Years ago, I worked for a man in the closeout electronics business who repeatedly said, “We’ll make you money,” to all his customers. Or he might say, “I’m going to make you money today”, or “Let’s make some money together”. He said it whether he communicated with them on the phone or in person.
When I first started hearing it, I thought, “That’s so obvious, why does he say that all the time? Don’t the customers think that’s laughable?” But the more I witnessed him use the phrase, the more I realised how well it worked and, more importantly, that he sincerely meant it. It was the value that drove the entire way he did business. It was his ethos.
Deal after deal, hundreds of millions of dollars of merchandise changing hands, and all his customers were 100% satisfied and happy. All of his success boiled down to just one idea — I make money for others.
One of the top ten books that have marked my life is called The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino. I’ve read it many, many times, including memorising entire chapters. One of my favourite passages says:
“How will I confront each whom I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence, these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened. And who is there who will say nay to my goods when his heart feels my love?”
The best thing you can do for your marketing is to love people. To think and be passionate about their success, in whatever area of life or business. Marketing is nothing more than influence. When you market, you are attempting to influence folks from one position to another. For this, for marketing, there is no more extraordinary tool than love.
Choose whatever marketing method or plan that floats your boat. There are more marketing books and courses than one can imagine. But whatever you choose, remember the most critical ingredient to add to that plan is love. How do you do that? You flip every situation around and imagine you are the one being marketed to instead of the one doing the marketing.
If I fall for everything you are telling me and selling me, will I be “thrilled silly” with my decision to listen to you? If not, you didn’t put enough love into your marketing or your product, and likely both. If you love me, you won’t do anything to me or provide anything for me that isn’t the best you’ve got. And, if the best you have isn’t good for me, you won’t sell it to me for any amount of money.
If you love me, you won’t tell me any lies or withhold any crucial information from me. If you love someone, you’ll treat them the way you want to be treated. That’s love in a nutshell. That’s the best marketing that can exist.
Barbara Mandrell used to sing, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” Well, I loved and adored Steve Jobs and The Woz before anyone knew who they were. I bought the first Apple IIe ever sold in Southwest Louisana when I was ten years old. Steve was my childhood hero. One of the things he did has impressed me my entire life — he made things look good on the inside.
If you opened most computers and video games in the late seventies or eighties, what you found was usually a mess of circuit boards, wires, chips, and many times, patches to fix something they didn’t account for in engineering. In other words, the inside of most electronics in that day looked like a squirrel’s nest. But not my Apple.
It was just as beautiful and well-designed under the lid as it was on the outside. There was a minimal number of exposed wires. The power supply was enclosed (most weren’t back then) and had good fans and heavy switches. The circuit boards were thick with excellent printed notes and not patched. Quality connectors had been used everywhere. Today we take these things for granted, but back then, it was rare. It was apparent that there was love in every detail.
Steve cared about each part of my experience with my Apple. He didn’t need to know me. He loved me without knowing me. He imagined he was me in as many different situations as he could. He cared about not just how I felt when I used the computer, but how I felt when I had to upgrade it or fix it as well. I became a fan of this philosophy that has lasted forty years in my life! It’s become a hallmark of everything I do. I trust Apple products to this day. Steve has just kept on loving me through his work again and again.
Many people said to me in 2020 that I was “the greatest salesman” they’d ever met. A few of them were executives worth hundreds of millions of dollars. If you have any interaction with me, personal or business, my intention is that you leave that interaction better than you arrived. If I sell you something, I must be assured that you will be “thrilled silly” with what I’ve provided. Otherwise, I won’t sell it to you at any price.
If I wouldn’t make the deal myself, I won’t make it with you either. No one can outsell me in my game – I’m at the top of my food chain because I’ve learned to love everyone in every moment. I can consider your needs absent of my self-interest. If I market to you, I will give you the absolute truth, and you will be unable to resist, for who can resist being loved?
“The Greatest Salesman In The World” goes on to say:
“With love I will increase my sales a hundredfold and become a great salesman. If I have no other qualities I can succeed with love alone. Without it I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world.”
Everybody is continuously marketing. Artists market music to their fans. Businesses market products to their clients. Teachers market homework to their students. Moms market healthy food to their kids. I’m marketing to you right now. I’m trying to give you control over your happiness™ (Om Swami). Marketing is influence. Everybody needs to know how to market. There are lots of systems, tons of books, and a plethora of experts. I’ve been a “guerrilla marketer” for a long time now. Find the ones that resonate most with you. Then study and apply their advice accordingly.
Meanwhile, make sure you are marketing to others the way you want to be marketed to. Walk a mile in the shoes of the people to whom you are selling. Are you genuinely interested in making their life more satisfying? Are you committed to providing a good deal more value than what you are charging? Do you under-promise and over-deliver? Is it essential for you to tell the whole truth? If so, you are marketing the correct way and can be assured of your success.
And what if you can’t? What if the competition demands some deception in your marketing? What if you aren’t providing more value (emotional satisfaction) than the amount you are required to charge? Does your pricing model require a bait-and-switch? What if your business necessitates hiding details from the customer in order for your marketing to work? You need to change businesses. You need to sell something else. You need to place your efforts elsewhere. Get out immediately. Because even though you might have success at the bank, you’ll never have genuine success (satisfaction) at home or on your death bed.
Steve Jobs died in a room, surrounded by family, looking at a photo of Maharajji Baba Neem Karoli. He had spent his life being a firehose of creativity. As he had stated and imagined, he put a “ding in the universe” as we know it. It would be hard to make a case that Steve didn’t find his life’s purpose! His sister said his last words were, “Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow!” He made so many beautiful things for us and then found miracles on his way out. That isn’t surprising. That’s how karma goes.
There’s nothing more satisfying in business or life than marketing something genuinely beneficial for folks that’s priced compassionately. I do this every day. It brings me great joy in the now and assurance of peace for the future. I hope you will market this way in all your dealings and, in doing so, enrich others and be contented as you lay your head to rest.