. I respect your privacy and will honor your trust in us.

Join us for free and get valuable insights that you’ll end up eagerly awaiting. This is a community pretending to be a newsletter. You are why I write it.

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  • http://www.ricardobueno.com/ Ricardo Bueno

    Knowing what I know now, if there’s one thing I’d do differently when starting my blog, it’s that I would have built my email list from day one. I didn’t. I used Feedburner’s email broadcast tool. But the value is in an email list you can broadcast your own messages too (not in a spammy way, but in the ways you suggest). For that, I use Aweber (and sometimes MailChimp).

    And as you said, you don’t need a big audience. Just the right one.

    Want to build that list fast(er)? Host a free webinar, give away an ebook. And always, always, always deliver value before asking for the sale. Do that, and your’e good to go.

    • http://twitter.com/lazymoneyonline Ioan Draniciar

      That’s how Frank Kern sells a lot of his stuff. For example he creates a video where 85% is pure value content and 15% is pitching a sale. Awesome strategy!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Agreed. I know zero bloggers with more than 2 years experience that don’t lament not building a list sooner.

  • http://twitter.com/TaniaDakka Tania Dakka

    OMG. Talk about a recipe. That was amazing. It’s been there. All the time. We know it, but acting on it, rather acting on it in the right way, can be difficult. The thirst dominates when instead sitting patiently trusting the water will come.

    I can say this, though, this is exactly why the Brave works with us. We are family. No one’s hidden the fact that they’ve hired me to do work for them in the group and it isn’t because I said to them, “Hey, I can do this for you.” I rarely ever say it. They came to me because my mouth is big and is usually spewing answers to questions and being helpful when someone needs it.

    It’s also the reason I built the Google + Community, EntreFiends (which isn’t doing as well as the Brave in terms of participation). But I hope that it’ll grow into a place where people ask and answer questions freely, in hopes they can develop themselves or their businesses through helping each other.

    And OMG I’m sorry for this loooong response. But I love this post and am proof that this recipe works.

    (Oh, and thank you for the kind mention! I have to say there are only two people’s work that I believe so fully in that I recommend OFTEN and you’re half that couple because you gave me wings.)

    Zipping it now.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      You ARE proof. You’re the best example I can think of to showing the helpful seller. You created tons of value before extracting a little.

  • http://nateriggs.com/ nateriggs

    I think it’s funny that when you’re transparent about selling that it drives marketers nuts. There’s a lot of real marketing insights in this post, in particular this:

    “…pressure promotes impulse purchases, which prompts unsubscribes.”

    I wish more agency folks and corporate marketers would take this single statement to heart. See you on Sunday, dude and congrats on the big day!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Thanks, Nate. That’s secretly the very best line in the whole piece. : )

      • http://nateriggs.com/ nateriggs

        It needs to be on the back of an email marketing conference T-shirt!

  • http://twitter.com/tim_sherwood Tim Sherwood

    I’m glad to see that it went well!

    “Seventh, I ask my community to vouch for me often.”
    I can vouch that Chris uses this. And it would have worked if it wasn’t for that pesky budget. I appreciate how awesome and responsive @chrisbrogan, @ajaxwoolley, & @walterakana were. I really makes me want to join – just for the community.

    Reading the comment by Tania made me realize something – I knew something was “missing” from your sales page: testimonials man!
    The testimonials aren’t as much about backing YOU up at that point, but illustrating what you will be learning in the course and that you will actually LEARN it.

    I’d wager that you’ll well outsell yourself next time if you tack in more of a how-it-has-helped-others section. Plus, you’ll have your pick of stories by that point.

    I don’t know about twitter as an effective sales channel, per se. But, you certainly use it as an awesome customer service tool. I’ve learned it’s a faster and sometimes easier place to get answers than email correspondence is.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      @twitter-20298612:disqus – it’s a new course so I can’t have testimonials yet. No graduates. I could totally do this in a few weeks. : )

  • http://www.cuponismo.com Geordie Wardman

    Nice Chris – I’m just now in the process of starting a new product, and a new list. I’ll definitely be continuing my follow of your news letter, which I’ve been following for years now. Just stopping by, glad I did.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Very cool stuff! I’m glad you’re here for it all, Geordie. And that’s.. that’s quite the hat!

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chris,

    Congrats buddy. I have only subscribed to 1 newsletter online in my 4 years as an entrepreneur: yours. Because of posts, and updates, like these. Build a community of good friends around you. Every where you turn. Set up an intimate meeting place: your newsletter.

    Instead of leaving comments I picture myself chatting with you Chris in a coffee shop. I do the same when chatting with people through my emails, or on social accounts. The simple practice instantly moves your mindset from making a sale, or getting a backlink, or receiving anything, to giving, helping and making a friend, too.

    Simple tips here and overpowering really, because once you decide to buy into what Chris teaches, you will become a success over time.

    Just buy in for the long haul. Picture people as um….people, as you chat with them, and you naturally do stuff that helps folks, solves their problems, and leads to sales…and as you said Chris, even when you dissuade folks from buying, seeing a possible poor match, some buy in to the level that they are buying anyway.



    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      That’s very kind, Ryan. Thank you. And I feel the same way. The reason that works really well for me is that when we DO finally get to the same coffeeshop at the same time, you and I will have no awkward phase. And I’m buying! : )

  • http://twitter.com/BourneMedia David Bourne


    Great stuff, here. Most of us have hangups on selling and your POV is great for changing that.

    On email lists: for me, the bottom line is that you have a MUCH more qualified buyer there. And you have a better opportunity to be yourself, gain trust, and show you are human.

    Of all the folks I follow, you are the best at showing and reminding us of our humanity. And thats a pretty big thing!

    Congrats on the great launch!!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Wait’ll you see what S. Anthony Iannarino and I have cooking up for you on selling for non-salespeople. : )

  • Derek

    We gotta make one thing clear: I’m not calling Chris crazy because he’s transparent about selling. I’m calling Chris crazy because he uses the terminology “PItchy pitch, selly sell.”

    I’m 100% all for transparency. However, transitioning from content into sale should be much more smooth. It shouldn’t be so abrupt.

    A friend of mine, who I won’t name (if you feel like fessing up to using this, feel free to comment), made a GREAT analogy. He said, “using selly sell, is like going on a date with a girl, and then readily announcing, ‘I’m going to stick my tongue down your throat now. I hope that’s okay.’”

    Think that’s going to work? Heck no. There are other ways to signal that you’re going in for a kiss. Ways that are much more smooth. Ways that are much more effective.

    And that’s what I suggest Chris should do. Instead of saying something like “Selly, selly,” he could simply say something as simple as, “In this email, I’m going to show you how to do x, y, z, and later I’ll let you know about a premium training I JUST created for you. More about that training in a minute, first let’s talk about this:.”

    Now I’m not suggesting he uses those exact words, obviously. But there you see a more subtle and smooth way to announce the fact that you’re selling :-)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Well right. Glad you helped clarify. : )

      • http://www.spindows.com/ Clay Hebert

        I’m happy to claim that analogy. Derek is talking about me and I’m happy to own it.

        I’m a huge fan of Chris and count him as a great friend that I wish I saw more often.

        I’ve learned a TON from him over the years in many channels, online and in person… this blog, webinars, digital products, Gchat, breaking bread (and drinks) and even in deep conversations on dark street corners in Portland late at night. Chris knows how much I think of him.

        But yes, I’m in the camp that never liked “Pitchy Pitch, Selly Sell”. I DO feel like it’s like being on a date and warning a girl that you’re going to kiss her. From my experience, even if the girl wanted to be kissed (even if the prospect wanted to be sold) warning them that you’re about to try it shows that you’re not confident in either your pitch, your product or both. I know Chris is confident in both his product and his pitch and that’s why “Pitchy Pitch, Selly Sell” seems incongruent to me.

        I know a lot of great salespeople (men and women). I’ve read a ton of sales books. I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of sales training. And I’ve never heard any of it recommend to warn the prospect that you’re about to sell them.

        In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any situations where a warning precedes a delightful experience. A doctor warns you before giving you a shot (this is going to pinch a little). The weatherman warns you before a big snowstorm or a hurricane. But a waiter doesn’t warn you before they bring you a delicious steak or glass of wine.

        That said, Chris has sold countless more products online than me. He’s tested it both ways and he has loads of feedback that certain people appreciate the warning, so this is nothing more than my opinion.

        Keep on keeping on, Chris. I hope to see you again soon.

        • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

          Know what I’ll do? Test. : )

          • http://www.spindows.com/ Clay Hebert

            I love that answer.

            Speaking of Mr. Halpern, I was once on the phone with Derek and I said “what do you think about {marketing tactic I was considering}?”.

            Without missing a beat, his response was…..”I don’t think. I just test.”


          • http://www.facebook.com/davidfrees David M Frees

            Now that’s a savvy answer. Thanks to Chris and to all for this great thread.

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  • http://twitter.com/mitchjackson Mitch Jackson

    Great post Chris. I truly enjoy your approach. When I start a trial the jurors all know that I’m eventually going to ask them for money damages. Because of this, I always make sure I’m the first lawyer in the courtroom (normally during the jury selection process) to be up front with them and to let them know that I’m here to “pitchy pitch and selly sell” :-) They respect the fact that I’m transparent and honest about why we’re here and what we need to have happen. In the same fashion that your newsletter walks a reader through the process, we too talk about it during the selection process and walk our jury through the experience during trial. As you pointed out with your platforms, some communication approaches consistently work better than others. Keep doing what you’re doing. I know I speak for many of us when I say we truly enjoy and look forward to your Sunday morning newsletter and podcast. Mitch

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I love that, Mitch. Your communications tips site is getting cooler and cooler!

  • http://robinmizell.wordpress.com/ Robin Mizell

    Thanks for #2. I’m trying to teach my clients the importance of metrics. This is a good post to share with them.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Well good!

  • http://outcareyourcompetition.com/ Jordan J. Caron


    I love two points you bring up.

    1) Twitter doesn’t sell for you like your newsletter. If something isn’t working for you but works for others, you don’t have to keep expanding energy there.

    2) You tell people you’re going to sell them. This works because of you. Your more human than anyone online. People have that instant trust because your very humble and honest.

    Thanks for this!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Thank YOU! What do you think about 2? Can you recreate it?

      • http://outcareyourcompetition.com/ Jordan J. Caron

        I think so Chris. Like you I’m very honest and laidback. This is always tough when it comes to sales. But if you’ve created a lot of value for someone and haven’t asked for much in return, it’s not being pushy if you tell people you are about to sell them something.

  • Pijush Mukherjee

    The “help” is the most important factor for long term success of any Sales person.PositivityKnowledgeMotivation

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  • http://thefranchiseking.com/about-joel-libava-the-franchise-king The Franchise King

    Way to go, Chris!

    Better increase your hosts’s server settings.


    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Hah. Thank you, sir! : )

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  • Gil

    This is great Chris…best quote ever…will definately use it with my clients: I stopped trusting my beliefs and started trust metrics.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Well thank you! : )

  • http://twitter.com/BillHibbler Bill Hibbler

    “Love your community. Yes, you need to cultivate a marketplace to own your business, but you cannot (CANNOT!) consider your community to be a blobbish list of data that you can beat until your cash register is topped off. It will only work once, and you’ll never be able to sustain it. ”

    Amen, Chris! Something the ‘make money online’ crowd has ignored far too long. I’m glad you’ve ventured into creating courses without becoming one of them.

  • http://www.EmpowerNetwork.com/mikewilliamspro Mike Williams

    I agree it is all the truth. You care and make great stuff. Love ya bro and we haven’t even meet…LOL

    That’s powerful stuff

  • Susan Cleaver

    Hi Chris, thanks for the tips; I enjoy your breezy writing style.
    Congrats on your biggest course sales day ever! You metioned your attitude about the individuals on your list, and how they’re than just a collection of targets for you. I’m glad you’re using these newer sales vehicles…community, inclusion, etc.
    I’m a life coach, so the old ways are especially obnoxious to me. I could never figure out how interrupting, annoying, and boring people got the job done! I only know it never worked on me as a consumer!
    Susan Cleaver
    Mind Spa Coaching and Reiki

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  • http://twitter.com/CatieRagusa Catie Ragusa

    Hey Chris, great tips! I especially like the last one–asking the community to vouch for you often. Personal testimonies are incredibly important and influential.

    What’s the best way to ask for subscribers without bothering the people you’re asking?

    Congrats on your best sales day ever! Thanks for the tips :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    I think for your readers and community the “Selly Sell, Pitchy Pitch” works because you’ve trained the “Monkey Monkeys” to expect it. Now if someone else were to try and copy this it might not work. It’s all about your audience and who you want to do business with.

    I personally hate the typical Internet Marketer way of doing it by giving you 85% content and 15% pitch.. Or vise versa for many!

    I hate being Duped into a sales pitch when I think I’m getting content.

  • Don Zilleri

    Thanks Chris. This style of sale should be a role model to every small business owners who believe and assume their product or service will sell itself. Involving the community and vouching is the best idea for credibility. Well done and congrats. I enjoyed your simple way of explaining.

    Don Z
    Bids By Pros

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  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    I wonder… how have you measured the impact of the “selly sell” disclosure in emails versus not using it?

  • http://doingthings.net/ Andrzej Tucholski

    … that moment when you say that noone needs to buy it and people buy the heck out of it ;)

    • Crystal Carey

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  • Jason

    FYI, your newsletter sign up form isn’t working for me on this page. I’m using chrome on a PC.

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