What does a tuna sandwich have to do with an umbrella?

June 4, 2007          Comments (1)

As yesterday was torrentially pouring, I learned a valuable business lesson.

In today’s hyper cluttered, super busy world we all are extremely loyal to brands.

Or are we?

Some people wouldn’t switch for anything, no matter how cool, expensive and exclusive it may be. Others are always looking for a bargain and don’t really care what the tag or label says. And some are constantly in search for the next best thing. These early adopters become the trend setters.

We are in such a low trust world, no one believes anything anymore!

There are more scams, more emails from Africa claiming that I’m going to be a millionaire and not enough time to sort through all the clutter.

People practice professional skepticism. (Oh my God, that reminds me of my former career. Excuse me. Sorry. I just threw up in my mouth.)

I enjoy going to the gym in the afternoon and then once in a while getting a whole wheat bagel with Dirty sour cream and onion potato chips and a couple of free pickles from my local deli.

I used to actually get tuna on the bagel but then I realized that I make tuna better than my deli. The key is to really mash it down so it’s very fine. Then, I cut up celery so small it literally won’t come off the knife. Next, I take a carrot and peel off a few slices so they are razor thin. I make sure to cut the slices up into micro pieces.

The crunch from the celery and carrots is so subtle yet so amazing. Add some mayo and we have a party.

It’ll make you part your eye brows with your tongue!

Finally, I let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes because I can’t eat warm tuna.

I digress!

I don’t have an umbrella. I seem to keep losing them or they keep disappearing. So, all I wanted to do yesterday was run quickly to my deli and spend my $2.00 on my bagel and chips.

I didn’t want to get drenched though. So, I decided I’d ask the parking garage guy if I could borrow his (very visible) umbrella.

“Hola Amigo!!! May I borrow your umbrella? I’m literally going 300 yards to the deli. I just don’t want to get soaked.”

“Ohh no my friend. This isn’t mine.”

“Well whose is it? I just want to borrow it for 2 minutes. I live in this building.”

“I wish I could. I can’t. It’s not mine.”

“Really. That’s strange whose is it?”

“Some guy who just parked his car. He had to run down the street quickly. He’ll be right back.”

“Aww really. Just for 2 minutes man? C’mon. I promise. I’m not going to take your umbrella. What guy is going to run down the street without his umbrella right now? It’s pouring!”

“Ahhh amigo you got me. Okay, okay. For only two minutes though?”

“Yes. I swear. I’ll be right back!”

And this was all to get an umbrella! And he knew where I lived. But in his defense, he didn’t know me from a hole in the wall.

Wait a second. Isn’t that how business works?

Could you get a perfect stranger to lend you there umbrella?

Well, that’s exactly what I do every day for a living. And so does anyone else with a business.

How can you make your product or service as risk free as possible for strangers to give you a chance?

3 things you should do.

1. Stop marketing your product/service right now if you don’t believe in it 1000%. People sense sincerity (or lack of) very quickly.

2. Offer a money back guarantee. If you really believe in what you are doing then you shouldn’t have to think twice about offering a money back guarantee.

3. Include testimonials. People like to see that other people are using (and loving) your product/service. And don’t be afraid to include testimonials that are less than stellar. The more real and honest you are the better. (Note: In my type of business a lot of people are hesitant to include their full name, etc. If that’s the case, be prepared to hand over a list with your clients contact information – of course, you must ask your clients for permission to do this but if you can, that’s impressive!)

So, here’s my question to you. How can you umbrellerize your business?

Boy is my tuna good!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] who can trust when someone ‘retires’ these days? And how many times are we going to fall for it as […]

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