Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Do Car Boot Sales Have To Do With Business?

Last year I decided I needed to finally get rid of all the stuff I had accumulated from when my children were babies and sell it all at a car boot sale. I had masses, so I thought I'd come home with lots of money.

As it turned out, the car boot sale I went to had very few people visit and those people who did come were simply not interested in baby things (or wanted to pay virtually nothing for them).

So instead of making lots of money - I made practically nothing and honestly, it was not worth the effort.

Now, I could have gone away thinking car boot sales were a waste of time - in a similar way that many business owners will state "advertising doesn't work".

However I know many people make good money at car boot sales - so that wasn't it.

Maybe the product was wrong - I did have lots of summer clothes - a cold wet autumn day is not the best time to sell summer dresses I admit. However I had plenty of winter clothes too - and they didn't sell either.

Maybe there were simply not enough people? Well, that certainly contributed - if more people had been there, I would have sold more.

However when I really thought about it - why did I go to a car boot sale to sell baby things when car boot sales attract a wide range of different people - most of whom are looking for a bargain and to buy things for virtually nothing? It was simply the wrong target market.

How does this relate to business? Well, it reminded me of the teachings of the late Gary Halbert:

When Gary gave lessons on copywriting, he liked to challenge his students to a competition - who could sell the most hamburgers? He let his students choose whatever advantage they wanted to sell their hamburgers. The answers varied - some wanted superior meat, others sesame seed buns, others a good location, some the lowest price. He would let them have anything they wanted - he wanted just one thing in return.

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