Today’s Word: amortize (verb) – To amortize (AM-er-tize) is to gradually pay off the initial cost of an obligation (such as a mortgage or car loan). As used by Porter Bibb, best known as the first publisher of Rolling Stone: “NBC corporate is looking to get the best return they can on the $80 million that they paid for the broadcast rights to the World Series. Obviously, the longer the series runs, the better they do in amortizing their investment in getting the rights.”

Did You Know?: Male penguin court a female by searching the beach for the perfect pebble and placing it in front of her.

Worth Quoting: “By the age of fifty, you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth.” – Marya Mannes

Q&A

Why You Must Know (or Learn) How to Sell Your Products

LD wants to know: As the founder/head of a business, if you have some other sort of expert knowledge, is it necessary to learn the marketing side as well?

The short answer is “yes.”

If you are not an expert marketer yourself, it makes sense for you to partner with someone who is. But don’t allow yourself to stay ignorant of the marketing and sales secrets. You must learn them as they are discovered. As founder/head of the business, you must become a master at selling your product/service… even if someone else does the actual work.

If you don’t, you will always be at the mercy of your marketer. If sales are good, he will be able to demand more compensation than you want to give. And if you refuse, he can leave you without a marketing machine. Or worse… he might start another business to compete against you.

So if you are not an expert marketer now, you are going to have to engage someone to fill that role. Problem is, you won’t be in a position to know if the person you hire is up to the job.

After a few weeks or months, you may find out that he doesn’t meet your needs. And then what will you do? My suggestion: Pay a big signing bonus to acquire the best talent you can. But write a contract that lets you disengage after 3 to 6 months if you are dissatisfied with him for any reason.

And let your new marketer know that he has two jobs: to sell your products and to show you exactly what he’s doing. That way, if you do have to let him go (or if he leaves), you won’t be completely up the sales and marketing ditch.