Buy my new book – ‘Bring Your Product Idea to Life’

It’s the basic question we all want an answer to, how do you sell more products?

My guest on the podcast today is here to help. Mark Endacott runs an online retail company, a business consultancy firm specialising in one to one sales training and business mentoring and an online sales training course which is launching soon. Put it simply Mark knows sales.

We talk about some of the mental blocks you might be experiencing when it comes to selling. Mark gives some great advice about how to overcome them whether you are selling face to face, online, on your website, on social media, or in emails.

We dig deep into the art of selling, from understanding your core product function to harnessing emotional connections. Mark shared invaluable tips on overcoming the fear of selling, leveraging email marketing, and the power of a compelling call to action. Plus, we talked about the importance of knowing your target market and adapting your strategies. Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, this episode is a goldmine of insights

The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast  – Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Website Endacott Associates – for business mentoring/ one to one sales training

Website The Natural Salesperson – for an online sales training course which is launching soon

Mark Endacott LinkedIn

This episode is sponsored by Aubergine Legal

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Do you want to outsource it all and eliminate your worries?

Then get in touch with Aubergine Legal, a friendly commercial legal consultancy.  Offering practical and clear commercial legal advice without the overwhelming legal jargon.  Taking the worry away and helping you to protect your business and minimise your risks. Aubergine offers a free initial 30 minute consultation if you have any questions or want to find out how they can help.

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Transcript
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Welcome to the bring your product idea to Life podcast.

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This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products or if you'd

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like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product

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creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly,

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practical advice as well as inspirational stories from small businesses.

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Let's get started.

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Hi. So today I'm talking to Mark Endacott. Mark helps people

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understand how and where to sell their products, overcoming the fears and

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mental blocks that hinder their success. So the conversation I had with Mark

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today is all about sales and specifically how you can sell more of your

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products. We talk a little bit about some of the mental blocks you might be

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experiencing when you're thinking about selling. Mark gives

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some great advice about how to overcome any mental blocks you might be experiencing

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when it comes to selling your products, whether that's face to face, or whether that's

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online, on your website, on social media, in emails. We

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cover all kinds of topics and I think you're going to get some really useful

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and practical ways out of this episode that you can sell more of

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your existing products. So I would love now to introduce you to Mark.

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Hi, Mark. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for having me.

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Oh, you're so welcome. So, can we start with you? Please give an introduction to

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yourself, your business, what you do, and who you work with. Yeah.

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So my name is Mark Endercott. I actually run three

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different businesses. I run an online retail company.

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I run a business consultancy firm specializing in one to

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one sales training and business mentoring. And I have an

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online sales training company with an online sales training course

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launching soon. Brilliant. Thank

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you. So I invited you on to talk about sales and

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specifically selling products, how we can sell more of them, and maybe some

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of the barriers that are preventing us from getting more sales at the moment.

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And one topic I'd love to talk to you about and get your take on

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is fear of selling. Because as silly as it may sounds, especially when you're

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selling, whether it's a product or a service, often we can be a little bit

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hesitant or scared about selling or

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seeming salesy. So can you talk a little bit to that, why you

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think that is, and perhaps any advice you have on how we can get around

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that? Yeah, so, I mean, there's kind of two different elements

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to this. I spend a lot of time talking about the psychology of sales

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and of the sales process. And people have

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fear around selling for two reasons. One is perception of

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themselves and the other is the inability

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to actually ask for money so they don't

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want to come across as pushy. The biggest problem is that people

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associate sales with car salespeople and those kind of

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door to door salespeople, those kind of hard sell,

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pushy, I'll take your money no matter what I'm selling you kind

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of thing. And that's actually such a minority

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of what sales is. Sales is like a whole

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combination of marketing, branding and then the ability

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to actually close a deal. And I

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often think that people's fear is around not

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wanting to appear as if they're trying to sell. And

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the reality is everybody's trying to sell something to somebody. It

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doesn't matter what your job role is. And I used to have this conversation a

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lot before I went self employed, that every department

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in a business is in sales, whether they want to be or not, because

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they have an impact on how the business chooses to operate

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and therefore how the business chooses to sell. And

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it's about understanding that sales isn't

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selling, it's helping. If you're doing it correctly, and if you're

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properly verifying customers and clients, things like that,

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you're helping them because you're not selling them something they don't need.

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And if you can kind of look at it that way, that helps with that

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side of it. But then the other side, which is the whole fear

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around asking for money, a lot of that.

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Sometimes it's a fear of money, sometimes it's a fear of rejection.

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But a lot of people have money hang ups around.

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They either don't understand and perceive the value of

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what they're selling themselves, so they don't know how to

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kind of ask for x amount of money for this

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product, or they

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just genuinely have a money kind of mental block

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that means that they find it uncomfortable to talk about.

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I spend most of my time working with people around those two things. The perception

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of how it looks to sell and how you

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actually get comfortable about talking money

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with potential customers and clients.

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Yeah, that's really helpful, thank you. And as you were talking, I was reflecting on

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the fact that you were talking about helping. And I think that obviously if you're

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selling a product, you're selling it for a reason. And whatever it is,

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you're selling it with somebody in mind, your product is going to help someone in

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some way. And whether helping means, I don't know, brightening up their

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wall, or it's more of a practical product that, I don't know,

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helps them get their baby to sleep or whatever the thing is,

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presumably there's that aspect to it as well. That as if you know that what

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you have is a good product and it genuinely meets a

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need, I think that's also perhaps a good place to start

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from as well. Yeah. So you've really got to

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understand what you are trying to achieve with your

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product and who you are trying to help. And that,

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like, for example, if you think about

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the number of times you'll see an advert on social media for something that

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isn't relevant to you, and you find yourself thinking, who

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set these adverts up? Who do they think they're

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targeting with this product? And it's interesting

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that the same thing happens when you are physically talking to somebody, trying to sell

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them a product. You need to verify if they actually have a

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requirement for your product before you ever sell them anything. And I

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see so many people, I work with a lot of sales teams,

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and the salespeople think that everybody's their

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potential client. They could sell to anybody. And actually,

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within the first five minutes of a conversation, you should be able to determine if

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you can help that person, not sell to them, help

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them. And that's how you build the relationship. If you can help them

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with product that you have within your arsenal of

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options, then that's great. You can then proceed down

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a sales process and try and

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explain to them how you can help them. But if

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you haven't within the first five minutes, understood

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whether you can help them or not, you really aren't doing the right things. You're

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not asking the right questions, you're not understanding your role in a sales

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process. Thank you. And I guess that's really

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helpful when you're selling. I don't know if it's a trade shower in a shop

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and you're seeing your customers face to face, but how can we apply

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that when we're selling online, for example,

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or when we're doing social media posts about our products?

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Yeah. So when you're selling online, obviously it's slightly

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different, but you still need to understand that

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you want a. For example, let's take a website page with a product

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description and photos and all that. That needs to very

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quickly highlight who it helps, how it

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helps, and what it does exactly in that order.

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So if you put a social media post out, so say you were

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talking example about trying to get a baby to sleep. Product help of getting

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baby to sleep. The top of the social media post,

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are you a tired parent?

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Does your baby struggle to sleep without being

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cuddled? We've got the product for you. And then you

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talk about what the product does, how you can evidence and

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prove that the product works, social proof is always massively

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important, but it's about tapping into the

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emotions. It's always with sales, it's always about the emotional

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connection. Why does this person want to buy your

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product? You can have the best product in the world

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that does exactly what that person needs. But if they

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don't connect with the idea, if they don't understand

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the idea, if they don't emotionally invest in

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what it can do for them, it's going to be a lot

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harder to sell to them. That makes a lot of

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sense. And I think also by taking that approach, you're also

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kind of getting the attention of the people who might

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be your customers. So in your example, tired parents, but

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anyone else, if you're not a tired parent, you'll probably just

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scroll right past that post because it's not for you. So I guess there's something

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in knowing who you're targeting as well, because there is

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that saying, isn't there, that if you're selling to everybody, you're selling to nobody.

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So I guess there's an element of if you're really set on what your product

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does, who it's for, who it's going to benefit. Because I think it can be

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really tempting to say, oh, well, my products are for everyone, but nothing's

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for everyone. No, again, it's something

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that when I've done sales room

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with various people, like small business owners,

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the number one thing is what's your niche? Well, I don't really have a niche.

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Okay. Our first session is entirely

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dedicated to understanding why you do have a niche and you just haven't

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found it yet, and how important that is.

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Even down to people selling services or people selling their own time.

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They need to niche the number of people out there who are just generic

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business consultants or business coaches.

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It's so much harder to sell yourself as a I can answer

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every question business coach than it is as a I am a

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business mentor with a specialism in sales.

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So people who are looking for a mentor who can help them to improve their

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sales figures, I immediately am going to be more

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attractive to them than just a generic business mentor who doesn't specialize

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in sales. So it's about

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understanding. Again, everybody has an emotional attachment to

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what they do. One of the hardest things that people

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have to overcome when they start selling a physical product.

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And it's harder in person because online you can just kind of

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ignore it. But the rejection element of it as well,

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and bad reviews online are the equivalent to a rejection in person.

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I would say it's not personal.

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It will feel personal because it's your product, but it's not a

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personal attack. It's that person's opinion, their

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perception, their understanding of that product and why it's

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not right for them or why it didn't work for them. And all

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it is is something you can take on board. And it might

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be that your website page description

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sold it to that person when it wasn't right for that person. Go

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back and look at your wording. Why did that person leave a one star review

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saying it didn't do what it should have done, when actually it wasn't designed to

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do what they wanted if they've bought it, thinking

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it will? You need to reword your description so that it

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highlights that it doesn't do that thing. Otherwise you're just going to continue to have

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disappointment. That's really helpful. That's another really good

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takeaway, actually, about being really clear about what your product is and what it does

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and possibly what it doesn't do as well. I know that. I really appreciate when

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I read a product description and it will say at the end, I don't know,

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this product doesn't come with this feature or this thing or

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this isn't included, whatever it is, because there's nothing worse than

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spending your money on something, receiving it and thinking, oh, that isn't

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what I expected. So I think the more information you can give,

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the better. I think that there's a lot to be said for sort of a

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customer knowing exactly what it is that you are selling because then they're making

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really informed decision, which I think also coming back to that psychology bit makes

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you feel better as well, because you know

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that you're not selling. I don't know. You're not being disingenuous.

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Disingenuous. You're not being dishonest. You've given a really accurate description.

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I think that can also really help. Yeah, I mean, how often do

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you buy something online or you go to buy something online and as

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you're just making the decision, you scroll down, go, I should have a look at

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the reviews. And it's a review that highlights you that it doesn't do

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the very thing you were buying it for. Everything about the

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product description and the photos implies, oh, yeah, that's perfect. That's exactly what I've been

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looking for. And then you get down to the reviews and one review says, it

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doesn't do this. And you go, I won't buy that. Then, because

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that is exactly what I wanted it for. And you would have fallen into the

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same trap as the person who left that review. That's a poor product

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description in that situation because it's implying it can do something. It

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can. And that's almost the used car salesperson of

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product descriptions. And it's about, yes, it's

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important to get sales, but it's getting the right sales

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and getting sales for the right reasons. That's really what's

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key. And the sooner people understand

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that the psychology of sales, it's a two sided

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coin. It's got both the consumer and the

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seller on the same coin, just on different sides.

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And it's a real difficult balancing act getting that

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coin to land perfectly on the edge in the middle so

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both sides can see the benefit. It's very easy to flip

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it. It lands seller side up. Your psychology is great. You think you're doing

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well, but actually the consumer isn't getting the best

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deal or the other way around. You're not getting the best deal. A lot of

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people who sell a product undervalue the product

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because they're looking, I'll make it as cheap as I can.

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I'll sell it as cheap as I can. And then

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two years down the line, they're going out of business because they actually

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undervalued their product. They never made enough money from that product, even though it was

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fantastic. It's about having a balance between

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consumer need and seller need.

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That's true. And you made some really good points there, Mark. And actually, something I

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think worth just considering is, as you just rightly

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said, that it's not just about selling your products. You also want to hopefully

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get decent reviews for your products because it doesn't matter how many people are

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buying it if they don't like it. And also, you don't want people buying your

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products and then returning it because they're not happy with it.

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So that's the other side of that as well, isn't it? That it's not just

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about getting sales. I think as you're saying, it's about getting the right

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sales. Yeah, 100%. Thank

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you. So I would love to talk a little bit now about

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any sort of. I mean, you've given us plenty already, Mark, but any other

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tactics or tips you have that small product businesses can start to

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implement now that will hopefully make a difference to their.

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Kind of. We've covered a few different elements of it, but for

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me, it's about really nailing down what

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your product is designed to do. So

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a lot of people end up in small business because they have an idea. They

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go, oh, this is needed in the world. I can do this. Some people just

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see something wholesale and think, I can make a few quid selling that. What

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I'm going to say isn't really for those people. This is more for people who.

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It's their product.

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Understand that your product isn't for everybody,

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first and foremost, and that's okay. There is

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nothing wrong with the fact that your product isn't for everybody,

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but it's important that you know who it is for. And as soon as

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you understand who your product is for, you'll be able to

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change the way you sell it. And it might be that

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I work with some people who they think online retail is the

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best place by far to sell their product, but it's a product that's really

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hard to demonstrate what it does online.

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And I've actually worked with a couple of people who've changed from being

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retailer to being wholesalers, and their sales have taken

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off as a result, because actually what they needed was the product in physical

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shops so people could get hands on with that product, they could see

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what it did. And as soon as people saw what it did, they bought it,

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because it was kind of pretty revolutionary in the industry it

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was in. But it's really hard to see what it does

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online. And all the video demonstrations out in the world

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didn't have the same effect as people getting their hands on that product and trying

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it. So they kind of changed tac entirely from

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being retailer to wholesaler and their sales

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ten times in a year, because once

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they even just taking it to retail environments and going, I'd

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love for you to stock this product. Those retailers, the minute they saw it.

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Yeah, please. How much is it? How many can we have? It

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changed the game for them. So understanding where to sell your

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product is equally as important as understanding who you're selling it

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to. Know your market and know where those customers

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are in the market. So there's kind of like just

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a few straight off the bat tips for people who design their own

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product in. Terms of, can I just ask a few

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questions before we move on, mark? Of course, yeah. So what about for

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the person listening who says, well, I don't know,

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I sell, I'm trying to think of something that's sort of

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not say something. I don't know. Let's say earrings as an example, because

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obviously there's so many earrings in the world. There's lots of people

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selling earrings. Let's imagine you're someone who sells a product like that, where you think,

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how do I differentiate my products? Because

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obviously they have the benefit of they might complete an

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outfit, make you look good, make you feel good. How would

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that person, because I think it's a lot easier when you're selling something

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that has a really, like, if we take this helps your baby to

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sleep. I feel like that in some ways for the right person is

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a much easier sell because you've got a small baby, it's not sleeping. You want

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a solution, you go and buy one. When you're buying something that's, I don't

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know, earrings or clothes might be another example, or perfume. That's

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more of a, I don't want to say luxury item, but more of maybe an

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impulse purchase or. I'm not articulating

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myself well, but hopefully. It'S a fashionable purchase, not a functional purchase.

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Yeah, that's the word. It's not functional. It's something that you maybe want rather

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than need. How would you go about selling a product that

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fits into that category? Interestingly, I take the same approach

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with both things. So the classic example that sell

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me this pen type thing is I use that

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as an example of this exact thing. So sell me these

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earrings. It's not about the earrings. It's about how

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the earrings make you feel. It's about what you're doing when you're

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wearing the earrings. These aren't just

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earrings. These are the earrings you'll be wearing

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when you get to collect that award that you've been nominated for in

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your field, in your industry, for being great at

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it. These are the earrings that you will choose to wear to

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your child's wedding. These are the earrings that

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you want to be wearing the day your fellow proposes to.

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It's about the emotional attachment that makes those

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earrings special. That's what makes them stand out, is these

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aren't just the earrings that you wear. These are the

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earrings that you feel. These are the earrings

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that genuinely will make you

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want to put them on for special occasions.

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And if you're selling five pound everyday earrings, okay,

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these are your functional earrings that you can wear every day. They're not too blingy,

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but they're not too small. They tick that box. But if you're talking about high

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end, like more luxury earrings that are an expense

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product that needs selling, not just like an impulse purchase. If you're

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talking like 150 pound earrings type thing, it's

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about the situation in which you will wear

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them. That's what you sell them on. That's useful.

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Thank you. And also, sorry to ask questions, but how? Well, actually, I'm here to

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ask questions. How does brand fit into the sales piece as well? Because

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that's something else I think is worth thinking about. So, as I said, if

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we stick with the earrings examples, and especially if we look at, say, the mid

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range price points, not the really cheap, not the 150 pounds,

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but kind of the mid range, there are lots of

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businesses in that space, and as there are lots of businesses in lots of spaces.

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So how can you use your brand to support you

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in the sales process? Because I think for some businesses,

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that is what differentiates them from the other products on the market.

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You could perhaps buy a pair of silver hoop earrings from various

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places. So it might be that actually it's not so much

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the product that you're selling, but it's maybe the brand or the

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ethos, what they stand for. How does that all tie

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in? Weirdly, the exact same way

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the classic, this is not just a pie, this is an

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M S pie. If you take that mindset and apply

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it to your know, this is not just

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sales training. This is Endica associate sales training.

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It's about how you elevate your brand and all of your marketing and all

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of your approach. If that's kind of where

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you sit, if you sit in the mid range of the market, all

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of your branding should imply that you are at the higher end of the

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market. You want to be a semi

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aspirational brand in this day and age, a day

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of social media, where Instagram is king. It's

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so important for people to be

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seen to be wearing the right thing.

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If you were selling earrings as an example, it's about,

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again, even for the mid range, what those earrings

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represent. And that's where your brand is

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massive. You want your brand to become

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a desirable brand. You want your brand to be something people are happy to

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talk about. So when somebody says, oh, they're nice earrings, where'd you get them? You

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say, oh, I got them from Ears and co. Or whatever

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the company is, know, I got them from ears and co. They do absolutely

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great work. You should see what they do. They've got a charitable element so that

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a pound from every pair goes to charity, whatever it be. Do things that

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differentiate your brand and elevate your

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brand so that when people talk about the

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earrings, they talk about the brand more than the product.

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That's the key. And that's what the high end companies are

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really good at. So they make you talk about the

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brand, not, oh, that's a nice dress. Where'd you get that dress? Oh, it's

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Chanel. Did you see that? They also brought out some great bags. And

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very quickly people move on from the very thing that they're wearing

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to talk about the other things that they have. That's what great brands

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do and that's what you want to do. If you're a mid tier brand, you

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want to have that kind of aspirational element that people almost want

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to brag that they're wearing you and then talk about that.

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So again, it's that emotional investment in the brand. So the

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emotional investment in the product comes from what you're doing when

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you're wearing those earrings. And then it's the

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emotional backup that you get from. And not only am I wearing them

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while I'm doing that, but I'm wearing ears and co. And

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that's what all of your branding and marketing and brand awareness should work

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around. That's useful. Thank you. And I'm just

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reflecting again, I think it all again comes back to your customer, doesn't it?

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And knowing what's important to your customer. So, for example, is your

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customer someone who's interested in sustainability? Do they want to shop

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with brands that give something back? And

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I'm just reflecting that. I think that also would really help to know

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what's important to your customer. So those are the things that you talk about,

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because that can make the difference between them buying from you and buying somewhere

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else. Yeah. You've just got to think that if you're a

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mid tier brand, you'll have people who buy your. So,

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earrings class example, you'll have people who buy your earrings and wear them every day

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as a mid tier brand and their luxury item is the 150 pound

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earrings. But if you're like a 50 pound set of

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earrings, you will also have people who wear five pound earrings every day and you

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are their luxury brand. Like in their

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affordability scale, you are the top of their end and you

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need to make them feel like that. That's what you have to remember. So you

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will hit both markets, so you will have people who wear yours as every

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day, but you'll have people who, yours are the special ones and it's

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about how you appeal to both of them. So that's where your

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marketing might be targeted slightly differently and you can talk

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about both elements of that and that might be down to the

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designs. So you have your special occasion designs and then you have your everyday

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designs and the special occasion designs are the ones you're targeting

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at people who would normally buy five pound earrings. Your everyday designs are the people

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who would wear your 50 pound earrings every day.

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That makes sense. And I think that's a really good advice

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as well, to think about this across your product range. So that especially

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if you have more than one product, which lots of businesses do,

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it's okay if your different products are aimed at different

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customers, because I think we can fall into the trap of thinking

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that our customer is our customer and it's the one customer

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we have in mind when we think about our whole product range. But of

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course, that very likely isn't the case for all of

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us. So that's actually a really good reminder. Thank you for that.

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I mean, you just got to think like people uni the

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pizza Oven company. So they sell

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massively expensive pizza ovens at the high end of their scale, but they also

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sell like a 20 quid pizza stone. So you can stick it in your normal

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oven and anybody can make a pizza that's better than it would normally be

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using the pizza stone. So they have their. This is

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a more luxurious pizza experience for the everyman, and this is

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the high end if you want a pizza oven experience for people who are willing

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to spend a few hundred pounds. So that's a good

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example of your product range, can hit

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various customers along the way. That's a really good example.

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Thank you. And I think that's actually a really useful thing for people to think

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about is that is your customer different for the different products

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that you sell? Because quite likely that it is. I mean, even

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if you're selling products for babies, let's say you have babies at different stages. So

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you might have some products that are aimed at parents of newborns and some that

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are aimed at parents who are entering the weaning stage as an example.

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And yes, they're not vastly different,

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but they are different. Yeah,

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100%. Well, thank you. I think

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I rudely interrupted you early when you were about to tell us some more of

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your tactics for how we can improve our sales. So I'll let you keep going

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through them, Mark. Yeah, I mean, it kind of comes back to what we've just

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been talking about. It's about thinking about the

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functional, practical element of your products as well. So

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understanding what

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your products do, how they service a requirement

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as much as anything. So, for example, if I was to sit here and say

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to you, do you have a car? Do

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you drive your car every day? Yes. No. Well,

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do you drive your car every week? Yes. Okay.

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Does your heater in your car annoy you? Because it either doesn't get hot

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quick enough or it is too cold or like it's blowing air too much,

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that kind of thing? Yes. If I had a product that

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could reduce that airflow so it was just slightly less aggressive on your face, would

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that be of interest to you? Yes. So the

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functional element is what sells that product to you because it's an annoyance that

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gets to you daily. I don't know if that's a thing, by the way, if

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that isn't a product, somebody should make that product because the speed

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at which those fans come on is annoying.

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But yes, that element is the

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functionality that you need to be able to explain.

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And the best way to explain it is by asking questions

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again. So if you were selling that online, you almost

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want to answer the questions that you would expect

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or give the answers to questions, people that you expect. So I've just

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asked you those questions there. You almost want that to be the

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flow of your product description. Are you tired of getting

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hit in the face by the fans in your car when you've got it on

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auto climate control mode? That it's just a little bit too aggressive and it's really

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annoying? This is how we can solve that. Our product is designed

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to solve that annoyance. So again, it's

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about how you detail

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functionally what your product does, how it serves a need,

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because that's what it all comes down to. Everything is about the need.

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If you are in any sales game, it's what the need is and how you

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identify that, how you confirm that the need is what you

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think it is. Because as a salesperson, you can ask questions

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until you're blue in the face and go, right, I've got the perfect product for

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you. If you haven't confirmed that what you understand the problem

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to be is the main problem, you might try

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and sell them the wrong thing. So you need to know what the

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need is and how your product helps it by confirming that that

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is the right need. And then you can sell them the perfect product to help

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with their situation based on the functional service that it

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delivers. That's really helpful. Thank you. And I think I'll also add

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that I think there's also an element of being open to

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finding out that the need, perhaps basically open to feedback is what I'm trying to

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say. Because I've worked with businesses before who've said to me, oh, I really thought

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that my product, I designed my product for this reason, but actually this

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group of people are buying it for this reason, and it wasn't quite

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what they expect. The customer wasn't quite expected. How the product's been used wasn't quite

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how they expected. And I don't know what your take on that is, Mark. I'd

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love to know. Mine is that I think that's actually fine as long

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as you listen to that and go, okay, so people are using it for this.

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Maybe I can lean into that a little bit more when I talk about it.

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For example. Yeah. The person

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who designed the bike tire patch for when your bike tire gets a puncture, that

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wasn't its original purpose. Its original purpose was in maritime, so it was for

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boat repair. And then they found that more people were

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buying it to repair bike tires than were buying it to repair boats. So they

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pivoted how they marketed that product. And suddenly it's a bike tire

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patch, not a boat repair patch. And once

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they started to change how they marketed it, the sales took

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off because it was only people who saw it and thought, oh, I could use

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this for my bike. And people who were practical enough to think of the other

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use for it, who were using it for that. And the minute they changed their

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marketing, that company took off. And

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being flexible and being willing to pivot to customer

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demand and customer realization of what your product

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actually can be used for is incredible.

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One of the products I sell a lot is a range of pipe clips.

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So if you have pipes

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in your walls or anything like that, the clips that hold them to the walls,

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I sell a selection of them. The number of people who use those pipe clips

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for everything else, oh, I use it to hold

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my broom to the wall in my cupboard so it's not falling down. All

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those kind of things. People use them for hanging tools in garden sheds.

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And the number of people who use these products for

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completely opposite things to what they're actually designed for is

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huge. But that's great, because that just means I have more

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opportunity to. This product isn't just for this

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purpose, that's what it was designed for. But you can buy it for this

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or this or this. It opens up the market to new opportunities for

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me that I can choose to market

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to those people. Yeah. And I guess that makes

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it a lot easier for you to talk about your product as well, because you

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can talk about the different uses. For example, you can talk about, I don't

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know, here's some pictures of how our customers are using these

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clips or whatever it is. I guess that also opens you up to

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just not because I think something that can be hard, particularly when selling your products

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online, say social media, is that you don't just want to keep saying the same

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thing over and over. Of course there's an element of that because not everyone sees

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everything. But I certainly found when I had my product range, I got really

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bored of kind of. I felt like I was repeating the same

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narrative over and over. And actually, what's your

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take on how much of that should we do in versus finding other

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angles to talk about? Because I assume that being consistent and

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saying the same message over and over to a point isn't a bad

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thing, but what's sort of the balance between

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repeating the same messages and actually thinking about new ways to talk about your

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products? Yeah, I think that's, again, down to

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a bit of brand authority and recognition, like product

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recognition. Once you've built up a level

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of people, your classic

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paper red cups that you might have for a party.

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I use them when I'm painting edges, when I'm

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edging in, painting, when I'm walls, because they're perfect.

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You just pour a little bit of paint in there, like the perfect size to

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dip your paintbrush in and go edge in your walls. If they sold them as

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that, every decorator under the sun would buy them because they're cheap and they're

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incredibly helpful, but they don't. But

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those paper cups they are known for. If you want a party,

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here's the paper cup that you can use.

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Recycle materials, et cetera, et cetera. And it's recyclable. All that jazz

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people get to know. You need to reach the point where

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you have some authority and you are seen as a player

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in that industry. Like your earrings, for example.

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Earrings are probably not a great example because they're not super functional for other things.

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But once you talk about your pipe. Clips, if you like, we can

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talk. That's the easier example. There you go. That's a

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pipe clip. Hinge pipe clip.

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People know that is a pipe. Know you

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put your pipe in, lock it down, it holds it in place.

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They've been around like donkeys years and

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they'll be in everybody's house in the UK.

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I don't need to explain to people that that's a pipe clip who use pipe

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clips because they know that they will buy them. Like plumbers

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and heating installers, they will buy those clips every day.

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It's the people. So I don't have to really talk with

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consistency about what that does anymore, that sells itself. If people want them,

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they know that I sell them, they can get them. The

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other avenues, therefore, that I can explore are

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if I put it that way up in my garden shed, I can put a

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tool in there, lock it up, and it will hold the tool stored more

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conveniently out the way. Anything like that. Like, say, in the cupboard holding

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a broom. But it's only worth

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my time looking at those avenues, because people

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already know what its main function is. And people buy it a

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lot for its main function. That means that I have the opportunity to

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explore other ways of marketing it. If people weren't

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buying it for its primary function in quantity, that's where I

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should be focusing my efforts. Because not enough people buy it for other reasons to

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justify the time of marketing it

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solely on that. So again, it's

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driven by demand. The demand for this is 95% as a

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pipe clip, 5% as other weird and wonderful uses.

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So why would I

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spend 95% of my time marketing it for the other

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uses? Well, I wouldn't, because the demand

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isn't massive for it for other uses. But it does mean that I

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can put some of my marketing budget towards that. And I can look

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at whether I can increase the number of people purchasing it for other reasons. And

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it's about understanding that, that it's

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known for what it does. And like I say, you could take a lot of

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things. Guitar strings, they're known for what they do.

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They are good as guitar strings. I have seen people use them

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on strimmers. So when they're out strimming their grass, you can use a

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guitar. If you run out of plastic for your strimmer

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head, but you happen to have a guitar string knocking about, you can use a

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guitar string as a strimmer attachment. Same thing with cable ties. People do

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that with cable ties. They use them as strimmer attachments. It's

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understanding that there might be other uses

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for a product, but knowing whether it's worth marketing

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it for that use or not, or whether it's just an incidental use, that some

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people might buy it for that. And

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that's kind of down to you to determine for your product

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whether it's worth the time and effort marketing it for the other use or not.

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That makes a lot of sense. Thank you. And I was also thinking, as you

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were talking, there's also the possibility of sending really

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mixed messages. So if you at the outset said, I'm selling this,

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and you can use it to attach your pipes, or you can use it for

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your garden shed. That thing

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about selling to everyone, selling to no one, probably both of those people.

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The people looking for it for their pipes, and the people looking for. I don't

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know, some way to store their tools, you're probably going to put off both of

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them because they're going to go, well, which is it? Last week he said it

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was this. This week he said it was that. Who is this actually for? Because

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I think when I'm just thinking as a customer now, you kind of

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want to know that what you're buying is the thing for

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you. And I think if the messages are mixed, whether that's to do with the

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product or the brand, and you're not quite sure what something is or what someone

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stands for, I think if there's any sort of uncertainty, it

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doesn't help with trust, does it, in the brand or in the product.

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Yeah. That comes back to that authority that I was talking about. You want to

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be an authority in what you talk about what you sell.

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So that's a pipe clip. That will always be a pipe clip.

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I might put out a social post that says, what other uses do you have

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for these pipe clips? We've had customers use them for X, Y and Z, and

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that might generate some sales of people who go, oh, that's a good idea, I'll

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buy some for that. But the reality is it's a pipe

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clip. And at the start of that social media post, I would describe it as

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a pipe clip that you can use for other things. So it's still

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the main focus and the main reason for that product is

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the functional hype clip element of it. The fact that it has

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other uses is great, but it is a pipe clip. So again,

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that comes back to what I was saying about you need to understand the function

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your product serves because that is

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what people are looking for. When people go online and they

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search for something, they are searching for a product

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that does x, Y or z. How do I attach my

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pipes to the wall? Well, if I don't come up with that product when they

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search, that I'm missing a trick because

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that's what that product is designed for. And it's about

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thinking about the kind of things that people search or the kind of questions people

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ask. You need to be working on that as part of your

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marketing approach as well. Thank you. So I think it

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makes sense that as well as not trying to target every customer,

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you're also not trying to claim your product does everything under the

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sun. And I guess your product needs to have one

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primary function. And as you say, if it's

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used for other things or if people do different things of it, that's kind of

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incidental. But I guess it needs to have a primary use or

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purpose. Yeah, I mean, classic example, the

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baby monitor we've got has a nightlight

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function and a little projector function. Both of them are

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rubbish. We bought a separate little star

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projector thing for our baby's room. That is a million times

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better. But it was more. I didn't

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buy it to be a projector or to be a nightlight. I bought it to

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be a baby monitor. The extra things that came with it.

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Okay, well, we'll give them a try. When they were rubbish, I bought a product

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that was designed for that purpose. First and foremost, that product is

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designed to be a baby monitor. Presumably you saw

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enough reviews and evidence that it worked really well as a baby

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monitor. Yeah. And that's exactly what sold it to me,

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was all the reviews said it's a fantastic. Not a single review

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mentioned any of the additional functionality of it.

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But every review said it's a fantastic baby monitor. So that's why

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we bought it. And like I said, the fact that they decided to

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throw in three or four additional features to the product, none of which are

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particularly good, doesn't matter, because that isn't why I bought it. And there

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are other products that serve that purpose. So again, it's

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important to remember that as well. If you have a product that has its main

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function and you think, oh, but I could also have it do this and this

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and this. Yeah, great. Put those additional features and functions into

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your product, but don't lose sight of what its main

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function is, and don't drop the quality of the main

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function to include extras in the price. You want to

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be the best at what the main function is, not average at the main

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function, but with some fancy features, I'd actually go as

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far. To say for that particular product. I think I'd actually go as far to

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say as I would possibly, if that was my product. Remove the extra

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features because it sounds like

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they're not being used and they're not necessary. Presumably it's more costly to have them.

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I'd even go as far to say as I would consider whether it was worth

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even having them. And do they devalue the

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product on the basis of, you think, well, is it really that good? If

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these extra features are kind of poor, how

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good is it as a baby? But thankfully, it's a really good baby monitor. It's

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just the extras aren't they felt like afterthoughts

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and that's how it comes across. That's really interesting. So

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what I'm taking from you here is, I think clarity is really key about your

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product, your customer, your brand, and just being really clear on who you

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are, what your product is, what it does, who it's for, and just having

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total clarity because I think that clarity will also give you the confidence coming back

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to what we were talking about right at the beginning to actually sell your

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product. Yeah. And like I said, there's a big difference between

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selling online and selling in person. Selling in person is where the fear

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is actually having a physical conversation with somebody to

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talk about selling a product. That's where people get scared around

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rejection, around fumbling their words, around the money element.

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That's something I work on with people every day.

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Selling online is much more about how you describe your

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product accurately and how you market to your

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niche. Because you can have a

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conversation with somebody that looks like your ideal client on paper, and through that

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conversation you have to verify if they are or not

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online. You don't get that luxury. Your website has to be able to do that

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for you. So that's where people

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that use things like Chat GPT to write product descriptions. Okay, it's a

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great tool to use for a start point, but

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honestly, if you're not editing it to

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smithereens, like, if you're not very good, if you're not good at starting with a

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blank piece of paper and writing a product description, it's a good thing to help

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you get a start. But if you're not editing it and turning it

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into a sales process of a product description, you're not really

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using your product description correctly.

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Absolutely. Yeah. In this day and age, it's so

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easy to pick out lazily written product descriptions that have

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just used an AI tool, versus people

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who understand their market, understand their niche,

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understand what function their product serves and

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how they can put that across. Interestingly enough, I

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recorded an episode about AI yesterday, which I think will be

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out ahead of this one, which we were talking about. Exactly that, how AI

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is a starting point, but it's not the

Speaker:

total solution. And I think, again, you've worded it really well there, that if

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you know all of these things that we've spoken about and you've got that

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clarity, it makes it a lot easier to sell your products,

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whether it's online or on social media. And I do think still, by the way,

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there is still some fear of selling, even if you sell online, because I

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know plenty of businesses who don't want to do posts selling their products, don't want

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to email their lists about their products because of that fear of

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selling. But I'm assuming that you would say that all of the advice you've given

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about selling face to face still applies in that if you know your customer, you

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know what your product does, you know how it would help them or benefit them,

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there's still a lot to be said for doing that. Yeah. I mean, with a

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lot of people, it's set yourself

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a goal. This is the way that I always say it. So

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if you're just absolutely terrified of writing an email marketing

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campaign and actually I'm scared that I'll come

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across too salesy, too pushy, set yourself a goal and just go

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right. Firstly, the goal is start, send

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one, but have a goal of, you're going to send ten

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because as you send one and then a fortnight

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later you send another one, fortnight later you send another one. They'll get easier to

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write, you'll get better at them, but you'll also start to see that

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people don't care. People really aren't

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offended at you sending them an email. And

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people who choose to get offended and go, oh, unsubscribe from your email list, I

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didn't want that. That's fine. They weren't your customer to begin with. It's not

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a bad thing to get them off of your email list. So

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just start and have a goal of doing ten, whether it's

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social posts, whether it's emails. Just have a goal that you will

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do ten. Because by the time you get to ten, you'll start to see

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the benefit of doing it. You might get some extra sales, you'll certainly get some

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feedback and it will encourage you to continue doing so and that fear

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will start to dissipate. That's really helpful. And I

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mean, something else I would say as well is that it can be scary to

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think about sending emails, selling your products or post on social

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media, but I'm sure that all of us have brought something.

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I certainly have. I've brought something from an email that landed in my inbox. I've

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brought things that I've seen advertised on social media more than once.

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So I think we have to remember that we're customers too, and

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we shop that way, so there's no reason to think that other people don't.

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Yeah, exactly. Not everybody can afford to do it.

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But if you are genuinely just terrified of sending an email

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campaign or writing a social post, pay a copywriter to do it, to

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write it for you, and then all you've got to do is schedule it.

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There are a lot of people out there and I know and I

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work with various copywriters and I've got clients that I recommend to

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various people that it

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just removes the biggest issue that a lot of people have, which

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is. But I just don't know if what I'm writing is right. And

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that's where a lot of their fear comes from again, the fear of rejection,

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that if they take the time to write something,

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put their personality into it, put their love, thought and care into it, and the

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first time they write it might take them 6 hours to actually craft it how

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they want it, and then it doesn't sell anything. They take that

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personally. Well, get a copywriter to write your first five

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for you, learn how they are wording

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things, learn how they're doing it, and then you should be able to emulate that.

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But it means that if you don't get any sales from the first five, that's

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on them, that's not on you. You don't have to take it so personally.

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That can help remove some of the fear as well. Yeah, that's really

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good advice. Thank you. And I'm a huge fan of outsourcing where you can,

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and I know it's not always possible for everyone. And I also would say that's

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also where AI can help. We spoke about product descriptions, but also with your

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emails. I'm not saying you should use AI to write your emails for you, but

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I don't think there's anything wrong with using it as a starting point just to

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get beyond that blank page, because I think that can also be a really big

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barrier. I know for me that can be one of my, the biggest things holding

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me back is the blank page and having to put those first

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words down. And I think any tools you can use, and most of these are

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free to just get something on the page that you can go, well, that's not

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quite right. I wouldn't word it like that. But it gives you something to work

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with as well. So for anyone who finds that's a barrier, I think that could

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be worth looking at. Yeah, you've got tools like canva that can

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write or give you an email template that you can

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then use Chat GPT to create your wording,

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that then goes in it, that you then edit it and make it right. Yeah.

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The biggest thing, by the way, I'll throw this out there. The biggest problem I

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see with most email campaigns is what their call to action is.

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People write really well thought, well worded, well crafted emails and

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then their call to action is like, find out more,

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find out more. I'm sorry, that isn't

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generating an emotional investment. It's don't miss

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out. Buy now. People are so scared about coming across

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as salesy that they actually don't ever ask people to spend

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money. Find out more is a

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really poor way of getting people to click on that button.

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Thank you. That's a really good. What would you, would you just have buy now,

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shop? It depends on what it is.

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Depending on earrings, for example.

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Select your style today.

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That's where if you've got like an email campaign that highlights a few different

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options, choose your style now and

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then. That's what the button is. Because it's not

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about. I just want to find out a little bit more about it. It's, oh,

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yeah, I want to pick the ones I'm going to buy right now. It's a

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call to action. It's not a call to find out, it's a call to action.

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It's a call to act. It's a call to make a purchasing decision. And

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if your email has been worded correctly, they should be clicking on that link

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ready to buy a product. That's really helpful. Thank you.

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So I think stronger wording on your call to action buttons is

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really key. And I think at the minimum, shop now. Buy

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now. But I like your idea of saying something a bit more

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creative, but just compels them to, like you say, take action.

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So, okay, so, no, find out more. Yeah. Get the emotional

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investment back into it. So find out more. If that's what

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your call to action button says in your email. Your email hasn't told me enough.

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What was the point of your email? If I have to click a button to

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find out more information, your email didn't tell me enough.

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So if find out more is what your button says,

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you really need to work on your email game because

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it's just not doing it. That's really helpful. Thank

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you. No worries. We weren't meant to be talking about email marketing, but

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that's just the sideline. No, this is great, marks. I think

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you've given us so many practical tips and

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advice, and sales covers all of these areas as well. So as we said earlier,

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it's not just about face to face online. It does cover emails and ads and

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social media. And as we said before we started recording, we could be here for

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hours, but we will attempt to wrap things up now.

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So what I would love to know from you, and obviously you've given us a

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lot, so this might be a hard question, but what would your

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number one piece of sales advice be for a product business.

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Understand what

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emotional connection people have to your product.

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It's easy to think like, oh, I sell kitchen spatulas. There's

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no emotional connection to that. There is. This is the spatula

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that will serve your kids their favorite meal.

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This is the spatula that will whip up

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your son or daughter's wedding cake.

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Sell the emotional attachment. Why are people going to

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be emotionally invested in your product?

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Because that's how you generate a following. That's how you generate a brand.

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That's how you generate real interest. So

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understand mugs.

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This is my choice of mug for when I am on calls

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because it's plain and quite boring. I have a

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whole plethora of really quirky mugs. My favorite mug that I use a lot of

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the time says, daddy's mug because I'm a father to a

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one year old. Somebody bought that for me when he was a week old. It's

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my favorite mug because one of my favorite facts about myself is that I am

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now a dad. So the emotional attachment

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I have to that mug is tenfold to my boring, plain

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mugs that I use for things like podcasting.

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So even mugs can have an emotional attachment, an

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emotional connection. So whatever your product is, it will

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have one no matter what you think. And if you can't think of it,

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work with somebody who can help you identify what that emotional attachment

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is. That's super helpful. Thank you. And I really like the

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fact, as well as whether it's teaching us about the emotional connection to your mug.

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You also shared that the other mug, the one you called the pouring

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one, also has a purpose, has been really plain and great for when you're on

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call. So it still has a purpose. So that's really

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good example. Thank you. This mug's emotional attachment to me

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is to the point my wife has wanted to throw them out five times, and

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I've said no because know landed a lot of big

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clients holding this mug. It is important to me.

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Well, thank you so much for everything that you've shared today, Mark. We're going to

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have links in the show notes to your website and to everywhere

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people can find you and. Yeah, thank you so much. No

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worries. Thank you, Vicki. Thank you so much for listening.

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Right to the end of this episode, do you remember that you can get the

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fullback catalog and lots of free resources on my website,

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vickyweinberg.com. Please do remember to rate and review this

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episode if you've enjoyed it, and also share it with a friend who you think

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might find it useful. Thank you again. And see you next week.