Good salesmen know how to sell fridges to Eskimos and pizza recipes to Italian mama’s!
You may wonder how they do that, because Eskimos have all the ice they need and pizza recipes for Italian mama’s is like swearing.
Well, they just use Eskimo marketing!
Don’t know what that is?
Marni Mutrux does. And he explains below in today’s guest post.
Read carefully, cause you’re in for a treat on salesmanship.
Eskimo Marketing: 5 Good Salesmen Insights on Marketing Products that are Demanded but not Discussed
There’s nothing harder than selling ice to an Eskimo, right?
Well, maybe there is. Think about it. You are the Eskimo. Good salesmen can show you the ice, talk about it, tell you everything he knows about it, let you touch it, feel it, smell it, demonstrate how it works.
After a while that ice starts looking different to you. You begin to see things you never saw before. By the time the salesman is finished with his pitch, you walk away thinking that that block of ice can be more valuable to you than a block of gold.
But what if you change the rules of the game?
Tell the good salesmen they are no longer allowed to show you the ice -or demonstrate how it works- or even tell you what it is. Now their job becomes a whole lot tougher.
Think that never happens? Well think again. In point of fact, there are lots of products out there needing to be sold which happen to have the misfortune of belonging to an “uncomfortable” subject class.
For various reasons, certain things about them are off limits. These things can’t be seen or said -only implied. Good salesmen who need to sell products like these have to be good tap dancers. They need to be able to think out of the box and find an effective way of “selling without telling.”
So what are some of the sales techniques they can use to accomplish this thankless task?
Photo Credit: christine zenino
Here are five Eskimo marketing techniques that have proven to work pretty well:
- Use outrageous images to plant a subliminal seed.
I think we’ve all seen those ubiquitous Cialis ads with the two outdoor bathtubs on top of a hill. What’s up with that?
If you’re like me, you probably think it’s pretty stupid.
But sometimes stupid can also be effective. One of the best memory tricks is to associate something you want to remember with an outrageous mental image – the more outrageous the image, the better.
This good salesmen technique works in advertising too. And in addition to comprising an image as ridiculous as it is memorable, the tubs convey the thought of the guy meeting the woman on her turf (a hot bath), befitting the “when she is ready” theme, even though nobody ever needs to state what it is she might be ready for.
- Find effective equivalencies.
Whenever you watch a soap ad on TV, what do you see?
It’s usually a suds-filled man or woman using the bar in the shower, or perhaps a fellow feverishly scrubbing his grease-filled hands.
Now what about an ad for toilet tissue? Uh…well, advertisers need to use a slightly different approach there, don’t they? Hence the brilliant “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” campaign! The useless action of squeezing something soft is all that’s needed to craft the mental equivalency and achieve the desired effect.
- Use symbolism.
Another good salesmen technique is when you see actors dressed in white lab coats in a laboratory setting discussing how good a product is, the clear impression you get is that the product is enthusiastically endorsed by the medical profession.
But no real doctor ever comes out and says that, right? The endorsement is never explicitly stated but instead implied by the symbolism in the message.
Another example is an ad showing a large magnet attracting cereal out of a box. Is that cereal iron-rich? The viewer will think so without having to be told.
- Convey a mood.
Some of the best examples of tightrope-walking by advertisers can be found in the world of campaign politics. Candidates need to be very careful in what they say about their opponents.
Campaign strategists who constantly monitor the pulse of the electorate are extremely wary of having their candidate say something that may project him or her as a bully or villain in the court of public opinion.
And yet they usually want nothing more than to somehow convey the message that the opponent is the bad guy -without having to come right out and say it.
So what do good salesmen do?
They design ads that convey a mood about their candidate and his/her opponent. They do it very subtly, by making effective use of audiovisual effects like music, color, and contrasts.
For example, to portray a candidate as soft on crime, very effective ads have been made showing the candidate’s face superimposed over a backdrop of dark, threatening music and visuals of prisoners walking through a revolving door.
- Integrate the benefits into the brand.
Remember “Tastes great/less filling/Miller Lite”?
Even though beer manufacturers need to straddle that delicate line about what “benefits” of their product they are allowed to tout on national TV, this ad campaign worked wonders.
It encapsulated every element of the message they wanted to convey and tied that message directly into the brand name itself.
As long as there are willing buyers for a product, the potential for sales success is there.
Sometimes it just takes a little creativity in how to convey the message. Communication comes in many forms and good salesmen will know how to use all of them.
You don’t need to hold that block of ice in your hand. If you know the right techniques, you can make that Eskimo sale and keep your hands warm and dry at the same time.
So, how about you?
Do you use good salesmen techniques?
Post them below in the comment section.
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