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J David Ford

The Market of Nobody

Nobody wears a watch any more.

Nobody wears a tie either.

Nobody shops at a bookstore.

The market of nobody is big indeed. You can do really well selling to nobody if you do your homework. In fact, most companies selling to nobody outperform those that are trying to sell to everyone.

Selling is often misunderstood, largely by people who would be a lot more comfortable merely inviting. If I invite you to a wedding, or a party, or to buy a $500,000 TV ad for $500, there's no resistance on your part. Either you jump at the chance and say yes, or you have a conflict and say no. It's not my job to help you overcome your fear of commitment, to help you see the ultimate value, and most of all, to work with you as you persuade yourself and/or others to do something that “might just work.”

If the marketing and product development team do a great job, selling becomes a lot easier... so easy it might be called “inviting.” The guy at the counter of the Apple store selling the iPad2 isn't really selling them at all. Hey, there's a line out the door of people with money in their pockets. The guy at the counter is inviting you to buy this, if you don't want it, next!

The real estate broker who says that the house would sell if only he could get below market pricing and a pre-approved mortgage is avoiding doing his job.

The salesperson's job: Help people overcome their fear so they can commit to something they'll end up glad they invested in.

The goal of a marketer ought to be to make it so easy to be a salesperson, you're merely an inviter. The new marketing is largely about this--creating a scenario where you don't even need salespeople. (Until you do.)

Selling is a profession. It's hard work. And ultimately, it's rewarding, because the product or service you're selling delivers real value to the purchaser, and your job is to counsel them so they can get the benefit.

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