Billy Mays was the car salesman who you always avoid when you walk on the lot. He pushed the “hard sell,” convincing people that they need to buy what he’s selling. Any experienced car-buyer knows that when you step on that used car lot, you do so with your guns loaded. You’ve got a series of questions prepared for the salesperson, you’ve got Kelly Blue Book numbers on the make and model you’re looking for and your uncle, the mechanic, is awaiting your call so he can put his two cents in. More importantly, you’ve got a list of reasons prepared why you don’t need the car that the salesperson is pushing. So how did Billy Mays’ hard sell technique generate billions of dollars in OxiClean sales?
While most companies appropriate meager funds for 30-second advertisements, Mays bought half-hour chunks of time where he could talk to his audience one-on-one. Using infomercials, Mays was able to guarantee face-time with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of potential customers, and rely on the quality of his product and his skill as a salesman to do the rest.
So what can we learn from the late pitch man? We must re-think sales and discover new ways to reach customers and bring products to them. Billy Mays did it with television; Amazon did it with the Internet. What’s going to be the next best way to reach your audience?
Check out the June issue of GAWDA Edge to see some ways that GAWDA members are reaching out to customers and working to generate new sales.