Selling by giving

PresentI was asked by Paul Thornton to contribute to a booklet he’s writing called How to Succeed in Today’s Business World. Paul wanted to know the best piece of business advice I’ve ever received.

This is what I submitted:
One day, quite by accident, I found an article on the internet by some crazy Lithuanian guy called Andrius Kulikauskas. As if his name wasn’t strange enough in itself, the article examines what it would mean to give everything away.

The premise of the article was this:

I accept the idea that I should give everything away.

The challenge is to put this into practice. This is a design problem for personal life and social economy. We can venture attempts and draw experience from them.

My intent is to clarify the problem and offer solutions, especially by documenting ideas that have proven helpful in giving everything away.

This sparked the idea of selling through giving, and that has been the single most efficient and fun sales tool I have ever tried. In every single sales situation I face, I ask myself this question: What can I give?

It’s clear that I can’t give everything away. I couldn’t make a living if I did.

But I repeatedly and reliably find that the more I give away, the more I get back. That my sales results are directly proportional to my generosity.

Not to mention the fact that approaching any situation with an intent to give is much more fulfilling, natural and fun, making “selling by giving” not only more efficient but also more – dare I say it – giving.

3 thoughts on “Selling by giving”

  1. Alexander, I’m very glad to find your post! and to learn how you’ve gone further.

    I invite you and all to join our Minciu Sodas laboratory’s working groups Cyfranogi http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyfranogi on community currency, open economy, participatory society led by John Rogers of WICC and also Back to the Root http://groups.yahoo.com/group/backtotheroot/ on leadership development led by Jeff Buderer.

    As you know, we serve independent thinkers and encourage the investigatory approach that you are clearly and openly taking. And perhaps we might do business! I’m currently working with Thomas Kalka to create a system for keeping track of who in our network is available for work. Peace, Andrius

  2. Alexander, Please take a minute to read the terms of your Creative Commons license. “You may not use this work for commercial purposes.” and “If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.”

    Our laboratory works in the Public Domain except as noted. You’ve quoted from my article which is in the Public Domain, copyright-free. But if I include your kind words in a letter of mine, then my entire letter “builds upon your work” and so my entire letter is placed under this license, and so does every reply, and for all I know, our entire archive. Note that the law is not clear as to what is fair use, so in practice, regardless of what the license says, it is restricting fair use.

    Also, our laboratory attempts to give everything away, but that does not mean we are noncommercial. Indeed, in order to have sustainable activity we need to be commercial. In fact, the whole point of me caring about your kind words is that I might attract attention that could lead to commercial activity. What noncommercial use could one have from your blog I don’t know. So the “noncommercial” feature of the license actually favors those who are “nonsustainable”, those who do not need to worry about making a living.

    In general, the license restricts those who care about the rules and frees those who don’t care. Shouldn’t it work the other way?

    This is why we work in the Public Domain except as noted http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org Your “share a like” clause conflicts with “except as noted”!

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