Thursday, November 19, 2009

To Market, to Market, to Sell a Thin Pig

Any fool can sell a fat pig; it takes genius to sell a thin pig, with the promise of things to come.

Your fat pig is your service; mine is, let’s say, design and development of applications software.

Your problem is getting those first two endorsements, testimonials, recommendations.

Your first hurdle after leaving university was that every job advertisement carried the phrase “Min. 2 yrs exp. reqd”.

Now let’s see just how well you know your own business:

Dumb it Down!

Your service is, let’s say, a three-day training session, or a three-day review of existing procedures, or a 3-day derivation of marketing metrics. Or seven-day. It doesn’t matter.

There’s no way you are going to give away a seven-day sample any more than you would a three-day sample.

But stripped of all the exciting STUFF what is the exciting MESSAGE?

Scrape away the meat and get down to the bone (here comes the thin pig!) and you end up with a three-hour presentation that can convey the exciting essential ideas of your service to an enthusiastic but small crowd (6 maximum) of friends and peers. (*)

The Dry Runs

Book a hotel room for $60.

Invite your friends

Dump the news on them

Ask for testimonials.

Keep it honest.

Tell them what you are doing and why.

Let their testimonials be honest.

You didn’t give them the 3-day package, but you did send them away with valuable ideas that will change their business revenue.

They can therefore say that you sent them away with valuable ideas that will change their business revenue.

Everybody chips in with $10 for the room costs; you bring your own ground coffee and cream; homemade cookies.

Or have it at my place and I’ll serve a lunch of pasta and home-made bottled meat sauce; everybody bring a 1lb packet, frozen, of ground beef which will be available for lunch next time.

Will it Work?

You betcha!

Your friends will enjoy a networking session.

You will get feedback on your service presentation.

Everybody will be pumped with new insights, new ideas.

You’ll get invited to six free seminars within the next two months, (You saw THAT coming, didn’t you?)

Bring cookies and a 1lb slab of frozen ground meat.

Prove It!

Let’s take my 4-day workshop on Application Development in VBA.

If I can’t compress that into a 3-hour session on recording macros in Word, building a mini-application by ganging macros, and give you confidence in using the vocabulary of application developers (“VBA”, “Macros”, “Libraries”, “Procedures”, “Functions” etc.) then I’m in the wrong business.

Let’s take your 3-day workshop on Customer Experience in Humungous Global Conglomerates.

If you can’t compress that into a 3-hour session of tips’n’tricks for retaining clients in the Application Development business, then you don’t know much about keeping your friends happy.

Marketing Metrics to Manage Monies?

Get real! Not one of your friends is going to be spending $$$ on marketing any time soon now, but they do have some time. And time is money. Transcribe your methods to a cheat-sheet using time or events as metrics, and get feedback from THAT.

Policies Procedures and Manuals?

What budding entrepreneur doesn’t need some sort of written plan for dealing with the regular and irregular events in their marketing and sales and promotions and prospecting and contacting departments.


Get richer and fatter quicker
(*) If you don’t have 6 friends and peers, I’m available!


Once you’ve done the dumbing-down exercise and got a 3-hour workshop, DUMB IT DOWN SOME MORE, say to 60 minutes.

Now you are a speaker at Networking Meetings!

There! That was easy, wasn’t it?

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