I recently visited Las Vegas for the first time. I guess a numbers guy like me doesn’t see gambling as the best way to spend my time and money. All kidding aside, I really enjoyed the trip but not for the reasons most people talk about Vegas. I was fascinated by the extreme contrast in selling and marketing depending on where you were. For example, at Caesar’s Palace, you can be there an entire week and almost never talk to a single human. Check in: automated with a kiosk. Checkout: on your phone and done in two minutes. It’s as if Caesar’s is saying, “we have one of the most beautiful places in Vegas. Please enjoy yourself and we won’t bother you.” If you’re busy, on-the-go, with smartphone in one hand, and a young child in the other (like me), this may be appealing to you. Otherwise, consider another place if you need more personal attention.
Then, step outside and you get the other extreme. People in the street and malls walking right up to you to try to sell something – tickets to a show, a picture with Batman, your picture with someone wearing…umm…you’ll have to use your imagination. This was an actual exchange my wife had with one of the sellers. We’ll call this the “Hard Sell.”
My wife: “We’re looking for ____ (restaurant).” (We’ve just walked through 100 degree heat several blocks with a seven-year-old).
Seller: “Oh, yes it’s here. Would you like a free show for kids?”
My wife: (Intrigued) “Maybe. When is it?”
Seller: Fumbling through her papers… “Would you like to go to the restaurant tomorrow?”
My wife: “No thanks.”
We walked away. True story.
What’s the difference between Caesar’s and the Hard Sell, other than all the Roman statues? This is how I’d break it down.
We’re for those who want beauty, convenience, and privacy.
Everyone is the same and wants the same things.
We built our product for those who want what our target wants.
We built our product for every human that walks the planet. You’re all the same.
Our fee reflects those who value beauty, convenience, and privacy.
Everyone will pay the same. Push low price to sell.
How Many Customers?
If we serve our target customers well, the numbers will take care of themselves.
The more victims…uh…prospects, the better my odds. Keep pushing for volume.
Value of Time
Your time is important, and our time is important. Let’s spend time wisely.
Nobody’s time is important. Time is infinite.
I don’t want to give you the impression you should open a hotel casino like Caesar’s tomorrow. And I don’t even necessarily want you to follow their model. Just know which model you are following and the likely consequences. If you believe what “Hard Sell” believes, knock yourself out. You’ll likely need a thick skin, an army of people, and an unshakeable belief in what you’re selling–even if it’s garbage. What concerns me is you might be wandering in the gray area between Caesar’s and Hard Sell. How do I know this? Because I’ve made that mistake myself! As Yoda said, “Do or do not.” Don’t wander in the gray area.
You may not see yourself as Hard Sell, but have you…
-> Identified your target?
-> Customized your product for your target?
-> Priced your product or service correctly?
-> Thought about how many customers you need—for profit and to be happy?
-> Valued your time so you spend it wisely for your target and yourself?
Tough questions for all of us. Better to answer them sooner than later.
Can I Help You?
Hi, I’m Josh Horn, CPA/ABV, CVA of Horn Valuation. I help with business valuations in friendly or unfriendly situations. I also help owners build valuable companies. My clients are business owners and attorneys. If you’d like more information, check out my website hornvaluation.com, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 217-649-8794.
I’m a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and double-credentialed in business valuation (CVA & ABV). I’ve been a tax and business consultant in a top 100 CPA firm and a controller in a large international company. I’ve also valued and been the primary advisor to multi-million dollar and small companies in various industries.
“If you’re not working on building value in your company, who is?” Josh Horn, CPA, Certified Valuation Analyst and Accredited in Business Valuation