Things Harvard Doesn’t Teach You
Chapter 8. Marketing Ability
If you don’t believe in what you’re selling,
neither will your prospect. — Frank Bettger
Years ago, while I was having dinner with André Heiniger,
the president of the Rolex company,
a friend of his popped in to say,
“How is the watch industry these days?”
“I don’t know,”
The friend laughs.
You see, the head of the most prestigious watch brand in the world
says he doesn’t know how his industry is doing.
But Heiniger is serious:
“Rolex is not in the watch industry.
We operate in the luxury product industry.”
To me, Heiniger’s words sum up the basics of marketability.
It’s about knowing what business you really want to be in,
and understanding the basic connections
between your products and consumers.
Ever since the T-car became obsolete,
the car industry has operated on every form of advertising
but its use:
In fact, the car is so influential
that it has created people’s perceptions
For example, a college professor would rather lose his job
than be caught driving a Cadillac.
On the other hand,
if a company leader buys a Volkswagen one will wonder if he is “clean”.
However, today’s customers are wiser
and they can turn away from offers.
This in turn makes understanding marketability all the more valuable;
and for me that is the most profound
and fundamental aspect of marketing.
For example, when advertising its services,
the transportation company Federal Express emphasizes the speed,
and size of its products.
But those who have read their ads can easily see that
what they are really offering is the peace of mind of the shipper.
One of the most delicate elements of marketability
is building awareness within the product itself,
doing all it can to make the product “sellable.”
this product the book if titled “Principles of Practice Management”,
would certainly attract a different audience,
and possibly a smaller audience.
Marketability cannot be read from market research,
but must be felt intuitively.
It involves looking at the sidelines and looking a little further;
and interpret feel the underlying motivations
and reasons why these people are genuinely interested in your product
while others are not.
the ability to market is different from marketing in that it is done,
or must be done,
before the event,
and if it is done properly it is very profitable.
The ability to market is also a form of sales but more proactive.
Sales, because the requirement is product-oriented features,
so understanding the marketability of the product will make
it easier for buyers to buy the product.
In this chapter,
we deal with the relationship
between two factors: products and people.
Selling starts with the product and all the issues that affect it,
and ends with positioning,
in other words,
what you say or present to make the product sell.
UNDERSTAND, TRUST PRODUCTS AND ENJOY SELLING
Excellence is not a skill.
It’s an attitude. — Ralph Marston
These are basic truths in sales.
If you don’t understand your product,
customers will never accept your sales efforts!
If you don’t understand, believe,
and love selling,
there’s no way
or technique that can help you make a sale.
Nothing loses a potential customer faster
than a seller not understanding his or her product.
Have you ever gone to a department store,
asked the salesman how to use a power tool
or some kind of machine,
and found him tinkering with buttons,
wondering why they didn’t make things?
Simpler? Even if he eventually gets the machine working,
you’re no longer interested in it and probably won’t buy.
Understanding the product also means understanding the purpose
of the product,
the relationship between the product and the needs of the customer.
What benefits does it bring to customers?
What problem does it solve and what does it promise?
Understanding these intangible properties is just as important
as understanding the basic properties of the product.
However, precisely because they are invisible
and can vary from customer to customer,
they are prone to misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
Understanding the product also means understanding the image of the product.
It could be a positive image that you want to promote
or a negative image
that you need to overcome.
For example, the home computing industry did not succeed
until it solved its image problem.
This is a time-saving machine that simplifies many tasks,
but it looks complicated and difficult to use.
Therefore, the machine did not sell well
until it was redesigned and looked more “friendly”, easier to use.
TWO REASONS I DON’T BUY MY
Great salespeople are relationship builders
who provide value
and help their customers win. — Jeffrey Gitomer
An important part of understanding your product is knowing all the reasons
why customers don’t like it
Anticipate reasons define them clearly in your head,
write them down if needed
and have an answer ready for each.
Most sales efforts are to combat rejection.
Don’t try to tell the customer
that their objection isn’t worth it.
Instead, focus on changing their bases of comparison.
In anticipating and remediating objections,
salespeople must do the following.
He must ask himself:
Compared to what?
Think of some of the deals you have to go through
before you buy a home.
When you’re about to buy a home,
make sure you compare as well.
Maybe you compare it to another home you’re interested in,
but in a neighborhood you don’t like,
the home you’re being offered looks expensive.
Compared to how much money you could have bought 10 years ago,
it seems a bit much.
But if you compare it with resale value,
with what you deserve,
then you can see the purchase price is reasonable.
When I signed a contract to use an athlete’s name to promote a product,
I knew there were two problems we could face:
price the level of security
and the athlete’s unavailability willing to spend time with agents.
The president of a large clothing company once told me
that he would not pay an athlete more than the athlete was making.
By this standard, the seven-digit sum,
guaranteed for an athlete,
that we are asking for seems absurd.
But I was quick to point out
that he was buying an instant brand name,
and that compared with the tens of millions of dollars
that would have to be spent developing a brand with the same value
as the instant brand.
At that time, the amount was actually reasonable.
He also asked why if he signed the contract,
the athlete would only work for him for five days.
I asked him:
“In what ways would your company benefit,
in terms of increased support in the department stores
or the athlete winning more major tennis tournaments?
Didn’t you agree that the most important thing an athlete
does for your company is hitting millions of tennis balls to Winbledon?”
By helping buyers see things differently,
we were able to close a deal for the company
and bring in millions of dollars for the customer.
REMOVED THE BAD THINGS
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always
to try just one more time. — Thomas Edison
A dog food company just held a sales conference.
During the conference,
the company president patiently listened
to the advertising director present a new program of activities,
the marketing director introduced a sales plan
that would “revolutionize the industry,”
and The commercial director enthusiastically extols the virtues
of an “industry best sales force”.
Finally, the president stepped up to the podium and said:
“Over the past few days,
we have heard all the division managers present great plans for the coming year.
Now it’s time to end.
I want to ask if we have the best advertising,
the most effective marketing,
the best sales force,
why can’t we make a lot of sales?”
The meeting room became absolutely silent.
Finally, a small voice spoke from the back of the room:
“Because dogs hate this food.”
Sometimes an idea,
a product or a concept has no value at all.
No matter what you do,
it won’t work.
So the only answer is to leave it out.
However, many people still try to do the opposite.
The more evidence there is to prove
that a concept cannot be applied,
a product is not desirable,
the more determined and time-consuming
they will be to prove the opposite.
Always do your best.
What you plant now,
you will harvest later. — Og Mandino
The most common selling rule of all salespeople
and companies is 80/20 – 80% of the work for 20% of the customers.
However, the logical formula is to focus 4/5 of your time
and effort on getting
to know 1/5 of your important customers.
Years ago we conducted research on the sports
and leisure time of all our key clients
for the British company Wilkinson Sword.
When we complete the survey,
we arrange for our clients to meet their favorite sports stars.
Boxing fans were taken to see Henry Cooper
(then European heavyweight champion) compete;
golf customers are invited to golf with Tony Jacklin;
Cricket customers were invited to attend a pre-match breakfast
against Australian cricket champion,
Target the interests, interests,
and tastes of your most important 20% of customers
and take the time to keep them with you.
FIND OUT THE CUSTOMER’S COMPANY
You are the designer of your destiny;
you are the author of your story. ― Lisa Nichols
There are two key points to knowing your client’s company.
First, it helps you find the best overall approaches.
Second, although the person you are pitching
to may be a person with full authority and full autonomy,
he is still only a representative of the company.
You have to understand the client company like you would a person.
Take a look at the company’s activities
the rate of growth
and the way the company chooses
to build its position in the market are your guides.
Of course, you can’t apply the selling method to IBM to Apple,
or to selling to AT&T to ICI.
Therefore, with each company you must have the right approach.
However, most companies have very slow and heavy momentum.
If the company sets out to change the image
and direction of operations,
the company will still buy goods in the old way.
We worked with Proctor & Gamble,
which was afraid of not keeping up with the times
and tried to modernize its approach to consumers.
However, I find that no matter how much they want to change,
they still see things the old way,
and it takes a lot of time to change to the new method.
We also reached out to Tiffany’s
and suggested we want to represent people using the company’s name.
These two events are separate but related
and that helps us align our approach.
First, Tiffany’s has just been acquired by Avon Company.
This, to me, means that
Tiffany’s will be more open to commercial expansion as a private company.
Second, Tiffany’s is still Tiffany’s
and Avon can use the hidden value in the Tiffany’s brand.
Our approach to Tiffany’s Best is similar
to that for Wimbledon,
with emphasis on tangibles and qualities
the brand’s market value.
Tiffany’s brand will increase.
Meet the right person
As a sales organization,
one of our biggest problems is knowing the roles each person plays in the client’s company.
In our line of business, we often don’t know
if it’s the advertising department,
the marketing department,
or someone in the company’s public relations department.
Or if the issue is of interest to the president
or senior leadership of the company,
the decision maker will be that chairman.
In some companies,
especially those operating in many fields,
it is difficult to know who will be the decision makers in which areas.
Of course, you will have a hard time dealing with these types of companies.
Therefore, in some cases,
the best solution is not to trade with them.
In most companies, finding the decision makers is not difficult.
To find them, ask the right questions.
Ask if you don’t know
Most deals don’t come naturally.
Therefore, learn to get the deals.
Most people will be happy to tell you
what you want to know about their company,
such as the structure of the organization,
who the managers are.
With a little ingenuity,
you can get most of the information you need company priorities,
challenges, strengths and weaknesses,
internal conflicts, power struggles, and more.
This news will benefit you in the process of conducting deals.
However, you must consider the source of the information
and evaluate the provider.
People often imply that you have to deal with them,
but you can tell by the way
they talk about another person jealous
or contrary to
what you already know the person
they describe is the person you need to meet.
Another valuable source of information is people
who have successfully done business with that company
because they certainly have the necessary information about that company.
Don’t let the title confuse you
I often think of the head of General Motors International (GM)
as the key decision maker in GM’s overseas operations.
Soon after, I learned that he had no decision-making power in that area.
Even in companies where the title is well-deserved,
there’s always a time that follows:
someone who’s going to be promoted,
someone who’s about to step down,
and someone who’s about to leave.
An assistant marketing manager
can be the ultimate decision maker on marketing matters.
When David Foster,
an avid golfer,
was the director of Colgate toothpaste,
we knew that he was the ultimate decision maker on golf sponsorship,
even where in the hole.
Yard. On the other hand,
when I flew to Japan to discuss the sponsorship
of the women’s professional tennis tournament with Toyota,
I discovered that
I had to meet with an “assistant director”
of the public relations department.
I began to explain the sponsorship,
what the funds were used for,
and the assistant director repeatedly nodded in agreement.
I realized that the person
I was talking to was not the person I needed,
and that this person did not understand what I was saying.
Then we signed a contract worth more than five million dollars.
Looking for a star
And befriend him.
People often think that
I am really “lucky” to have many personal relationships
with the CEOs of the world’s top companies.
I met them,
recognized their excellence,
and got to know them years before they became CEOs.
One of the most important
that one can do in business is to consider one’s future relationships.
The people you make today can become the CEOs of the future.
Look for stars in other companies
and be friends with them.
Ten years from now
whether you sell to them, buy from them, hire them or work for them
they will become one of your most important business assets.
Become the person
who would attract the results you seek. — Jim Cathcart
“Positioning” in business has many meanings.
A company positioned for the future,
a product positioned for the market;
you put yourself in a position to advance or sell.
I limit the definition in relation to a product or service only.
In this sense, positioning is determining
what people are actually buying
when they buy your product or service,
and then motivating the buyer with those insights.
This requires transforming human emotions
into the essence of the product:
“Become a winner by walking with a winner.”
It requires intelligence,
and at the highest level,
it becomes art with the result:
your product or service sold.
It’s a Ford or Mercedes car
First, positioning is a game of numbers,
going from the majority of a Ford or Sears
(who can afford it) to the elite minority
a Mercedes or Rolls.
Maybe the upper-class minority is a driving force behind future customers;
it can be dangerous.
A company will go bankrupt if it positions itself above
or below its market.
A company needs to figure out where on the spectrum
they fit in with the largest number of buyers there.
We have recently reached an interesting agreement
with Sears regarding licensing,
transfer, spokesman for Arnold Palmer.
That attracted me because it was very ironic.
For the past twenty years,
we’ve purposefully placed Arnold in the upper echelons,
linking him to brands and companies like Rolex,
Robert Bruce and Hertz.
Sears thinks customers are getting smarter
and pushing Sears away from where they want to be.
When Sears decided to improve his image, Arnold, like Cheryl,
was the ideal choice.
Assuming that Arnold was not previously associated with high-class companies,
his image would not have been such a top choice.
Consider the facts
A good salesperson can collect ten facts about a product,
and by emphasizing some facts
and detracting from others,
ten different impressions can be created.
That’s the art of selling: positioning the event to fulfill a desire.
The unexpected success of American golfer Laura Baugh in Japan
is the result of positioning events.
Laura is the typical American cute, blonde, quick
and shows promise as a California amateur athlete.
But at the age of 17,
she still has not achieved anything in the professional tournament.
We know the Japanese like typical Americans as much as they like golf.
But since Laura hasn’t achieved anything yet,
we decided not to mention her golf prowess.
Instead, we introduced her as Miss America and good at golf.
The results were truly amazing
we received lots of posters, calendars, sponsorships and licensing opportunities.
She became the hottest character in Japan,
participated in a hit TV show,
and when she returned to the US to participate in the pro tournament,
she was in a strong position.
Perhaps Laura is making more money off the course
than any other player in women’s golf history.
Another example is model Jean Shrimpton,
considered “the most famous face in the world” in the late 1970s.
When Jean left modeling, she moved to Cornwall,
England and performed the role of wife and mother.
The two examples above are a stark contrast of two ways of life from aura,
Vogue cover model to an English country woman creating an interesting positioning opportunity,
that of a model.
Famous people in the world give up all their riches in exchange
for a simple family life.
And now, Jean is working just a few days a year advertising margarine
and household products.
Use mirror to reflect
This is the most sophisticated level of positioning,
its degree of false or true can be much the same.
It is not meant to give the wrong impression or ignore facts,
but to reflect them in such a way
that they can create a desired perception.
It is done by starting
with a perception and working backwards.
The TV show “Killy’s Challenge”
that we did for NBC
after Jean-Claude Killy won three Olympic gold medals is a prime example.
It’s important to Killy that he continues
to be seen as a “winner” the best in the world.
“The Killy Challenge” is a series of downhill duels in
which international skiers challenge Killy’s primacy.
But since Killy is “the best” his opponents are always given
a handicap depart first
and in skiing seconds ahead can equate to hundreds of meters.
From the example above,
it can be seen that Killy’s tragedy is not where he wins
or loses but whether he can catch up
when the opponent is hundreds of meters away.
And as the best in the world,
Killy is trying to confront himself,
and the opponent is used as a yardstick.
The desired impression was achieved
even before Killy left the starting point.
Create an image
Another way of positioning is to go beyond the facts,
associating your product
or service with desirable and positive values
that are unrelated to the product.
This style is often adopted by well-known companies:
AT&T and GE emphasize family values and “home” feelings,
oil companies become environmentally conscious,
IBM and Xerox promote consumer their extraordinary standards,
positioning themselves above other competing companies.
For our sports customers,
we take this approach to a lighter level.
Athletes can’t always win,
and we’ve always felt it’s important
to “get them off the field” as soon as possible.
This does not mean that it is imperative to withdraw.
It means locating a way
that can make their reputation no longer dependent on winning championships.
For golf and tennis customers,
we generally avoid “winning ads” television
or print ads aligning with the client’s position
as the reigning champion of an important tournament.
After all, what happens when he
or she is no longer the defending champion.
Mention that Bjorn Borg won five Wimbledon titles completely overshadows the fact
that he no longer plays at Wimbledon.
Jackie Stewart is another example,
10 years ago he stopped racing.
However, his image as a professional racer,
a connoisseur of aerodynamics, exceeded his sport, his need to win.
HOW TO DETERMINATE THE VALUE
Practice is just as valuable as a sale.
The sale will make you a living;
the skill will make you a fortune. — Jim Rohn
you cannot determine the value of events or things.
But the usual business answers
“What are people willing to pay?”
or “How much will it cost us to do that?”
is often worse than not answering at all.
industries that produce consumer goods often make this mistake:
Price depends on the cost of production.
When determining the value of what you sell,
you should ask yourself the following questions:
• How unique is it?
Can they buy it cheaper from my competitors?
• If so, is my product really superior in terms of quality?
• Can I sell it for more than the competitive price?
• Do they need the item right away,
or do they really need it?
• How much will it cost me to replace it?
• Is there any precedent that could help me?
• Is there an element of passion?
Suppose you want to eat ice cream,
and when you go to an ice cream shop,
you find out that the price of ice cream has doubled,
would you buy more?
• Is this a single deal, or is this the future?
Once you understand the value of the product,
don’t be afraid to bid.
In fact, this is a good time for you.
If you pay upfront, you can reap many benefits.
When the value is a guess, try to defend
themselves in different ways in the case of success.
The Norfolk and Western Railroad Company attempted to bring the Fuji Iron
and Steel Company into the United States.
They know that the president of Fuji company is a person
who loves golf and admires
Jack Nicklaus, so they asked us to arrange a golf session
between President Fuji and Jack in Japan.
We asked for $10,000 (mid-1960s) plus the cost of bringing Jack to Japan,
and we were pleased with the deal.
Five years later, I met the vice president of Norfolk and Western.
He recounted a golf meeting between Nicklaus and Fuji,
and said, “You know, since then,
we’ve shipped $17 million worth of goods to Fuji.”
We couldn’t have predicted it,
and neither could Norfolk and Western.
From there, I often wonder
why I don’t add: “…plus 1% of the deal”
and I think they will say, “Fine”.