OK, so I am new here and I have lurking for a while, just soaking up information and trying to learn. I figured it was about time I at least introduce myself, say hi to whoever set this forum up and all the people who populate it, an say thanks. Got to love crowd-sourcing, I guess I'm here to help. I am officially throwing my hat into the IM ring, A big reason is because of information and tips I have been picking up here. By the way, to those of you who drop those tip-bits of information here and there, an extra thanks. Simply from the discussions that happen around those tips are a goldmine of information. Why wasn't I learning about this shit more in depth a few years ago? I don't know. Anyways, I'm using the name Bungeetounge, but you can call me Bungee. If you are already getting bored, I suggest you leave now. I have had a few beers to relax after a stressful day, and with no around to interrupt me, I can't take responsibility for my actions, I am an American, but I am born, raised and living in Germany. I'm 38 and I've been here a majority of my life. I like it here. Now while I am a little knew to I.M., I am not new to selling by any means. In one form or another I have been selling since I was six years old. I am also not new to the web. What convinced me to get into I.M. was realizing that selling online and selling offline are pretty much the same thing. You see, a few years after high school, around '95, I got into selling encyclopedias. Well at first I actually get a job as the administrate assistant for the guy running running the encyclopedia game over here. There were a few other companies trying to compete for the military community as customers, but he/we ran the game. What's funny is, before I got this job, I used to laugh at all the encyclopedia guys. I mean seriously, I would walk by these guys and think ?Oh my god.... what's with these people...? I'll explain in a minute. A few years on, eventually the internet broke loose and killed our business. The owner of our company fired everyone and decided to bring the whole encyclopedia out on CD. A CD!!! And sell it online! We the salesmen thought, ?what an idiot! you can't sell these online.!? All I can say is, who knew. So I decided to head to the states and go to graphic design school. After that I came back here to Germany and started my own web design business. I ran this till about the end of 2010 and called it quits. I was having some success, I did a few movie websites and I had some decent business. But in the end. I just hated my computer and decided to take a year off. Actually the plan was to just take a little time off and form a new plan of attack to make money, but it took awhile. The reason I have started to take action now is because like I said, I have made a few connections. I figure I'll you about 'em. It is amazing to me how much selling books and selling online are alike. I could really just slap myself on the forehead now. The best way to explain what I mean is to tell you how I used to do it. If you have ever been raised in a military family in Germany or maybe even served over here, then you already know what a German/American Volksefest is. For those that don't, it is a carnival, on or around a American military base. In the warm months in Germany, the travailing carnivals are everywhere, and they especially try to get the American crowd. I remember being in high school and after, walking around these carnivals, beer in hand, having a great time. Between the bumper cars and some other ride, there would be this tent. Inside would be a table or two and a couple sets of encyclopedias. Outside would be one or two guys trying to get you to enter a contest to win a set of encyclopedias. This is where I would roll my eyes and think, ?what idiots, who the hell is going to buy a set encyclopedias at a frigg'in carnival?? Again, who knew. So one day I get this job as the administrative assistant for head European Military Operations for encyclopedia sales. No need to say the company, but for those that know what an actual encyclopedia even was, it was the big one. In doing this job, I was filling and sending away all the sales orders for the salesmen in Europe, so they could get their commissions. Man, these guys were making some bank. I was blown away. I mean completely blown away. I couldn't believe it. For the next two or three months I bugged my boss. ?Teach me this, I can do it and I bet I can do it better than anyone you've got.? It took months because he kept telling me no. ?I need you here in the office, and if you start selling, you won't want to do the office job anymore.? Talk about a carrot on a stick... I bugged him even more and eventually he gave in. He taught me the presentation, which was 45 minutes long and I am proud to say, I memorized it in one night. I went out two nights later from a lead he game me and made my first sale. I sold a set of encyclopedias for $2,499. In about one hour I had made over $600 in commission. Man, I can tell you what. I was hooked. Over the next few years I learned a lot about selling. My boss was pumping me full with tape after tape of Zig Zigler to listen to and study. My boss was teaching me about up sells and down sells and rebuttals and all sorts of stuff. From him and Zig and personal experience, I learned a lot. By the way, if you have never heard Zig Zigler talk, this guy knows how to sell. Even online I think it could help. The one really big thing I think I learned from my boss about selling was, IT'S ALL A NUMBERS GAME and THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. He never said it like that, but the way he taught me sell those books sure did. Let me explain. Since it is all a numbers game, than the trick is to get in front of enough people. Online, this means traffic. This is where creativity comes into play and if you can think a little out of the box it will help. For example, back to me selling my books. Most of the other people out there that were selling encyclopedias were doing the same old thing. Going door to door and hoping they luckily run into the right customer. Don?t get me wrong, some people who did this made a killer income, but man, they really had to work hard for it. I did things a little differently. Well, actually I did it way different. I went to the people. I mentioned those guys, in a tent at the carnivals.... My boss was one of those guys. He taught me what to do with the books and I think it really applies here online as well. I would set up a tent at a carnival with my books inside on a nice bookshelf and a table to sit people down. That?s right, a carnival. Right next to the bumper cars and all those different rides, there was me, in my tent with encyclopedias. My first night doing this I thought ?I must be crazy. I make fun of these guys.? But there I was. In front of my tent was a little table filled with nice books, from all sorts of different topics, fiction and non fiction. And of course, just like those couple of guys I would make fun of, there was me with my Free Drawing to win a set of encyclopedias. I would stop the people and get them to fill out a card to try and win. What I didn't realize when I was on the other side of the curtain was that this was were the magic actually started. Because this was when I would hit them with a little mini pitch, to qualify them. I would ask them, if they won the set of encyclopedias, would it be something that they could use and appreciate? If they said yes, I had a qualified lead. Then I told them that for a few minutes of their time, to tell them about my books, I would give them a free book of their choice. Now of course a lot of people said no, but they did fill out the card with their address and telephone number. There were actually two different kinds of no. One was that NO, they wouldn't use or appreciate the set, but what the hell. Or something like that, but I didn?t care about them. If they answered my qualifying question with a yes, but NO, to sit down for a few minutes, I could always call them later. For the other people, the ones that answered my qualifying question with a yes, and they would sit for a few minutes, I know that most of them were just looking to get that nice free book they saw on my table. That was OK, because I just had to get them sitting at my table where I could deliver my sales pitch. I?ll tell you what, I cleaned up. I had thousands of people at those carnivals, or another way to say it, lots of traffic, and I would sell anywhere from one to seven sets a night. To knock on a thousand doors would take forever, but at the carnival, I just had to stand there and stop the traffic passing by. For the times when there wasn't a carnival, I had all those other leads. Those people who were interested but didn't want to stop at the carnival longer than to fill out a card. I would call them up and ask them if they remembered entering that encyclopedia contest at the carnival. Then after they said yes, I hit 'em with, Congratulations! You Won! Now they would usually get excited or something, and then I would tell them that, sorry, you didn't win the main prize, the free set of encyclopedias, but you did win a secondary prize. Your choice of a free book from our nice collection. We've got all sorts of nice books and novels, from fiction to non fiction, and while I'm there I'll quickly show you what other products we have, in case you ever have any interest in the future. It's real quick, only takes a few minutes. All I need to know is when would be a good time to stop by and drop off your prize. I'm going to be in your area on the 28th (let's say) and the 29th of this month, which would be a better day for you? After that, I got a good time of the day to stop by and I was in. They were ready to listen to my sales pitch. Any of this sounding familiar? I hope so, because it is the exact same concept as doing it online. If you don't see it, let me try it like this. Think of the carnival as your website, or your blog. Think of your opt-in to get their email as the free drawing. Think of the people who sit down at the carnival as your squeeze page. And lastly, think of the leads of qualified people that I called later as your email list or newsletter. It?s all about the traffic and your sales pitch. If you are getting the traffic but not selling, than there is either something wrong with your sales pitch or you are pitching the wrong people. Why was I selling great at carnivals and the qualifying leads afterwards? Because they were full of families and younger college GIs. People who really could use what I was selling. This was before the internet was what it is today of course, but my traffic was the right kind of traffic. Now if I wasn?t selling them, then I knew there was something wrong with my pitch, or squeeze page, and I had to look at it and refine. It?s the same thing online. At least that's how I am seeing it. What I couldn't really do with my books was scale up and outsource. That's what my boss was doing. He was getting a percentage off all of us salesmen. Man, he really must of been cleaning up. But anyways, that was my big light bulb moment. The one where I am still scratching my head thinking, what the hell took me so long. Studying good squeeze pages has really shown me how close these things are in style to my old sales pitch. I'm still smacking myself upside the head. And... for the first time in a long time, I am excited. It's been a while since I have sold anything other than my websites, and that has been about a year, but I am feeling good. I'm not thinking that I'm going to gain a fortune over night, although it would be nice and I will try. Always dream big I say. But I do have patience. I think with some practice, what i know about selling and all of the things I have been learning here, and elsewhere, I can do this. This week I bought my first domain and hosting in over a year and I am getting started. Actually the first in about three or four years. Everything else was for clients. But more to the point, I have started my site. I'm getting it set and plan to have things ready to go in a few days. Just have to finish up a few articles, writing some unique content, and a few small other things and she's off to the races. So if you made it this far, I warned you. I had a few beers. Just wanted to introduce myself, tell you about my light bulb moment, and my getting started. Best of luck to everyone, thanks again for the cool forum. and at some point I'll let you know how it's going. I'll try not to babble next time .