My Mistake + My Last Sale
The Sale to End All Sales…Literally?
Have you ever forgotten something you knew, only to be reminded of the theory and think, Oh crap, what did I do?!
So, if you know me at all, you know I am about as honest and transparent as they come – possibly to a fault – so I am going to tell you about how this happened to me recently, what you can hopefully learn from it, and why I’m saying NO to sales now….
Are you familiar with Derek Halpern of Social Triggers? Super smart guy and also very…blunt. 🙂 Earlier this month I saw him post the video below and I wanted to crawl under my desk and hide.
Now, I wouldn’t go so far as calling anyone an idiot, like Derek did, but I did feel pretty idiotic after I watched it. (Seriously, watch it now, I’ll wait.) Here’s why I felt like an idiot…I KNEW THIS ALREADY!
I learned years ago that you should offer limited-time bonuses and add on value to products instead of discounting them. That offering sales on a regular basis trains your customers to expect sales from you – and to wait for them. (Why buy now at full price, she’ll have a sale before long…)
When I watched the video I realized what I’d done. I had forgotten this important marketing tip and unintentionally conditioned everyone to expect sales from me. Umm, whoops?!
So then I was left trying to decide what to do moving forward. Derek convinced me – stop with the frequent sales. Offer limited-time bonuses instead when I want to put out a special offer. But should I make a very public (and somewhat embarrassing) announcement that I’d no longer be doing sales? Do I just stop offering them and start doing bonuses instead, no explanation needed?
Clearly I went with option #1, and here’s why…
First and foremost, I think of myself as a teacher, and it’s quite possible you don’t follow Derek Halpern, you may have never heard of this theory before, and you may have fallen into this “sales trap” yourself as well.
In other words, this is a teachable moment for me. I’d rather admit my mistake, teach you this theory, and then change my approach rather than pretending like I never offered a sale before. 🙂
Still haven’t watched the video? Watch it now and see what you think, and then see my special announcement below…
OK, so I’ve admitted my marketing sin, what’s next?
As I am sure you’ve gathered by now, I don’t plan on doing sales moving forward. Struggle #2 for me in this revelation was…what do I do for Valentine’s Day? I was going to offer a discount, and to be even more transparent (am I ghost-like yet?) I don’t have any special, limited-time bonuses cooked up for you just yet.
Plus, if I’ve been conditioning you to expect sales from me and you’ve been delaying, I feel I owe you a “heads up” that those discounts are going away. So…
I’m going to offer you one more chance to buy the Power Editor Master Class, Facebook 101 and/or the Design for Entrepreneurs class at a discount. (Click the images below to buy them on sale by end-of-day Sunday, February 15, 2015.)
Now, I have to admit, this was a scary announcement to make. I keep thinking of all the “what ifs…”
• What if you think I’m a big ol’ idiot for telling you all this?
• What if you only want to buy at a discount?
• What if Derek’s wrong and I want to change my mind? (Damn you, Derek!)
• What if some amazing group wants to feature me and they require I offer my class at a discount for a limited time? (This is actually quite likely.)
• What if I want to offer a discount JUST to current customers in particular programs? (Also quite likely.)
• What if it is my birthday or something and I really want to do a sale?!
• What if toys really do come to life, a la, Toy Story?
(I just threw that last one in to see if you’re still paying attention. If you are, well done! Thanks for sticking around!)
Well, rather than “what if’ing” myself to death, (is that a term?) I figured I would just be as honest as ever and say this….
Do I plan to have any more “traditional” sales where I give you a class at a discount for a limited time? No, I don’t. I plan to offer special bonuses for a limited time whenever it strikes my fancy.
Is it possible that I will offer discounts for special events where I am required to by the host, or as an actual bonus to clients in bigger programs? (Join this program and a special perk is a discount on digital classes, for example.) Quite possibly.
You know what they say, never say never. I don’t know what the future holds. There might be some VERY special exceptions as detailed above, but 99% of the time you will no longer see me doing sales.
So…if you’d like to grab my digital classes at a discount, grab them while you can below!
Freaking out because you offer discounts too?
I don’t know what type of business you have. Maybe discounts really DO make sense for you. That’s for you to decide. (Yay! for being an entrepreneur and doing what’s right for YOU! High Five!)
I do think that a big part of my own problem was that I was doing sales pretty FREQUENTLY. (Hence, the conditioning.) If you have a sale every time you release a product, every holiday, etc etc then you are conditioning people to wait for a sale.
If you have sales just a couple times per year, or only offer early bird discounts when you do a launch, I think you’re going to be just fine.
If you do decide to stop offering them, don’t feel like you have to announce the change like I did. 😉 As I said, I wanted to share all of this for 2 reasons – to share this concept that I’ve “re-learned” recently, and also just as a courtesy heads up that changes are coming.
I hope that if nothing else, you learned about this marketing perspective, and you can do what you want with the info.
If you’re still reading this epically long post, I have to say, I’m impressed!
Sending love, peace, and marketing knowledge your way this Valentine’s Day!
– Julie “could she BE any more transparent” Lowe
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