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Caveat Emptor

March 20, 2010

Ah man… I wish I could say something.  Things are smoking right about now, and I wouldn’t have had time even to post this if I didn’t have to wait for Enterprise to open.  But it has to open, and I’ve got 45 minutes on my hands before I can do anything about it.  And it’s a Saturday.  Thus: The Weekly Wrap.

  • Selling a book is a lot like selling a house, you know?  Which is a lot like selling yourself in a resume.  Which is pretty much like every instance in this life when you think about it, even dating.  Here are the universal tenants: 1) You have to have something of value.  2) Curb appeal is important — you have to give someone a reason to come inside/call you on the phone/ask for more.  3) Once you get them in the door, you have to close the deal.  It’s as simple as that.
  • They don’t really break it down to you like that when you’re growing up — they never explicitly say “Sell yourself” — but that’s what you’re doing.  What they typically say is something generic like “get an education”, but what you’re after — a diploma — is (supposedly) a tangible asset.  School, in this light, is really nothing more than industrialized value-creation for the masses.  Need to make yourself more valuable — want to make it easier to sell yourself? — go to school.
  • And you really have to know what it is that the buyer is looking for.  Of course, to some degree, the buyer doesn’t know what they are seeking until you show it to them, but the principle remains unchanged.  Case and point: I was sure until I got an iPhone that I preferred actual buttons on my smartphones, but apparently I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.  I didn’t know what I wanted.  Now, I’m the opposite: I’m touchscreen for the rest of my life.  I guess the lesson here is: it’s very possible that you can be offering something of greater value, but remember that you’ll always have to face pre-existing notions and beliefs.  Be strong.  Remember: Perseverance, in the end, usually wins out.
  • Here’s another example of buyer mentality.  I went to Lowes yesterday looking for Evergreen Premium Mini-Nuggets, the key word of course being Premium, and ran into a quandary.  Apparently, Lowes has the same item number on two packages, one that says Premium, and another of which just says Mini-Nuggets, and the Loader, a nice guy, was trying to convince me that it was just a packaging change and that beneath it was the same product.  Me, of course, I’ve always bought the bag that says Premium.  And I also know that, as a buyer, I wouldn’t want to buy a bag that’s already been opened so I don’t want to damage Lowe’s merchandise.   In this particular instant, it would’ve been easier to just get the Mini-Nuggets but caveat emptor demands that I go with what I know, and so they had to pull out the forklift and bring the Premium product forward.  Later, driving home, I wondered if I was being overly cautious, but life is just one big SALE I’m starting to discover.  Buyer beware.

And that’s the Weekly Wrap.

Next Vista: Wednesday, March 24, 2010, “Focal Point, May 2009”.

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