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Upside Down Selling: How to Rock at Sales Even If You Hate Selling

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Today on The Rise To The Top: Is selling something you love or does it give you that ewwww feeling (and you’re picturing the used car salesman in the tweed coat)? For most of us creative Internet entrepreneurs, selling face-to-face isn’t the most fun thing in the world…whether it is going after a sponsor, speaking gig, partnership, whatever. Fear not my friends, as master of the “un-sale” Ian Altman is here today to teach us a new, non-pushy way to sell (upside down selling) step-by-step. Enjoy!

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  1. RebeccaLivermore says:

    Ian, thanks so much for all of the great information.  I am in a situation right now that I’d like your input on. Someone referred a potential client to me. He expressed interest in me, and I, to some degree, tried to persuade him that I may not be the right blog writer for him. For instance, I let him know that I have no experience writing for his particular niche. I also let him know that I know other writers that I can refer him to who may be a better fit. In spite of me giving him multiple “outs,” he is determined that I’m the writer he wants to hire.

    But when it comes time for a phone appointment, he keeps flaking out on me. I’m not sure how to interpret these mixed messages or what I should do next. My inclination is to drop it, unless he pursues me hard. Is that what you would recommend? Or maybe I should drop him even if he pursues me hard. . . thoughts?



    1. Ian Altman says:

      Rebecca,  Thank you for taking the time to ask a question that I’m sure strikes a chord with many others. 
      It is great that you know where you have a great fit, and where you don’t. You are also highlighting one of the funny results of Upside-Down Selling. Namely, when you stop pushing and instead pull back, your prospects tend to chase YOU. So, even when you have said that you are not the right fit, he is trying to convince you that it IS.

      In terms of just dropping it, I am a bigger fan of active rather than passive conclusions. Meaning, I would rather reach a definitive conclusion than leave it up in the air. You might even leave a message for him that says “My sense is that I am not the best fit for you. If you are serious about finding a writer, I can introduce you to one or more people who could be a great fit. You may have either found another writer, or have decided not to pursue it right now. Please let me know either way, so I don’t feel like I dropped the ball.”

      Bottom line:  If you know it is not a good fit, then walk away. Otherwise, you’ll end up growing your business in an area that is not strategic, and it will take you away from the right opportunities.

      Best Regards,

      1. Ian, thanks for your feedback on this. I especially appreciate the last paragraph, because that may be what I need to do.

      2. David Siteman Garland says:

         Great questions and awesome feedback!

  2. Ian Altman says:

    I started to reply to Rebecca here instead of within the thread. Apologies for the confusion.

  3. Stephen Lahey says:

    Interesting interview w/good consultative selling advice. If you view yourself as a consultant and a potential partner – then your conversations with people will be more comfortable and effective – you’ll sell more.

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

       Especially if you can get away from “free consulting” 🙂

      1. Stephen Lahey says:


  4. Daniel Kapuschinsky says:

    Hey I think Ian was great I could have watch for another hour, great show.

    1. Ian Altman says:

      Daniel – Thank you for the kind feedback. I’ll have to share your comment with my wife and children when they are sick of me.

    2. David Siteman Garland says:

       I feel ya Daniel. I could as well! (and many more hours)

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8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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