How’d That Happen?  | TravelResearchOnline

How’d That Happen? 

When was the last time you were taken for a “ride?”

A funny thing happened to me not too long ago, but it really wasn’t all that funny. A similar event happened to me quite a few years back. And now that I think of it, this similar event took place in the same neck of the woods — upstate New York. The first time it involved a set of Ginzu Knives. The second “ride” involved a box of meat.

Here is my story and what I learned from it.

I was visiting my brother and his wife when I spotted a young man at the porch door of my brother’s house. I assumed he was a family friend. I saw a pickup truck with a food freezer tied to the bed of the truck. This sort of scene did not strike me as out of the ordinary, since upstate New York plays a different tune on a bunch of different instruments. I did say “upstate” New York. Follow me?

It took me a second or two to determine that this guy was putting a whole new spin on the sales term known as the “Cold Call.” In fact, he was hawking meat out of the bed of his pickup truck.

There is a lot of truth to the phrase “different attitudes at different latitudes,” (Jimmy Buffet) and since I was a visitor on this day, I was polite and asked the guy to show me his wares. This is where the story gets weird. He started opening up box after box of steaks, shrimp, chicken and hamburger. And before I knew what hit me, I was the proud owner of a huge box of meat.

(SIDEBAR: I tell a lie. This was the third time I became a proud owner of something I had no intention of buying. I am the proud owner of bolt-sucking vacuum cleaner I purchased at 3 am in the morning in a town somewhere in the Midwest on a night I had trouble sleeping prior to a next-day seminar. This thing also had the power to lift a bowling ball off the ground, but I admit, I have never had to test this feature yet.)

Okay. Now you know the truth. I own sharp knives, a vacuum cleaner that ROCKS, and a bunch of meat. How’d that happen to a street-savvy guy from New Jersey?
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I thought about this for three full days, scratching my head and tossing in a few expletives directed at myself. And then it hit me clear as day. It was the packaging. It was the boxes. It was how everything was labeled and stacked so nicely. And as a matter of fact, that is exactly how computer software is sold. In bright little boxes with clear writing on both the front and back, in all sorts of colors. Book stores play on this same phenomenon. It all involves packaging.

And so it is with you, my friends. Whatever it is you do, I can assure you there are hundreds of others doing the same thing. If you are like the rest of us, you “grow on trees.” Your kind of “thing” is everywhere offered by everybody. So what is it that will separate you from the rest? The way you package yourself. I can attest first hand – packaging works.

How you dress, how you speak, how write, how you present your thoughts in a proposal…is all packaging. And it is all being seen and interpreted by your customers and clients.

For the next seven days I want you to spend some time analyzing your “packaging” and trying to determine if there are places for a little tweaking and/or alterations, additions or deletions. It doesn’t have to be fancy…it has to be appealing and non-threatening.


Mike Marchev Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
For information on Mike’s 6-Week Online Selling Course, email Mike at mike@mikemarchev.com with the words “sales course” in the subject box.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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