To make money, you must sell something

Everywhere I go, there's someone trying to sell me something be it insurance products, investment products or tissue paper. They're quite a pain but I got to consider that perhaps they have been working on something that I haven't - that is, to sell something.

A great number of us have been brought up to think that the normal course of life is to study and then get a job in some company, preferably a big multi-national or global one. Basically, selling a certain amount of time for a certain amount of money each month. To earn more money, we must be able to sell the same amount of time for a greater amount of money or work more hours to earn more. One problem with this method of earning money is that our time is finite. It is also humanly impossible to sell 24 hours everyday to maximise our income.

In this sense, people who do commission-based sales have superior earning potential then the person who sells 8 hours a day for $x. But the down-side also needs to be considered. For commission-based sales people, in bad times they can earn nothing at all. For the hourly-salaried worker, in bad things they could get retrenched. So why do people not choose the job that has greater up-side, i.e. commission-based sales jobs, when the down-side to both jobs are the same?

False ideas about jobs

1. False sense of security and stable income
Everyone now knows that there's no such thing as having a job for life. Companies don't value loyalty anymore although they say they do. Generally, people who job hop tend to have higher salaries than those who don't. As for having a stable income, if companies don't retrench people, they can always lay off their staff indefinitely or cut their salaries and bonuses.

2. The old idea of what a "good" job is

There's a false perception that people who work in a certain place, dress in a certain way, have certain job titles, and get to meet/interact with certain people, hold "good" jobs; people who work in the business district vs the industrial areas, dress in business suits vs t-shirt and jeans, directors vs consultant, and those who meet big shots vs a back-office job are held in high esteem.

3. Everyone thinks they can climb the corporate ladder and dreams of becoming a highly paid CEO
Only 1 out of many thousands of people can achieve this dream. I don't mean to say that one shouldn't dream; I'm saying don't be surprised if it doesn't happen.

So I think commission-based salespeople have gotten at least part of the formula right, i.e. the best way to make money is to sell something that is not directly related to the amount of hours that are put in. The other part of the formula is what product(s) they are selling.

Sell once, reap many (earn passive income)
Ideally, they want to sell something once and reap the benefits of commission for a period of time. E.g. insurance salespeople get commissions over the first few years, unit trust distributors get commissions as long as you are holding the fund. (This is why they advise you to invest for the long-term)

Make once, sell many (to reap economies of scale)
The best example would be Microsoft Windows. They only need to make it once, and then sell to as many buyers as possible. For upgrades to the product, they only upgrade it once, then sell again to as many buyers as possible. This model is far better than selling, say curry puff, which you are required to make for each customer.

Create more, sell more (cross-selling)
If I regard Britney Spears as a product, she started off by selling her music albums, then she created products to sell that had nothing to do with her singing like perfume and clothes.

Before I graduated, I had already figured it out that the way to make money is to sell something rather than to be paid by the hour. But I did not take on any job (after graduation) that required me to be involved in sales because I knew that if I wanted to sell something, I must believe in the product. So far, I had not found anything to sell that I believe and provides sufficient rewards to me in return. This might change in the near future. I thought of something but the product has yet to be created.


Anonymous said...

Yu Kym, i 100% agree with this post and i like it so much..These are the facts that cannot be seen by a lot of people out there who are still trying very hard to climb up the ladders to become CEO.
Well, i read all these facts in rich dad , poor dad also. If you do not have any good product to loon into it. I suggest you to have a look at this:

The best Anti-aging tonic in the world, may be it will go to singapore soon....=)

Anonymous said...

For a start, you could sell me some exotic condoms and your nude photo

Yu-Kym said...

Anon, I've not read Rich Dad, Poor Dad yet though it's on my to-read list. Are you selling the anti-aging products?

KFR, condoms, maybe. Nude photo, no. Because I don't want to do anything that can't be printed on the front page of the newspaper!

Anonymous said...

Y Kym, your blog is primarily sex edu and travel, anything along those lines should be considered. Travel, sex, toys, gadgets, sex, sex, sex and more sex. Wish you sexccess, i am sure all your fans support too....Kfr

~Pink Miu Miu~ said...

I have learnt my lesson and wont try to sell a product coz i realized what works for me might not be suitable to the rest thus i 'sell' the concept, get the 'concept' right then everything else will work out.. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi yu Kym, i am Anon A
Yes i am a independent distributor of Shaklee company in Malaysia, its a product of Shaklee company, the no 1 supplement company in US. You can find a lot of its products in Singapore pharmacy also. That company uses multi level marketing plan in Malaysia. This Vivix sold out in Malaysia in 3 hours. Thats really a thing that you can spend some time to ponder on it...=)

Lols, that's what I doing. But I still have a full time job. In case any thing happen I can use active income to hold it there. But my passive incomes is always more. Lols.

Anonymous said...

Sg Pornstar, you mean you are a Shaklee distributor also?....=)...yeah, passive income always more than active income.....XD

Yu-Kym said...

KFR, it's going to be related to what I enjoy doing now :)

Pink Miu Miu, what concept did you sell?

Singapore Pornstar, it's great that you start earning money when you're now a student!

Junjie said...

One more thing about learning sales, it teaches you when salespeople are trying to pull a fast one over you.

The classic textbook on this topic is Influence, by Robert Cialdini. (I'm not selling that book to you, you can just borrow it at our local libraries.) I guarantee you that you will get loads and loads of blog ideas from that book! :)

Yu-Kym said...

Junjie, I've just added it to my book list. Thanks for the recommendation ;)