The Ugly Brown Liquid – You Gotta Know What You’re Selling

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Getting Noticed in a Noisy Marketplace

Ask a shoe salesman what he’s selling and he’ll probably tell ya “Shoes”. He might be able to squeak by for a while if that’s all he’s selling, but if a couple of other shoe stores open up next door, the guy better find a better answer.

I read somewhere that a guy asked the Chairman of Rolex, Andre Heiniger, “So, how’s the watch business?” Heiniger said “I have no idea”. The guy said “What are you talkin’ about? You’re the chairman of Rolex.” Heiniger responded: “Rolex is not in the watch business. Rolex is in the LUXURY business”.

You gotta know what you’re really selling!

It’s no coincidence that many of the car companies put models on the hood of their cars. They know what they’re selling…. And they don’t need the models to do it.

Let’s say you’re in the business of selling an ugly brown liquid. How would you do it? One company does it with paintings of gondolas in Venice, the gondolier enjoying a sensually shaped cup of coffee while he glides through the canal. What are they selling? They’re selling escape, romance, adventure…

It’s still an ugly brown liquid!

Another company sells it with a guy named Juan Valdez and a donkey. Another company sells a different ugly brown liquid, by getting Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears and Shakira to shake their assets on TV. They’re selling youth, excitement, a new generation, since their main competitor has already established itself first, over a hundred years ago, as the “Real Thing”.

In many beer commercials you see young “beautiful people” dancing around at parties having the time of their lives…They’re selling fun, a good time.

And so, the ugly brown liquids sell!

Ask yourself. What are you really selling? Escape? Youth? Fun? Hope? Relief? Comfort? Security? Freedom? If you don’t know what you’re selling, how can you sell it? Once you have the right WHAT, the HOW is EASY.

Don’t Be Wearing Two Hats

Have you ever introduced yourself at a business function by saying “I’m here today wearing two hats.” I hear that a lot. To your audience, that sounds like:

“Hi, I’m a rocket scientist and I sell gift baskets on the side…”

Don’t be saying that! Choose one and wear it!

I know it’s tempting. You think we’ll be more impressed if we see the full range of your many talents. We won’t. Not only do YOU have to know what you’re selling, so do we.

The Power of Focus

Movie makers understand, better than anyone, the power of focus. Whatever you focus the camera lens on, that’s what ends up on screen. Let’s say you’re videotaping a wedding. You could videotape the father of the bride getting drunk and knocking over the crystal centerpiece or you could capture the bride and groom having a quiet intimate moment. Same wedding, two entirely different pictures. You change the story you tell, the impact you have, the message you give, depending on what you focus on.

Choose one thing to focus on.

Some car companies do this really well. You know that Jeep commercial where the guy stops at a gas station and asks for directions? The attendant tells him something like this, “The place you want is just over the mountain, so you have to go down here, turn right, left at highway, around the bend…”

Meanwhile, the Jeep is halfway over the mountain. What’s the message of that commercial? The message is “Jeep Can Go Anywhere!”

They don’t mention that it has beautiful leather bucket seats or that it gets the best gas mileage. One message. You can go anywhere in a Jeep.

What does Volvo stand for? Safety. Everyone knows that. You never see a gorgeous model draped on the hood of a Volvo. (They tried to get me. Wasn’t available.)

You want a shortcut to the spotlight?
Forget your 95 different products and services. Choose one and promote it like crazy! Once you register with your audience, you can sell them other stuff. How can you sell ’em anything if they don’t know you exist? You gotta know what you’re selling.. used bugatti for sale

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