As a kid, I watched a clown who lived in a house with golden arches launch a worldwide fast-food empire.
He did it, not by listening to the marketing experts of the time, who advised him to be sure to target the decision makers, but by winning the hearts of “champions” all across America.
The clown found his champions watching Saturday morning cartoons, and impressed on their growing little minds the idea that a toy should be included with the purchase of every hamburger and fries.
The clown knew that these little champions had neither the money nor the ability to purchase what he was selling, but he also knew that each of his champions rode in the back seat of a car driven by a decision maker who had both the money and the ability.
The clown realized what most experts had missed—he knew that when the time came for the decision maker to make a decision, his champion would spring into action and influence the decision maker’s decision. And with that, an unshakable burger-empire was born.
I’ve warned you not to fall into the same trap that hobbles most of the marketing mainstream—thinking you must always target the decision maker in your marketing. But many of you still insist on riding that train to its inevitable dead end.
Perhaps it’s because mainstream sales trainers and advertising salespeople have long insisted that the first step in making a sale is to reach the decision maker: “Don’t waste time on people who have no authority.”
The result of this horrible advice has been that marketers habitually ignore the friendly and readily accessible champions who could make the job of selling so incredibly easy — the secretary, the file clerk, the husband, the wife, the golfing buddy, the kids, or the friend of a friend.
But never try to target a champion! Nobody likes to feel like they’re being used. Simply realize that champions are all around you, every day. And all you need to do is tell your very convincing and compelling story to anyone and everyone who will listen to it. You never know whom that person might know.
While it has always been difficult to reach the person who has final authority to make a decision, reaching all the people around that person is usually incredibly easy. And if just one of these people is deeply impressed with your story, they will carry your message and your cause to the one who makes the decisions.
We call the process word-of-mouth. And it only works when it is not contrived. When you ask a person to talk to their boss for you, you’ve just killed the magic.
Contrary to popular belief: Success is not about who you know, it’s about who knows you.
How many strangers do you impress with your story each day? Have you been ignoring all the friendly, powerful champions that surround you? Have you mistakenly assumed that they couldn’t help you because they don’t have the money, authority or ability to buy whatever it is you’re selling?
Are you proud of the product or service you sell? If so, then talk about it, shout about it… write about. Even if the people who are listening all seem to be small potatoes.
Looking for a really neat way to tell your story without seeming like you’re pushy or only trying to sell something to somebody? Take a look at our new, soon to be released, “CounterThink Marketing—Marketing with Newsletters” program. Used right, newsletters can convince like no other—they can tell your story, over and over, in an informative, friendly non-threatening way. Who knows, you might be the next clown to create an empire of your own.