Of Cabbages & Clients

While some metaphors are effective because they are memorable, and some are regrettable because they are forgetable, this sales example of becoming and staying focused is one that always brings smiles.

Customer Focus
cabbage
One of the most common fallacies you can observe in modern business marketing efforts is the inability to overcome personality in order to offer customers what they want. It is true that you can sell more than what people think they want, but it is a terrible mistake to sit in meetings with marketing and promotional leaders and declare “don’t make the widget purple, I always hated purple.” Big wins and big breakthroughs come from surveying and listening to what customers really desire. If market research shows purple widgets are what will make the biggest impact for purchasers, mismanaging the process to offer only orange based on one opinion is too large a risk.

The Buyer’s Perspective
If a woman walks into a grocery store, and she is only looking for cabbage, she is not looking to buy anything else, although other upsell opportunities exist. Trying to sell her a hammer, or a box of pastries, may or may not be effective, but it is not what she walked into the store looking to purchase.

Purple Cabbage
The old adage, “sell the sizzle, not the steak,” has never been more true than today. Imagine the markets of England, where even today, in open air bazaars, sellers loudly hawk their wares,” Cabbages! Get your cabbages here,” they announce. In modern marketing practice, it would make more sense to holler the experience your customers could want. By getting your potential buyers to imagine a tasty sauerkraut, or a crisp cole slaw, even a warm and steaming rice and saucy cabbage roll, will make a far greater impact towards selling the cabbage alone.

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