Some time back I was reading a book by Tom Hopkins (made his money in real estate) who said “Be a product of the product.” I believe he was trying to make a point that if you are going to try to get someone to buy something, you should be using the product yourself. I was involved in an episode where I was trying to sell someone on a certain type of home refinancing and the prospective client asked me point-blank “Is this what you do?” Well, being as how I had not used that particular type of home refinancing myself, it was a pretty awkward moment.
There was definitely a lesson to be gained from that moment. Things would have been so much easier if I had been able to say well yes I do and that would have put the client more at ease. Now I admit, there are cases involving products that I promote that I myself do not actually buy. I have set up Amazon affiliate websites promoting cameras and laptops that I do not actually own. But these are products that involves things I am interested in and am confident that if the customer is not satisfied, he or she can follow a simple process to get a refund.
But herein lies another scenario; let’s say that you are promoting a product that you use and for some reason, you decide that you are not satisfied with the products performance? This happened to me recently with a mobile phone application that started having some problems with how it worked. Whenever I was playing some of the videos that were available with this application, for some reason they would just pause. Needless to say it was pretty frustrating and got to the point where I would not want to be getting a call from someone saying “What is it with this thing that you got me to buy?”
So I made the decision to cancel my subscription to this phone application and since then have decided I am okay with that. It was unfortunate that things worked out this way since I was enjoying use of the app while it appeared to be working properly. But just knowing that there were some glitches involved made it practically impossible for me to move forward trying to promote this product to others when I myself knew that there may be some “hiccups” along the way.
So my recommendation is that whenever possible, be a “product of the product” when promoting it to others and if it’s not feasible to own the product yourself, make sure that there is an avenue for your customers to follow in case any problems occur after the sale. The long-term effect on your reputation definitely outweighs the short-term satisfaction of making a sale.
My thanks to Tom Hopkins for making me aware of this vital concept.