" . . . it only takes a bit of concerted action on any one of those ideas that you believe in to make your fortune. I just have one lifetime. I've already made 'my fortunes."
Some ideas seem so unbelievably obvious that we have to dumb ourselves down to even think it COULD BE A SUCCESS! I know that I have been caught in this trap. When I first saw the idea of the now well-known if not famous example of the infomercials one late night TV that I started seeing a few years ago for SNUGGIES! When I first saw it, I laughed critically and remarked to my wife that it was a stupid idea and a dub commercial. We made a habit of personally jesting about the commercials and doing mocking the commercials with our own spontaneous satirical remakes of the commercials every time we saw one.
"In that same vein is found the sizzle that you need to sell your product. You need to think about every possible problem that your products and services can solve."
Well, as you probably know, the joke was on us. I suppose those folks were laughing all the way to the bank. It has been one of the biggest marketing success yet of this century. "But it is just a stupid blanket, I have said ." But therein lies my point. I think this is what a famous old car salesman named Frank Betcher meant when he famously said, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." What does that mean? I mean, really think abou5t that and try to verbalize in a simple paragraph what the saying means. It it is not easy. It isa lot deeper than you suspect. Within the meat behind this saying is a powerful sales lesson that you need to know. It has a lot to do with presentation.
Betcher wrote a great book on sales almost three-quarters of a century ago. I'll try to find a reference and include it in this post. Frank Becker's book is about car sales, but his concepts are universal marketing and sales concepts which can and should be applied today. I haven't consciously thought about that book in half a century, but I just realized that many of the concepts found therein are still with me. I read this book along time ago. I'm not sure that I understood it completely when I read it. I was a struggling young salesman (even when I was a photographer I still had to sell my services) who had little more than a need and a desire to make money.
There were not many good books about sales then. At first I thought Betcher's book was pretty lame. It seemed outdated and not vary applicable o either my market or my products. I was wrong.
"I sometimes try to help my wife "sell and market" her product and services to the point of her annoyance at times. She sometimes says, "Just stop! I can't even implement all the things I have put in motion this far."
Today, I am sometimes called idea-factory. That's not necessarily a good thing either. I have an almost uncontrollable flow of ideas about how to do this or that--and it is often focused upon sales and marketing tasks. My health keeps me penned up, without the action outlets that I once had. I help my wife "sell and market" her product and services to the point of her annoyance at times. She sometimes says, "Just stop! I can't even implement all the things I have put in motion this far." My bad. so I let them slip on through my head. Occasionally I capture a few notes on paper. I have a lifetime of notebooks that fill a small closet.
I will present more of these ideas for those who are interested. Maybe someday ages hence, someone will find boxes of notebooks at a garage sale and use them to make their fortune. No probably not. When I die, my kids will probably toss all these old yellowed notebooks and the ideas will then be gone--until someone else has them, writes them down, and takes time to implement them. You see, great ideas are a dime a dozen. But it only takes a bit of concerted action on any one of those ideas that you believe in to make your fortune. I just have one lifetime. I've already made "my fortunes".
Let me provide an idea that somewhat exemplifies the thought processes that you probably already are using. Maybe this will merely validate YOU and help you to have the courage to act on the.
These came on the fly and I happened to write them down. I would probably get into house-building during this down-turned economy--if I had one more lifetime. But here's how the ideas usually flow.
Okay, we had a bunch of storms during the recent Spring of 2011. They hit close to home Many peoples lives were disrupted. Many lives were lost. There have not been that many violent storms in our area for about a dozen years. They've been somewhere thoug, and the potential has always existed. It is just that we got lucky and were not hit head-on by the kinds of tornadoes that often go aloft or go around us or dissipate before arriving here. You know towns and cities in these parts only represent a small percentage of the total land-mass in most states.
I have sometimes noticed while driving cross-country on the Interstate highways a big swath of trees twisted and torn where an unmonitored tornado touched down. It went relatively unnoticed because it did not hurt anyone--or very few people. But tornadoes and extreme straight-line winds are constantly going on SOMEWHERE. The threat may be statistically very low for you being killed by a tornado any given season. Over time or during the compressed time of a really bad weather seasons, the odds star5t stacking against you. Ask the people in Joplin or Tuscaloosa about those statistics.
Given the other things a good storm-shelter can be used for. Things which are becoming more and more obviously useful, such as a constant-temperature emergency food-storage area or a safe-room for use in a home-invasion or even social unrest. You can read about such social unrest of out-of-control mobs due to food shortages, heat-waves, civil disobedience and what-not ANY DAY OF THE WEEK RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. What if Iran gets the bomb. Lord knows, and they are just one. I'm not trying to fear-monger--I am jut sayin . . .
Now think about an idea that an enterprising builder might have.
I have long thought that a market for "small" houses now exists. I also feel that a good civil engineer would have the creds to design and endorse a structurally sound add-on or stand-a-lone storm shelter right now and even build and install them and make a fortune right now. New house builders have almost routinely been building them under carports for quite a few years. It is always considered and "extra expense" or a luxury.
". . . Anyone can play the "ain't if awful game". But what we want ot do is to carry this negative trend a step farther and play the "now lets fix it game." As a salesman and/or marketer, that's what you are. A fixer. I cannot think of any product or services that does into fix someones real or perceived needs. If yours does not, good luck with that. But I am sure it does."
Some smart marketer should present it as a "free bonus", and just build the cost into the overall estimate. If people ask for a price without it, say, "the same, it is free". That may sound stupid, but it could then be used to "spec out", as it is called, the competition. There are ways to present it in such a way that it is not optional and therefore must be met by the same specs and engineering creds so that the competition will never "get it" in time to win a bid.
I have previously expressed my thoughts about doing this same thing with "green" building almost to the extent of "free" energy. Over the long haul it really is free. "Pencil-selling" is the way Xerox sold their very expensive copiers and owned the entire industry for nearly fifty years. No one could figure out what they were doing. They were simply cost -justifying their high prices so that an ideal ROI (return on investment) is achieved. But it was all based on standard that they set up themselves. It's not lying, cheating, or doing anything illegal or unethical--it is merely "all in the presentation".
This is how inventions, ideas, plans, products, and services are born. Anyone can play the "ain't if awful game". But what we want ot do is to carry this negative trend a step farther and play the "now lets fix it game." As a salesman and/or marketer, that's what you are. A fixer. I cannot think of any product or services that does into fix someones real or perceived needs. If yours does not, good luck with that. But I am sure it does.
In that same vein is found the sizzle that you need to sell your product. You need to think about every possible problem that your products and services can solve. Write them down. There are undoubtedly problems that your product can solve that even the inventor and manufacturers haven't thought of. This requires true creative thought. A unique application for an existing product or service that you sell is just icing on the competitive cake that you can use to rule out the competition.