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How to Sell More In 2012, Featuring Pier One Imports + Hot Dogs. Yeah, Hot Dogs.

In: Marketing,

Holy disco ball, it’s 2012.

I’ve (just now) decided that this year is going to be all about less vodka, more water. …Maybe.

It’s also going to be about silk sheets, billiards, baseball hats, and love. Yeah, that’s right. Luh-uh-ve. I’m going to fall madly in love this year. And that person is going to fall madly in love with me back. I just know it.

He better be hot.

Anyway, while I was performing all of this high-level brainstorming, it occurred to me that I should probably come up with a few 2012 predictions for you, too.

You must be thrilled.

So here’s what I’m thinking 2012 is going to include for you:

  • Less water, more vodka
  • Sweatpants in every color
  • Your first big success
  • Your first big failure
  • Increased thoughts of homicide
  • Hot dogs (what? they are good)
  • Uncertainty
  • Frustration
  • Burnout
  • (I’m making your year sound awesome, aren’t I?)
  • A love hate relationship with the internet
  • A love hate relationship with yourself
  • A love hate relationship with everyone else
  • Deodorant. Lots of it. You know…from sweatin’ that to-do list. (Oooohhhhhh! Ambirge’s got jokes!)
  • Oh, and money.
  • Money.
  • MONEY.
  • Money that feels good to make.
  • Money that feels so good to make, you don’t even feel slightly guilty about impulsive purchasing that gorgeous sexpot of a mirror because it’s the hottest thing you’ve ever seen and you pretty much want to make love on top of it every single moment of every single day. Followed by heavy cigar smoking. Obviously.


That’s pretty much your 2012 in a nutshell.

But in between your hot dog filled, homicidal money making extravaganza this year, I want you to remember two very important things:

1. Eucalyptus is disgusting. (Unrelated)

2. No matter what you’re building, the key to selling is about MAKING PEOPLE CARE. 

I don’t care what business you’re in – the key to selling will always be about making people care.

Can we talk about Pier One for a minute?

Not because they’re the ones who sell that sex pot of a mirror, but because as I was perusing their site today, they sold me on something that I would have never purchased in infinity number of years:  Wicker.


The thought alone brings back images of grandmothers, mothballs and swirly pink, white and purple seat cushions.


I stumbled upon a sales page for wicker furniture, and caught myself getting really into it.

The reason?

Not only do they list the products and their descriptions, they include entire sections educating buyers on the intricacies of wicker furniture – what it is, how it differs from other types like rattan and cane, how wicker is made, and fun facts about wicker.

For example, did you know that it takes approximately 10,000 weavers to produce enough wicker merchandise to supply 1000 Pier 1 stores? And that an experienced weaver can only complete two chairs a day?

Fucking fascinating!

So there I was, reading all about wicker, and getting really into it. I found myself thinking: Wow – I want some wicker! It’s so exotic! 

A thought I’ve never had before.

Because before, I didn’t care.

But Pier One did an exceptional job of making me care today by giving me a nice, easily digestible interesting backstory that not only helped me to appreciate the furniture, but also make a new association in my head, from old lady to exotic.

And now I’m all hot for it.

And with that comes the third really important thing you need to remember for 2012:  Just because people aren’t shopping…doesn’t mean they aren’t buying. Understand how to leverage that, and 2012 is yours.

How to Use This Information

If you’re a web designer with a portfolio, I don’t want to just see your portfolio. I want to know the story behind what the client started with, what they wanted, and how you made it happen.

If you’re a life coach with services, I don’t want to just see your service. I want to know the story behind what your services have done for other people you’ve coached. You don’t need to include their real names. But tell their stories.

If you’re a makeup artist with before + after photos, I don’t want to just see before + after photos. I want to know the story behind how you accomplished the look, given that person’s situation.

If you’re a candle maker with a new collection, I don’t want to just see the collection. I want to know the story behind why this collection was imagined, which mood each evokes, and examples of perfect circumstances to light ’em.


As human beings, it’s stories we can connect with. It’s stories we can see ourselves in. It’s stories that make me feel something. It’s stories that make me care about you. And it’s stories that will make me give you my money.

Tell ’em.

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16 thoughts on "How to Sell More In 2012, Featuring Pier One Imports + Hot Dogs. Yeah, Hot Dogs."

  1. Slam dunk for the beginning of 2012. I will be improving my site to develop that care factor much more. I will also be committing to writing a blog post a week. It’s a tough one, but a pending move across the country (hopefully to a much more glamourous city than Orlando, FL) might be the kicking off point for starting my consulting. Stoked about the possibilities!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Congrats, Leslie! I will say this: Blogging is one way that I try to show my people that I care about them, if that makes sense. I’m here, keeping the connection alive, reaching out, and continually trying to provide value..and hoping they’ll join me and do things like come say hey in the comments section so we really *can* connect. 

      Try to think about it more like that, and less like a chore, and see what kind of magic happens. 🙂

  2. Stories sell.

    When people stop using their services as talking points, and start using stories about how their services helped real life people, it gets a gut reaction in the audience.

    Your product? Eh, who cares.

    You made an old lady weepy? Tell me more….

    1. Anonymous says:

      HA! “You made an old lady weepy…”  

      Well said, Sir Caelan! Errr…Sir Fire Juggler.  🙂 

      1. My juggling of flaming torches has only made an old lady weep ONE TIME. (Some stories, you just never live em down.)

  3. winfredroger says:

    Brilliant ideas buddy!! I’m glad you share a good post and it’s really very useful for me. I hope by following your tips I’ll be able to sale more in 2012. Thanks

  4. The down side of wicker, aside from the fact that it is contained in the name of one of many dreadfully awful Nick Cage movies (Wickerman), is that it is terribly difficult to maintain stealth silence while lounging in wicker. Might as well announce to the entire neighborhood that you getting frisky…. ehem, I meant relaxing, sipping a martini on the back porch. 

    In other news, I aim to take fewer shots in 2012, allowing my drinking endeavors to consist of more gin and tonics and scotch.


    1. Anonymous says:

      You make an EXCELLENT point. Note to self: Use indoors.