“If only these people understood.”
“I have to educate these people, then they’d buy from me.”
And… you’d be wrong (mostly).
While you can definitely persuade people to buy certain things, changing a fundamental belief about something is a completely different game. It’s not a game you want to play.
This point was made clear to me after listening to a writing podcast on prospecting for clients.
The host asked: “What’s better, trying to sell to someone who loves watches and has several, or trying to sell a watch to someone who doesn’t wear watches?”
It’s a simple yet massively helpful example. Think about it:
- Selling marketing services to a company with no marketing vs. a company with a great website and a monthly e-newsletter
- Pitching a series of written blog posts to companies that don’t have a blog vs. pitching blog posts to a company with daily blog and social media posts.
You want to work with people understand the value of what you are offering. Any kind of convincing or massive investment in nudging is a waste of time.
You want to practice marketing jujitsu
I recently decided to wrestle with someone who, while much younger than myself, had a high level of Jujitsu experience.
I got in his guard and went for a submission. BAD IDEA. This guy cranked my neck and arm fairly badly. I’m still sore…
If this was a boxing match, I would’ve taken him out quickly. My game is standing up, not on the ground.
But as marketers, salespeople, etc., it’s easy to get caught up in playing the wrong game. Jujitsu and boxing are two completely different things. Just because both help you “fight,” doesn’t mean they are one in the same.
When you’re a boxer, don’t fight a skilled Jujitsu practitioner. If you’re a skilled marketer, don’t talk to clients who don’t understand your value. You’ll only end up bruised and confused.
How to Play a Better Game
So, how do you play a game worth playing?
First, pick your style.
Being a generalist is the worst thing you can do. “I’m a writer” is the intellectual equivalent of wearing boxing gloves to a jujitsu match. You could do it, but is it worth the pain?
Here’s a better way:
- Articulate what you do, why you do it and for whom
- Have standards for the game you want to play.
- Be willing to quit the game when you need to. Some clients aren’t worth the trouble. Perform an 80/20 audit and get rid of those who don’t make the cut.
Choke ‘Em Out
Jujitsu is all about finding your opponent’s weak points and taking advantage of them. The smaller guy can take down the big guy. It’s not about physical strength as much as it is about technique and finesse.
This is what makes Jujitsu so special.
When putting together your marketing strategy, think about the “weak points” you can exploit.
What’s your background? What makes you special in a sea of hundreds and thousands of other people, writers, marketers, salespersons etc.? Don’t have tons of experience? Get around it by figuring out your unique perspective or angle.
When you figure it out, and admittedly, I’m still figuring it out myself–go for the choke. Go all in.
That’s marketing Jujitsu.