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The White Bread Post

Posted at Independent Publisher’s Discussion Group Nov. 8, 1997 at 15:42 (slight revisions)


Several years ago I did demo work; a lot of grocery store food sampling included. My toughest challenge was white bread and the first time I sampled it out, it was miserable.

My supervisor told me "NO ONE can sell white bread". My ego accepted the challenge. Actually I put about as much enthusiasm into it as a garden slug. So the first thing I did was change my attitude.

That week I became like "Bubba" in the movie FORREST GUMP; I fried it, sautéed it, baked it , broiled it, well you get the picture.

The next Saturday I set up the mother of all demo displays, with multiple fondues, oven broiler and trusty fry pan. I was no longer selling "great tasting sandwich bread" as I did the week before.

NO, I had uncovered the most versatile, inexpensive and tasty food product ever created, the AMAZING, incredible White Bread.

I showed those people that white bread was simply the greatest thing ever created.

I sold every loaf of white bread in the store by 11 am, I had started at 9 am. The bakery was just a few blocks away (at the corner of Newberry and Broad for you locals) and they rushed another truck load, which people were buying as it was coming off the truck.

The manager said he had never seen anything like it, and quite frankly, neither had I.

Personally, this confirmed what I had always been taught, and strongly believe; you can’t do anything well without enthusiasm.

Which I certainly lacked the first try. Also, it showed to me that when it comes to selling, the "sizzle" is indeed as powerful as the steak itself.

NOW then. This past month I was commissioned to review 500 web sites, 250 were chosen for me, and the half from my favorite files.

A year ago I bought one of those huge "yellow page" directories of web sites, complete with CD, and as of today, fully ½ of the entries are no longer valid. Most have just disappeared.

Most of the web sites that are trying to sell something (my estimate is 80%) are folks that have plain old white bread sitting on the shelf begging to be bought.

I urge you to have some trusted friends review your web page honestly, because if these sites continue, nothing is going to happen for you. I know people who have been out here a year and have never made a single sale from their site.

Since Cyberspace has been compared to Disney World (well it has been NOW) most web sites are those little "Dumbo" rides that go around in circles and it bores even the 3 year olds quickly.

Some sites, like this one, are and E-ticket ride. What is Bill Myers doing right? Of the 12 people that visited his site for the first time this month, 9 of them commented on the printing press on the home page. It’s somehow magical, and it makes you want to know what’s being printed. It’s one of the most effective animated graphics in use.

Secondly, it allows the lurker (stalker for some of you) the chance to observe. I have NO idea, but I’d bet that for every one person that actually posts, there are 5-10 or more people that don’t. But they are here and they come back, and eventually, probably will buy something.

The content changes on a daily and monthly basis. It is one of the best intersections in this lake of the Internet for both technical and marketing minds to mingle. Each bringing what the other is seeking.

This site is ONE of the successful models you can use in constructing your own sites. Those of you that have sites, ask yourself what it is about your product or service that excites you, that makes you proud to sell it.

What is there (at your site) that creates ENTHUSIASM for you? Enthusiasm that you can share with others.

Because, (and this is of course MY opinion) a great many people have sites that could be used as sleeping pill substitutes. There simply isn’t any reason to stay there.

If you have a great product or service, then I encourage you to go "into the kitchen" and stay there until you can be as proud of your product or service as a White House Chef is over Thanksgiving Dinner.

Give me a reason to sample your site. Catch my attention QUICKLY, and give some options. Try to sell me too soon, and I’m gone.

Even if your product is like white bread, tell me about the delicious bread pudding, the scrumptious French toast, the mouth watering cheese fondues, the tasty bread crumbs, the savory croutons. Make my mouth water, THEN,


And give me a reason to come back, again and again.

You want to conquer the Net? First, conquer yourself and get excited about what you are doing and convey that to me at your web site.

Marketing on the Internet: it’s NOT about graphics, or programs, or whiz bang OH boy technologies.

It is about YOU. If you have the ENTHUSIASM and are enjoying what you are doing, you will find a way to market successfully on the Net. If all you want is to score some big money without effort, you’re destined to join the Boca crowd that brags about Fed pen time for ‘scamming the pigeons’.


OK, I’m off my bread box,


Gordon Alexander


Copyright © 2000 Gordon J. Alexander and Seeds of Wisdom Publishing, All Rights Reserved