Consistent Sales Will Never Happen Without Doing Product Launches Over & Over & Over
In fact, quite the opposite. It was training on a very important business topic. One that, if not done properly will almost ensure your products sit on the shelf. What is it? Product Launches. One of the main threads of the training was the dramatic lack of true product launches in the world today.
So many companies develop these amazing products and services the world needs, then put a list of features and benefits they think are great on a webpage or two, push “Publish” on their WordPress site, and…crickets…no one buys. Why?
Well, in part because (and I’m 100% guilty of this) the Internet has made us soft as business owners, as marketers, and as sales people. Side bar: I don’t think anyone should ever really sell anything. If you’re a hard sale kind of person please unsubscribe from this site.
But wait, did I really just say we’re all “Soft”? Yeah, I did. Soft. Again, I’m guilty of this too, so let’s fix it together.
We all know that the Internet gives us a direct line to the more than 4 Billion humans across the planet who use it directly, and most every day.
Before the Internet though the only way we could reach the masses was placing expensive ads with the major TV networks, a few national news papers, and the Yellow Pages.
I remember the first time a Yellow Pages rep walked into my office around 2007. He was selling ad space, door-to-door in a small town. We passed on the opportunity because it was an expensive ad in a once-a-year, local publication. After respectfully declining, I turned around and went back to cold-calling small government offices in upstate New York, hoping they’d buy our online payment system I was slinging.
HAHAHA!!! Did you catch the irony there?
Cold-calling is just another way of selling door-to-door but without the exercise. Don’t do it, and definitely don’t do it if you’re trying to offer Marketing services to someone else. Seriously, if you cold-call, or spam me to sell me your amazing “Marketing” services, I’m pretty sure I know how the rest of that service is going to operate.
Have you ever seen the movie “Boiler Room”? His interaction with a cold-caller while eating breakfast is pure genius. Check it out.
Anyway, the Internet has changed the game, making it easier to reach the masses. It’s a true equalizer. However, it’s also made the world SO noisy that if you try to talk to everyone, you’ll reach no one. Just like that old saying, “Try to please everyone, and you’ll end up pleasing no one.” The average person is bombarded with roughly 5,000 ads/day.
5,000 ads per day is a lot of noise, so unless someone’s been primed to hear what you have to offer, they’ll run away as fast as possible, or worse, they’ll run to the competition.
You’ve done it. We all have. Remember the last time you walked by a kiosk in the mall? That girl with the packet of face cream who you made eye contact with, or the 19 year old with bad acne and a tie promising a “free” lunch holding a 3-ring binder about an “amazing time-share opportunity”?
My mom got stuck in a makeup store on the Vegas strip once because a guy pulled her in, slapped makeup on half her face (half!), and told her she could have the other half done once she bought something. I literally had to rescue her after 10 minutes. The guy almost got punched, and my mom left nearly in tears. Remember how I said never sell anything. That guy was selling, hard, and it was total garbage.
But hey, half of her face did look younger. Thinking about it now I should’ve made him finish the rest of her make-up but I was blinded with rage.
Had he done a mini product launch by setting up the sale the first time seeing us walking up the strip, then closing us on our way back down the strip, we probably would’ve ended up buying some of the overpriced cream.
That was an extreme version of the negative side of selling, but the reason we all have that response to the “kiosk pitch” is we’re inherently conditioned to run away from the “sleazy car salesmen”. It’s our lizard brain triggering the “Fight or Flight” response of survival.
When cavemen and women heard a strange noise in the woods their adrenaline kicked in and it was kill or be killed. While walking around the mall, the only thing on our minds is how to either get in and out fast, or how to enjoy some quiet retail therapy. Suddenly, out of nowhere someone’s screaming about how crappy we look and pitching face cream.
Instinct kicks in and all we want to do is RUN!!!
As marketers though, we have to break through the barrier of Fight or Flight, but how? Well, take a tip from one of the most successful industries in history – Entertainment.
Learning Launch Strategy From The GOAT: Hollywood
Outside of Fashion, Entertainment is probably the Greatest Of All Time at successfully launching things.
Think of all the major blockbusters in the last 20 years. How did you hear about them, why you watched them, maybe even more than once? My wife and I saw “Ted” in the theatre 6 times. A movie about a vulgar little teddy bear SIX times?! That’s crazy.
The first time we saw it though was because the previews they teased for months were so hilarious we couldn’t not see it on the big screen. Pardon the double negative, but we were determined to watch this movie when it was finally released.
That’s what Hollywood does. They make all of these movies, push the heck out of them for months, some even years (ahem, Top Gun 2: Maverick). Then, just as they’re about to hit the theaters the stars do their rounds on all the talk shows, sharing stories about making the film, laughing with their costars. It all leads up to the huge “star-studded” premier and after-parties designed to purely hype the movie.
The trailers, the interviews, the premier, they’re all designed to make as much amazing noise about the movie that it almost guarantees their success. So long as the movie isn’t total garbage, the studios will practically print money for years on the sequels. Heck, that’s the only reason they make sequels – more money.
So how does a Product Launch set you apart, and how can you run one? Well, it’s all about finding out what (positive) noise you can make about your product and services, and getting it out there.
Tony Robbins, someone who has millions of followers, launched his book by doing more than 240 interviews before he released his latest book. 240!
You may not have as many followers as Tony, but it shows just how important it is to properly launch something no matter who you are.
How To Make Noise
Who are some bloggers and podcasters in your industry looking for good content?
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all the other social media sites have millions of groups you can connect with and start connecting with people on. Sharing your stories, building relationships, and once you’ve made in-roads let folks know what you’re up to.
Publish, publish, and publish more on your own platforms, and tell the world about it. Sites like Medium and WordPress are specifically designed to give you a free platform to share your words through a blog, like this one. Prefer to shoot some videos instead? Great, video converts the best right now anyway so do a Facebook Live, An Instagram Short, TikTok, or start a YouTube Channel. Finally, if you have a voice for radio, launch a podcast. Spotify and iTunes are still the biggest outlets for podcasts, and they’re also free.
Once your audience starts finding you, ask them what else they’d like to hear, then continue to build on those suggestions. Eventually, you’ll become one of the experts the audience relies on, and turn to when they’re ready to buy something.
That’s exactly how I ended up buying tickets to Steven Larsen’s live 3-day event even though I had just gone through his 16-hour long virtual training on the same concept – “Make Launches Great Again!”.
Talk again soon,
Thomas Buttino, Product Launcher, Rocketman