Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We're All Kindle Salespeople

What a great model Amazon is building: No advertising other than their own website and an army of Kindle enthusiasts out there helping them hype the product. I think we should be on Amazon's payroll...sort of.

I say this because last night I found myself in yet another situation where I was basically hand-selling another Kindle for Jeff Bezos & Co. I was talking with a friend and happened to have my Kindle handy. I showed it to him as he oohed and aahed. I have no doubt he went straight home and ordered one last night.

Btw, this was yet another example of the awareness problem Amazon faces with the Kindle. He too is a regular Amazon customer but has never noticed any of the Kindle ads on Amazon's home page. Never. Ever. He had no idea what the name Kindle referred to; a "Kindle" could be a new type of chair for all he knew. I asked him about that and he said he's "always on a mission" when he goes to Amazon. "I head right to that search box, type in what I'm looking for and never bother to look at anything else on their home page." Interesting.

Back to my payroll suggestion... Why doesn't Amazon have a simple little order-taking application we can all run on our Kindles? Even something as bare-bones as one screen with a couple of text-entry boxes where we can put the prospective buyer's name and e-mail address would do the trick; thanks to the magic of Whispernet the info would go right to Amazon and they could then send the prospect a message with more info on the Kindle. They could also track you or I as the lead originator, so if an order results, we'd get credit for it.

What sort of credit am I suggesting? The affiliate fee is nice and all, but how about a free Kindle book or two? Turn it into a competition. Have a leaderboard showing the top 10 originators. There would be a lot of friendly competition to hit the #1 slot!

I'm on the road a bit over the next couple of weeks and I'm anticipating plenty of questions from fellow airline passengers as I read my Kindle. Amazon has an excellent opportunity to turn these little readers into order-takers as well!


Gutsy Living said...

I completely agree with you. I just attended the Santa Barbara Writers' conference and a friend had a Kindle which she showed to at least 10 people in one evening. I asked her if she was getting a commission and she said, "No." I honestly thought she was, considering the brilliant way she promoted it.

WING WIFE said...

A friend of mine who attended a writing conference with me last week sent me your link. I know I sold five Kindles just in the one week--one to the waitress who spent more time talking to me and looking at my Kindle than in serving her other customers-- and probably many more. I talked to a least a hundred and fifty people about my wonderful e-reader. I became known as the woman with the Kindle that Amazon should pay to promote her device. I don't care. I'm a fan. I went to Spain three weeks ago with just one small suitcase--no more lugging a second suitcase to carry my fifteen hardback books.

Steve said...

Joe, I think this is a brilliant idea, and well within the realm of Amazon's engineer capacities as well as its marketing vision. Each Kindle owner could automatically receive an Amazon Associate tag and account (if he doesn't already have one), and the Kindle could be "wired" so that an email could go out automatically with a "click this link to order your Kindle now." Amazon could even set it up so that the $35.90 affiliate fee could be split with the buyer, so that in addition to your handselling you would also be offering a prospective buyer a nice 5% discount for jumping on it right away through the link.

The profit motive would of course inspire a lot of evangelism - $17.95 a conversation is nothing to sneeze at. I feel a new chapter of my book percolating as I think about the possibilities here -- I hope you won't mind if I credit you for the idea when I wrote about it.

A Kindle Home Page

Joe Wikert said...

Hi Steve. Please feel free to add this one to your new chapter. The more people we can get talking it up, the better!