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The jerk, the jackal and the jaybird...marketing in modern times. [Archive] - SOWPub Small Business Forums


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April 3, 2007, 09:29 AM
Some of you have read this, if so, glance over it as a refresher, the follow-up post may have some relevance to you. Thanks.
The Prospect as Product

One hot summer day in 1986 a very dour and surly man came into MACE Electronics at the Chapel Hill Mall store in Akron, Ohio. He practically yelled at the approaching salesman; “GET OUT OF MY FACE.” A little later he motioned for the salesman to approach him.

Then after two hours of asking dumb questions and being patiently answered he announced he was going across the street to BUY at a place called Tokyo Shapiro. On his way out he taunted the salesman, saying something like, “wouldn’t YOU like to make a big sale today?”

The salesman responded, after spending two hours of his time answering this guy’s every question, after watching all the other salesman in the store sell product after product, with this:

“Sir, this isn’t about me or what I want. It isn’t about the products or the service our company provides. It is ALL about you and if buying over there makes you happy, then I’ll be happy for you.”

About a half an hour later the man returns to MACE and purchases top-of-the-line big screen TV, VCR, stereo, speakers, camcorder, wires and every gizmo in the store and all with extended warranties and service contracts. It was the largest sale to a private party made by this salesman and one of the all time largest sales in the 23 year MACE history.

I made that sale.

It was a turning point in my sales life. See, I had been “old schooled” in salesmanship. My earliest mentors taught me that selling was like a boxing match and I had to beat the customer into submission. Some salespeople you have recently encountered are probably still OLD school. YIKES!

Another mentor taught me it was like a dance where both parties end up hot and sweaty at the end but feeling pretty good too. Frank Bettger, Elmer Wheeler, Elmer Leterman and a list of other great salesman of the day were on my reading list. I knew the AIDCAS formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Conclusion, Action and Satisfaction) and learned how to overcome objections. I went to sales battle many a time and came out the victor. Bet you've had a battle or two too, right?

But that hot summer day that guy wore me out so after two hours I couldn’t care less if he bought from me or not, in fact, I was somewhat relieved he was going across the street to buy, then he wouldn’t be a pain in my patoot for the rest of the year.

So I sent him off as my father had taught me to do with his “kill em with kindness” philosophy, and wished him nothing but “happiness”. If he was going to be happy then so was I, but for entirely different reasons. I wanted him to be happy so he would never come back in and bug the hell out of me for another two hours and cost me money cause I LOST sales while with him. But I innately did the right thing even if my thinking wasn't right on.

I simply told him the truth, “it isn’t about me, the products or service or this company...it is ALL ABOUT YOU and YOUR HAPPINESS”
****************End of Prospect as Product.

So today the jerks and jackals YELL at us for being losers if we don't buy their must-have, last chance you loser, give ME your money you lousy bon-bon eaters you.

UM. Yea. I want to relate something very interesting...as I am OBSERVING some dynamics in action...sort of an "old school" vs. a "what the hell you talkin about man"....

I'm currently BABBLING (not here...although some may think otherwise) in front of several people...people who are established experts in their fields. They hear my voice, but they don't yet understand...perhaps they never will.

When someone has achieved a level of success and mastery...they project that expertise into all their life experiences...if that is marketing...

then it becomes a "here is how WE do it" (and WE are successful, therefore right)...

and truth is...there are many ways of "doing it"...that is marketing and selling.

Sad news in Today's Akron Beacon Journal...hundreds of people in Canton will lose their jobs...from the HOOVER company, the largest employer in Stark County. HUNDREDS of people.

I'm going to post something a little bit later...about the PERFECT product...that has the highest lifetime value of any product ever created...

those that have read the Prospect as Product, may get it. May not. OH, and I'm not selling anything, PaP is off the market...

But like Sandi and others, I'm tired of being called names...that does work on a segment or a group of people (I call them the jr. high locker room crowd who still giggle about breasts being called boobies, and they may be 40 or 50 even)...

And most any marketer is going to go with WHAT works. If that is your market, and you have an appeal to them...then you will use it, and you won't care about losing the Sandi's and Gordon's of the world...it was good to get rid of them from your list (I'm telling you truthfully what some marketers think and how)...

OK. Maybe a little later today...or tomorrow...or very soon...I'm going to tell you what the PERFECT product is...and how easy it is to sell. OK?

Gordon Jay Alexander

PS. Feel free to comment on Prospect As Product and share any positive or negative experiences you've had with salespeople (or from the other side of the counter, when you've been the salesperson). Thanks for your time and attention, it is appreciated.

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