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How to sell ice to an Eskimo

The headline made you look, didn't it? It was meant to! That's the first bit of basic advice in marketing to any targetted demographic: catch their attention. You can do that in several ways: by presenting the facts, by sensationlising the facts or by forecasting the future.

The facts will always be a tried and tested method, as that forms the foundation of your argument. You start with a premise, a basic point and then build on it, through the use of quotes, statistics, and other reference material.

Likewise, there are those among us who are skilled in the art of sensationalism. In other words, we are quite adept at making things appear larger than life and eliciting the most basic of human emotions/reactions out of us. In turn, that fact amplification triggers in us a desire to know more, whether out of sheer curiousity, or a sincere desire to know and understand more.

Finally, you can catch their attention by forecasting what is to come, or more accurately, what might be. By our very nature, people are wary and unnerved by the unknown, which is exactly what the future encompasses, whether we like it or not. By channeling your product and/or services in such a way to make the future seem palatable, savoury and of course, non-threatening and enjoyable, you can easily catch the attention of others.

Once you have their attention, you now have to retain it. At this junction, dear readers, is where your ability to be original, be creative or be a critical thinker comes into strong play. Images that are 'easy on the eyes' so to speak, can and do retain people's attention, for indeed, it is refreshing to look at and admire a pretty face as well as a handsome one.

Nevertheless, there must be some relevant, specifically tailored message, some tangible benefit to the viewer or reader that corresponds with the image you have just shared. What will that message entail?

For example, do you want your audience to resemble the image or not? Well, tell them why they should or shouldn't look that way. Do you want your audience to look better than the image? Well, tell them why it's possible to look that way...for their benefit.

In other words, elaborate on what's in it for them, and do it in a way that showcases how original you can be with that message. In the case of our Eskimo friend, you might want to highlight new, never-before-thought-of methods of using ice in and outside the home, as well as introduce them to different varieties of ice from other parts of the first understanding who they are, what they do, and what they need.

As an aside, please do not make promises you cannot fulfil. Personally, it goes against the Holy Grail of business credibility to give assurances of something you know you cannot reasonably deliver in a tangible form.

Furthermore, don't hope it comes it existence 'soon', as there are some aspects of business life that we can't merely wish into existence, we either have it, or we don't. If we are working toward it, that's an altogether different story. Therefore, for the sake of credibility and sincerity, don't fuzz the facts; don't woolly your words.

Having checked all of the above off your to-do list, you now reinforce the message, without overwhelming your audience. Slip it into conversations with your networking circles, share snippets of information on social media, showcase what your product or services can do with family and friends- let them directly or indirectly share your message.

Finally, be consistent with your message and, let it be known. Don't worry too much about the number of 'likes', one million likes might produce no tangible benefit to you, while just one interested individual can make a world of difference.

Hope you and an Eskimo make that business connection soon! Good luck!


LinkedIn Local Caribbean, Eskimo, facts, originality, consistency

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