Advice From The World’s Richest Man

Posted by on August 19, 2013

A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads

Back when I was a media salesman I made a profound discovery that altered my future forever. (Most of us hate stories that begin with “Back when I was…” But I promise to make this story different! This one actually has a point.)

The day when the proverbial light bulb appeared over my head, I experienced a revelation which radically affected the way I sold advertising, and as a result of the paradigm shift that followed, I was propelled into a career in consulting.

Essentially, my revelation was this: “What my customers think they are buying is altogether different than what I think I am selling.”

Like every other advertising salesperson, I was selling “spots”. I was selling “ads”. So why weren’t all of my clients equally thrilled? I gave them “spots”. I gave them “ads”. I gave them what they paid for! Or so I thought. In reality, I sold them “spots” when they thought they were buying “an increase in business.” As a result of my revelation, I made the decision to give my customer what he had really wanted all along, and things have never been the same.

What is your customer buying? Is the diamond customer buying “The four C’s” or is he buying the expression on everyone’s face when they see the diamond he gave his wife? What is the public really paying for? Is the public paying for fertilizer, or are they paying for green grass? Am I buying four bicycles, or am I buying good health and family togetherness?

Learn to see your product from the perspective of your customer and it will affect how you sell, how much you sell, how often you sell, and how much you enjoy selling. Find out what your customer really wants and then give it to him. Quit trying so hard to “educate” customers who aren’t looking for “education”. Find out what your customer wants and then give it to him!

People mistakenly believe success is “elusive,” or that success is the product of a complicated formula discovered only by a fortunate few. Nothing could be further from the truth! When J. Paul Getty was alive he was the richest man on earth, and when asked “How can I get rich?” Getty’s answer was invariably, “Find a need and fill it.” In other words, “Find out what your customer wants and then give it to him!”

Let’s examine the facts: It’s Christmas. People are ready to buy. They want to buy from your store or they wouldn’t be there. They’re willing to buy from you. They want to buy now. Do you know the secret desire of their heart? Can you find out? Think about it! (Clue: It will be emotional, not intellectual.) Talk to your customer about how the recipient is going to feel when they open this gift! Now go sell something!

Hey, it’s gonna be a great Christmas.

Roy H. Williams

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