Many years ago, I was the very first person in Turkey to sell retail tag alarm systems – the ones where an alarm sounds if people try to take an item off the premises without paying for it. Back then, the shop owners I visited were absolutely sure that there could be no stealing under their surveillance. The result? Nobody wanted to buy my systems.
One day, I succeeded in making a provisionary sale to a ladies swimwear shop, but only on the condition that the customer could return the system if it did not pay for itself in a year’s time. The shop owner said that because he was located on a prestigious high street in Istanbul, and his clients were quite well off, he did not think shoplifting was a big problem. I think he only bought the equipment so he could say he was the first retailer in Turkey to have such a system.
His question to me was clear: “Who would steal my products?”
I was called back within a week.
“I’m sure it will pay itself in less than six months,” the shop owner said. “And do you know who we have caught stealing? Almost all of them are affluent people…”
Now I knew how to market my systems – especially to high street shops.
“Who would buy my business?” is a similar question business owners often ask. This question too, can only be answered by utilising a system that works – and alerts you to all the possibilities out there. You have to have a methodology that profiles an extensive range of potential buyers, right across the world, and then you have to market your business to each and every one of them.
Those anti-shoplifting systems are commonplace in all shops today. Likewise, all companies have to employ a foolproof marketing system for finding partners or buyers. The main difference will be that in the shoplifting systems one waits for the “buyers” to come into the shop while for the sales of the business, the system works best by reaching out to possible buyers.
The oldie of the week: Lisa Stansfield – All Around the World (1989)