This Phrase Is A Steaming Pile Of Horse Shit: “Sell Without Selling”

  • When I was 9 years old I wanted to be a professional baseball player.
  • When I was 13 years old I was convinced I would play basketball professionally.
  • When I was 17 I wanted to be a rockstar.

Obviously, I do all three of these things professionally now in my 20’s.

This article will talk about the secrets behind my success as a dual-sport professional athlete & rockstar.

/end joke

Everybody (myself included) wants things that we aren’t willing to work for and flat out don’t deserve.

I’d say I was working 95% harder than most people at baseball, basketball and especially guitar. The end result was me being “pretty good” at all these things and nothing more. Because in order to be a professional, we all know that you have to work harder than 99% of the general population… in some cases 99.9%.

This idea of working hard at sports is generally accepted. It’s not a hard concept to understand.

But for some reason people wont accept this when it comes to biznass…

In my copywriting course, I send people to sales letters that are juggernauts. Sales letters, ads, and websites that are selling MILLIONS of dollars worth of product per month.

And yet, I’ll get heavy aversion from certain people.

“I would never buy this. I cannot learn a thing from this ad. Send me something else.”

The same people that are struggling to make ends meet and sell stuff… refuse to look at a proven sales letter that sells [a lot of] stuff.

You sir… are an idiot.

It’s like a pro quarterback saying, “I will not look at game tapes… or, I will not look at how other successful quarterbacks throw the ball because I don’t want to throw like that.”

If you want to make money, what do you need?


If you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business.

Yet, we all want to sell stuff without selling.


This “sell without selling” phrase is a major bullet-point you’ll see savvy marketers use. They know how much people have an aversion to selling.

“Sell stuff without selling” is the equivalent of a trainer telling an athlete to “build muscle without moving”. (Which, incidentally, is why diet pills sell).

(Yes, yes, yes you don’t have to be an asshole when you sell — it should be a consultative process with equal value exchanged on both sides. Yes. Smart people know that.)

If an athlete wants to be a pro, he practices hard and learns everything he can about the sport. If a guitarist wants to write beautiful music, he practices hard and learns everything he can about music.

If a person wants to start a successful business… does he avoid learning how to sell? Does he try to “sell without selling”?

Get real amigo.

Published by

Derek Johanson

The personal blog of Derek Johanson.

3 thoughts on “This Phrase Is A Steaming Pile Of Horse Shit: “Sell Without Selling””

  1. Great post. We all look for shortcuts and try to avoid the work that we know has to be done to achieve a goal. Even in the rare cases that shortcuts do work we aren’t able to replicate our efforts and fall back into our old habits, having gained nothing. “Easy come, easy go.”

  2. This. This a thousand times this.

    I won’t enter the argument of ‘selling without selling’, but instead, why sell. It’s simple enough.

    If you have a solution that will improve another person’s life, you have the obligation to introduce them to it and help them incorporate it.

    At times this will require challenging their view of the world, or being an asshole, or just closing the sale and having them commit to an action. However it’s done, it’s fulfilling an obligation to help someone else.

    So sales isn’t being pushy. It’s not about forcing people to take an action they’re uncomfortable with.

    It’s about fulfilling your obligation to improve their quality of life with a solution you know works.


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