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January 8, 2010
Just Think Like Me and We’ll Get Along Fine


When you present an idea or a product, you naturally assume that the person you’re talking to thinks like you do.  So all you need to do is present the person with relevant facts, features, benefits and/or reasoning and they will of course buy whatever it is you’re selling. 

The problem is of course that people DON’T think like you.  They have their own biases, experiences, needs, wants, desires...they have their very own way of thinking.
Think about the possibility of trying to change someone’s political viewpoint...no matter what facts and opinions you might present...they will have their own counter arguments.  In the end, you have as much chance at changing their opinions as they have in trying to change yours.
You think to yourself...this person is an idiot...can’t they just see what is happening to this country...wake up and smell the coffee!!...when in fact...they are in turn, thinking the exact same thing about you and your point of view...
I went shopping with my father the other day and watched him pick his groceries from the store shelves.  He is very brand loyal.  Regardless of what facts I presented him about the additional costs, nutrition values, or perhaps environmental considerations he wouldn’t listen.  He is set in his ways and won’t even consider anything else...
The reason I was so unsuccessful in changing his buying habits was that I was trying to sell him on ideas the way I see them...not the way he see them...
My challenge is to formulate my ideas into ways that appeals to what he holds important.  This takes work because now I need to learn what it is that important to him...not me.  He will only buy the product once I create a benefit that appeases his value set.  Once I was able to determine that he is trying to reduce his salt intake (what he values), I was able to then point out several of the competing brands for consideration (of which a few he bought)
One of the best examples of this phenomena is the bottled water industry.  How do they get people to pay $1.00 (or more) for 1/2 liter bottle of water?  The industry has convinced the world that tap water is so bad for you that we’re all willing to pay more than gasoline to get some.  The bottled water industry has found something that we all care deeply about (our health) and have created a relatively expensive product to satisfy this need.
This same mindset frustrates me daily as I scream as loud as I can from the mountain tops that OptiFuse products are equal or sometimes better than our competition (in fact, many times our competitors are using the same exact manufacturing sources as OptiFuse...so it’s the EXACT same product)...but our products cost less due to the money we DON’T spend on overhead. 
I thought the message that the market wanted to hear was "price and value" but I was wrong...I’m not sure what the right message is...but I’m listening intently to what you’re saying and one day it’ll hit me right between the eyes...and that’ll be how OptiFuse will explode!
If you’re not selling as much as you want to be selling...ask yourself these questions:
-  What do my customers want?
-  Do I have the right product or service?
-  Do I have the right message?
-  What is the best way to deliver my message?
-  Am I presenting my message the right people?
Once you can answer some of these questions, then you will understand your market better and sales will exponentially grow for you.
The message isn’t about what you want to say...but rather what the market wants to hear... 

Thank you very much for your continued support supporting of OptiFuse as we try to learn a bit more about you each day to serve you better...

Jim Kalb


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