Lessons From Selling Barstools

A few weeks ago I listed three bar stools on our apartment’s internal bulletin board. I list things on there all the time because I’m a weirdo who likes practicing my sales and copy skills in my free time…some days it’s shoes, other days it’s a juicer.

This time it was barstools.

9x out of 10 I get zero interest and cry myself to sleep for being so bad at sales.

But this time it felt like the entire apartment complex wanted to purchase these bar stools and they wanted them NOW.

First thought: Obviously, I’m a genius. I wrote the best copy in the world. It compelled everyone in the building to want to buy our bar stools.

OK yea, maybe not.

Second thought: It’s Memorial Day weekend. People are thinking “family” and “home” and in the mindset to buy.

Eh. Doesn’t explain it. Everyone is out of town and plus you’ve posted on holidays before and this didn’t happen.

Third thought: This has nothing to do with you.

Third thought was correct.

When you have something people want, there is no selling involved.

Sure, can a good headline grab someone’s attention? Yes. Is that headline the thing that’s going to MAKE OR BREAK the sale?

No. It’s not. Every marketer on this list is going to feel a simultaneous sense of relief and rage at this, but here it goes:

You can sell just fine with a shit headline.

What you need is DEMAND.

In my case, the barstool ad went out to a list of qualified leads – people who lived in an apartment complex where the layout required bar stools. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we had the one thing everyone overlooks when they are coming up with “marketing solutions:”

DEMAND.

I put something people wanted in front of a crowd of people who wanted it.

Demand isn’t “what do people NEED?”

No one needs a Twix bar or another pair of black pumps or a new picture frame. You want those things.

Demand = desire.

When you’re offering something people desire, you don’t have to worry about your marketing. It’s built into the product (a’la Purple Cow). As much as I want to believe (and I want you to believe) it’s the copy or the images or the colors or all the things we sell you – it’s not.

When you sell something people WANT, you never sell a day in your life. You simply give the people what they want.

 

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