This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to sell stuff

One of the best things about money is that you can buy stuff with it. You can also, of course, count it, put in the bank, pile it up in stacks, etc. but most people would agree that they like to use it to get stuff they want or need. From a consumer's point of view, it's shopping. From a business point of view, it's sales.

If you're running a business, it's important to know that while people love to buy stuff, they hate to be sold stuff. And it is a very important distinction that you have to understand.

The worst sales technique in the world is the arm-twisting kind. From pop-up ads on the web to someone who rings your doorbell at dinner-time, it's one thing that everybody agrees on - they hate it. If your business is in that category, people will do everything they can to avoid you - their browser will block your ads, they will put up a sign that says, "No Solicitors" on their door. Your relentless emails will end up in their "spam" folder. If you feel that your business needs to do this, well, I can't help you. I wish you would change your mind, but you probably won't. I think we can all agree that you are a scumbag.

If, however, you are in the majority of businesses out there who have cool stuff that people want to buy, here is how you do it, in this order:

• Have a good product or service at a competitive price. If you're selling garbage, and your intention is to cheat people, again, I can't help you here, you are on your own. Take a look at your product and your price. Would you buy it? At that price? If not, sell something else. Or, of course, go on being a scumbag.

• Provide information about your product or service. There is no need to jump around waving your arms and twirling signs at street corners. There are a lot of dignified ways to get the message out, including using that wonderful new invention "the internet". If you don't know how it works, find someone who does. There are plenty of people like that nowadays. I am one of those people.

• Build a network. Get recommendations, give recommendations. And not just from your friends on Facebook. If you have a good product or service which is a complement to another business, they will recommend you, and would appreciate a recommendation in return. No, this is not "kick-back" stuff, this is professional courtesy.

I have been in the business of helping companies sell stuff for my entire career. I have helped consumers and businesses connect in something that people love to do - buy stuff.