Let me ask you a question. What is the most important thing in running a business? Well, obviously selling. Right? Wrong! This is like stating that the most important thing in life, its purpose, is breathing.
Yes, you need to breath to survive, to live, but breathing is not the most important thing it is a prerequisite. Unless you have found a purpose in life you won't reach your goals because you have none.
The most important thing in business is goals, a strategy and then comes selling.
Having said this, let us have a look at selling. What is selling anyway? Selling is the exchange of wealth. Selling is giving someone something she desires and receiving something you desire. Your customer, or client for this matter, must be willing to give you more in wealth back than you put in to produce your product or service.
Hey, why do you always talk about wealth instead of money? Because most of us do not realize anymore that money is a derivate for wealth. Money is just green pieces of paper with famous people printed on it. What makes money precious is that we, the society agreed to accept it to exchange wealth. It is a way to measure wealth. Nothing less and nothing more.
Listen, you put some sort of energy in developing or producing a service or product. That takes time and resources. The time you use for preparation you can not use to find food for example. If we had no money or hadn't invented the exchange of goods, you might end up starving. What you actually do is you put some of your wealth away from the needs of the day and put it into something else, your product. Because we have money, and hopefully you have some as well, we can do that easily. If we are hungry, we just take some of the stored wealth we have - some bucks that is - and exchange it for our favorite burger or tacos. it is that simple. Money is stored wealth. And business is about gaining wealth not loosing it.
Selling is simply the exchange of wealth. I said it before but like to repeat it here just to emphasis it a little more.
Now, if business is about gaining wealth, how do we gain wealth by selling? We do so buy asking for more wealth to exchange the good than we had to put into producing it. The price - the amount of wealth we ask for - must be higher than the cost - the amount of wealth we put into building the good. The difference between price and cost is called the margin and is the measure for how much your wealth increases once you exchanged it for the asking price.
Only having a good of any kind doesn't increase your wealth. If you have the worlds best ice maker and can not sell it at a price and frequency high enough to increase your wealth, all the effort(wealth) you put into producing it is literally "on ice". Means the wealth you put in is virtually existent but you can not use it unless someone else is willing to buy.
I know this all sounds obvious and very common. But let me ensure you that common sense is not very common at all. Most people do not look at business as a wealth creating machine and at money as a wealth replacement. Money is not magic. Wealth is.
So you have your great product or service developed. How to find costumers? What are potential customers?
Potential customers are people with a perceived need for your product and service that is desirable enough for them to pay the price you ask for.
So forget the "millions of potential customers are waiting out on the net for you becoming affiliate 234,678 for "how to get rich scheme" number 1,233,412.
Get me right, i am not telling you these schemes are all scam. Some, maybe most, provide valuable information. What I say is that it is not sufficient to become source number 299,123 where potential clients can buy it.
Why? Because you do not add value. Even if you could increase the traffic to your web site tremendously - which rarely happens anyway -, you miss the most important factor in your calculation, focused visitors.
You might even get some of your visitors to buy. Do you want to base your business success on picking morsels? I doubt this to be a strategy for long term success.
Opt-in lists are even worse than traffic increase. Think about it, Increasing traffic means basically you get a higher visibility on search engines, which in turn means your chances for picking some more morsels rise. But, opt-in list advertisement doesn't give you this visibility at all. You advertise basically to people that don't even read your ads.
Why? Because most opt-in lists pay their subscribers - yes that's right - to receive those mails. Most opt-in list subscribers have not interest in all in any of the products advertised. There desire is to get 4 cents for every email they click at. End of story.
It is like some newspaper would pay you to subscribe to it. If that would ever happen, I would subscribe to every newspaper i could get a grip on. And every issue would end up unread in my bin.
Bottom line is, unless you have something to offer that is desired by someone else and you can find a way to get in front of her with your offer constantly, you are not going to make a lasting business out of it.
You simply can not buy prospects. Though you can buy visibility. But visibility without a target in mind and a strategy to keep them coming over and over again, is still useless at best. At worse it costs you a lot of money you could use much better to sit down and develop a real working strategy on how to find the people that desire your product or service and how to keep them comming.
But let me finish with the good news. There is an abundance of people that have desire for almost any product you can think of. You only have to find a way to get in front of them. The Internet is a great place to achieve this, but it does not work as an instant money machine.
This article may published freely only in its whole including all appendices.
c 2005 by Norbert Haag
Online Business Coach
Norbert Haag is a business consultant, entrepeneur and sought after speaker for more than 20 years. His company - Online Business Coach http://www.onlinebusinesscoach.com - provides information and services for online businesses, small business owners and freelancers.
You can reach Norbert at email@example.com.