Book Review: The Silent Sales Machine

I’ve been getting into a daily regiment of book reading in the morning.  Brian Tracy (motivational speaker and businessman) recommends that you do at least one hour of reading in the morning (it can be anything as long as it’s uplifting or training your mind in some way.  Very similar to Saint Escriva’s view).

I had read this particular book before but I decided to have another go at it.  Since it had been so long I forgot how awesome of a book it really was.

The book that I’m talking about is the Silent Sales Machine from Jim Cockrum.  Without going into detail, he is basically the Godfather of Internet Marketing and in selling physical products online. Seriously, he’s been around since the Internet was born.

Anyway, one of the things that really struck me about this book is how simple it is. As an entrepreneur I found that it’s very hard to sift through a lot of the information that’s out there. There is so much that you can read about marketing, sales, building websites, selling things online, etc., that you can literally go insane if you tried to take it all in. The difference with the Silent Sales Machine is that there is no fluff – it’s all gold nuggets.

Had I read this book 5 years ago and followed everything in it I would have been in a much better situation than I am right now. Not that I’m in a bad situation, but I would’ve had a much bigger audience and a much larger business than I do now.

Hopefully I’m not going to ruin the book for you but I wanted to go into some of the best points that he makes that have literally changed my life by implementing them. Luckily I’ve seen a lot of other Catholic blogs and websites start implementing some of the things that are in the Silent Sales Machine so I have no doubt that they will see the same success that I have seen.

Some cool little tidbits from the book

Build an email list before you build a website – it seems counterintuitive but it is far more important to build an email list of prospects before you build a website. Well, I shouldn’t say before you build a website, but your email list should be vastly more important to you than your website is. Why? The reason it’s more important is because when you have an email list of people who have Artie raised their hand telling you that they want to hear what you have to say and possibly buy what you have to sell, you have the ability to change anything at any time and still have those same prospects with you.

For example, what if you wanted to change your domain name to something completely different? Well, if you didn’t have an email list you would have to make sure that you redirect every returning visitor to your new domain. That is, if they still even know that you exist. Maybe they haven’t been back to your blog in years since you are no longer at the top of their mind. Well, if you had an email list you could very quickly send an email letting them know that you are changing domains and that you would love to get the feedback on everything.

Without an email list you lose people very, very easily.

Always seek the low hanging fruit – 95% of everybody who claims to teach you how to make money online regurgitates the same thing. Essentially, they’ll tell you to find a niche, build a website, start creating blog content, sell something or be an affiliate, and then try to rank number one on Google.

Listen, while that sounds nice, it rarely works anymore and it takes a ton of time (six months to two years) to work.

There are much easier ways to make some side income. Sell baked goods at your parish, fix people’s computers, sell things on eBay, learn how to use Amazon FBA, etc. The point is that anything that you are doing as a Catholic entrepreneur that is potentially going to make money should see results in last than a week. Don’t waste your time trying to do something that takes longer than that because at the end of the day if it doesn’t work you’ve wasted weeks, months, and possibly years of your life.

Systematize, systematize, systematize – This kind of goes along with the idea of having an email list, from the simple fact that with an email list you can create auto responders that automatically send messages to your prospects. While that might seem cold and impersonal, the exact opposite is true. You see when people sign up for your email list they want to know more about you and what you do. By having an autoresponder system you’re able to give them your story without having to do it yourself every time. They really don’t care, or demand that you personally send the same email over and over again for every new prospect coming into your newsletter.

But more than just an autoresponder, part of being in a business is building something that’s bigger than yourself. This is where the Catholic virtue of humility comes into play very prominently. In order to be good in business you need to be able to let go of control in certain situations or to face the fact that someone else may be better than you in a particular area. Heck, it may be delegating a recurring task to an automated system of some sort. The long and the short is that when you start building systems you start building something that grows and makes income over time. This was huge for me when I was working full time at my aerospace job. I would see sales come in from my WordPress plug-ins and from email autoresponder campaigns that I did not have to touch.

Conclusion

I love this book. It’s simple, it’s straight into the point, and best of all it works. Jim is an awesome guy, he is the reason my cousin and I are able to be full-time entrepreneurs (yesterday was my first full week of being a full-time entrepreneur), and he is a Christian. He helped a ton of people and as of writing this I think his book is only $5 if you buy it online (he’s nuts for selling it at that price). I would highly recommend checking it out.

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