How My Toddler Taught Me to Sell Results not Features

Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.

Yoda, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

That quote is from Master Yoda, as he’s trying to help Obi-Wan Kenobi try to find a missing planet. Obi-Wan let his assumption (“that’s impossible because only Jedi can access this data”) get in the way of the actual answer — which was given to him by a young Padawan.

Similarly, my son Louis, who’s 2 and can only say a few words and sentences, helped reinforce a very important sales lesson for me:

Don’t sell features. Sell the results.

See, I was trying to get my son to abandon the wide-open world of the front yard (and active road), for the safer, albeit less exciting back yard. First, I ask my son if he wanted to go to the backyard (or the platform/product). He said no. What can the backyard offer him that the front yard can’t?

So then I ask if he wanted to go on the trampoline (a unique feature of the platform). Again, he said no. Perhaps he didn’t realize what the trampoline was, or what it can do for him.

Finally, I asked him if he wanted to bounce (the results of using the feature), and he said yes.

Don’t sell your product or service by talking about features (or worse, how you made it). Sell what your product or services can do for your customers.


What Prepared Plumbers Can Teach You About Winning Business

Recently, my wife and I noticed our faucet was leaking. Now, I’m not a DIY guy. I’m thankful that computers exist because I can’t do anything with my hands. But I decided to try to fix it myself. Long story short…it didn’t work. I brought the faucet neck to Home Depot and they were less than helpful. So we called two plumbers. One was the clear winner, and here’s why (and what you can learn from them).

Read More “What Prepared Plumbers Can Teach You About Winning Business”

How You Can Start Automating Today

Time is also the only thing you can’t buy, or get more of. Do things that will save you time, and you will grow your business. I truly believe that and one of the best ways to find time is by automating the things you personally don’t have to do. There are lots of tools out there like Zapier, IFTTT, and Siri Shortcuts on iOS to make automating these fast and easy. Here are a few tips so you can start automating today.

Read More “How You Can Start Automating Today”

Transitioning to Full Time Freelance

Note: this is an update to an article I wrote in 2010, when I went from college to full time freelance.

I started freelancing all the way back in 2002, when my church came to me looking for a website. As a junior in high school, I used
Frontpage, and GMail had yet to grace me with it’s presence. And this seemed like a really good opportunity for me to run
the business I always wanted. I freelanced all through high school and college. It was at the end of my senior year in 2007
that I realized I wanted to keep doing it. So I went to grad school to learn more about my trade, and better prepare myself full time freelancer. I stuck with it for a time but sought full time employment for 6 years before coming back to self-employment.

So what does it take to transition to full time freelancing (from school or employment)? Let me tell you what I’ve learned.

Read More “Transitioning to Full Time Freelance”

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When You Freelance, Make Decisions & Stick to Them

I almost called this one, “Trust and be Trusted, but don’t betray your business.” That’s the gist of the next two stories. It’s easy to make concessions when you’re freelancing, especially when business is slow. You need the work and you’re willing to bend your rules a little bit to move the chains, or bump the bottom line, or whatever metaphor you want to use for, “make more money.” But that might not always work out. I wrote this article in a notebook while on vacation, about 1 month before starting the book Start with Why. I’m happy to say this book reinforced the sentiments of what I’m about to share with you: When you make decisions for your business, stick to them.  Read More “When You Freelance, Make Decisions & Stick to Them”

The Right Way to Explain Your Freelancing Career to Your Dad

Earlier this week I read an article offering advice on how to explain your freelancing career to your dad. It’s something a lot of young people, including myself, struggle with. However after reading the article, my thoughts were less than flattering. Not only was it bad advice, it was a demonstration of what not to do if you’re serious about a freelance career. If you’re really interested in reading the article, I will link it at the bottom. For now, here’s what I consider the right way to explain your freelancing career to your dad (or mom, or whomever).

Read More “The Right Way to Explain Your Freelancing Career to Your Dad”

Links Round Up for 04/10/11


I also did a couple of write-ups for Web.Appstorm.net about Amazon’s new Cloud services:

Links Round Up for 03/28/11

Links Round Up for 03/20/11

Links Round Up for 02/27/11

Also, I’ve created a Delicious account for Manifest Development. I’ll post tech/web dev/business related links there. Check it out. They also get automatically posted to @manifestdev on Twitter.