The Contrarian Effect: Atypical sales advice from Michael Port

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Even though I am a bit annoyed (ok, jealous) by the ease by which people like Michael Port, Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki  seem to spin out gigantic volumes of books, posts, products and communities in their sleep, I am happy to let you know about the new book Michael just released with coauthor Elizabeth Marshall called The Contrarian Effect:  Why it Pays Big to Take the Typical Sales Advice and do the Opposite.  (You might have read my review of Michael’s other recent book, Beyond Booked Solid)

You know from my recent post about my exasperation with sales letters that our new world needs some new models of selling.  A blurb from the book says:

"High technology and instant communication have put customers firmly in control of the sales process.  They don’t answer calls from unknown numbers; they demand honesty and transparency in the sales process; they are well informed about your product before they deal with you; and they have no patience for pressure tactics like closing questions.  No wonder traditional sales methods no longer work."

For many of my readers, they are so nauseated by the "old tactics" that they just avoid thinking about selling altogether. The problem is that without a strong and ethical sales process, your business doesn’t do much but sit and drain money and energy.

This book, like Seth’s The Dip, is a nice and slim read that strips things to the essence and gives practical advice.  I don’t know if it is a trend, but thin and to-the-point business books seem to be en vogue.

To follow their tagline of "doing the opposite," Michael and Elizabeth are promoting their book a non-traditional way:  holding an online auction of a whole bunch of goodies such as two tickets to the Inc. 500 Conference in Washington DC (Jim Collins is a featured speaker there – I have seen him live and he is amazing.) or a ($3,000) seat in Michael Gerber’s Dreaming Room (gotta love a man confident enough to wear a white suit and pink tie) , or even my own little "workshop that could" (where you answer the question "is this all there is to life?"  hint:  nope, not even close). The currency for the auction is books, so the more copies you buy, the more points you can use to bid with.

Check out the auction here.  It has a short run, just about 22 hours left as of this posting.  Enjoy!

Filed Under: Cool business ideas

6 Responses to “The Contrarian Effect: Atypical sales advice from Michael Port”

  1. I don’t know about the authors mentioned here, but … some writers who crank out a lot of books do so by having other people do the writing! I have a publishing consultant friend who, I learned recently, writes the books behind one of my favorite prolific authors.

  2. Lise,Pam I see the same thing all too often with — internet marketers (sales) I’m thinking of one in particular hawking blog advice (which i think is fairly good & pretty well respected) thye’re always having free telecons, webinars etc — that always give you about a tenth of the info you get in the full “sign up today” seminar or book to follow — funny thing is I need what they got but the endless pitches drove me crazy.

    Seth seems to do it best if you are going to give something away dammit give it away the full version without all the follow up emails ad nausem — plan B charge full price — kinda of black and white really

  3. Lise says:

    This post was so timely! I was only saying yesterday that I am sickened by the copy letters that come out with all the hidden tactics to get you to buy NOW. Why this came up is there is a law of attraction product back on the market (a very good one I might add) whose creators were around when the the Secret was released a few years ago. Their product then and now is fabulous, that’s not the point. The issue is this time they started sending out info, giving away free stuff (great!) and no info to get the so called product. I thought ‘interesting, no sales pitch’ almost the opposite, create interest by NOT saying how you get your diamond mine. Sure enough after 2 weeks of free videos and emails, the sales pitch started and sadly the videos changed from spontaneous flowing things to scripted copy letters, horrible and sickening. The whole process sadly made me not want a bar of their product in its new and improved form. Why oh why? I feel tempted to write to them and share these feelings about it as in my opinion only if they had kept to the original format I would have enjoyed the integrity of it, instead now I get copious emails informing me about ‘time running out’ and ‘too many people wanting the cds they may run out’, BS all the way, but glad to see a book calling on these sales tactics because I can no longer stomach them! Thanks for the great post!

  4. Steve says:

    Thanks for any advice that leaves the cold-call world/mentality behind. I hate doing it even more than I hate having it done to me. The strategy/concept has paralysed me in a business venture that was promising and should have been successful.

  5. Michelle says:

    I think these “thin and to-the-point” books are absolutely a trend. People get so much of their information off the Internet nowadays that they do not have the patience to search through a long, wordy reference book. Short books with plenty of charts, graphs and lists are more likely to sell.

  6. Pamela,

    I have not read the book, but I have been in sales the last 5 years. I have embraced the idea that putting it all on the table gets things rolling much faster.

    I often tell my clients what my margins are and how much I would be willing to reduce my price if there was a need.

    More often than not my clients respect my original prices and I end up charging more than the original bid with add ons and upgrades.

    I think the quicker both sides can put their cards on the table the quicker you can proceed with the goals of the project.

    Of course with anything you need a great product to go with any sales process. Otherwise any technique will eventually fail.