Nice Is A Path To NOWHERE

Robin Robins IT Marketing, MSP Marketing

In one of my favorite books, Harry Beckwith’s What Clients Love, is this story:

NICE IS NOWHERE. You do NOT want everyone to like what you do.

Ian Schrager created a revolutionary chain of elite hotels. His properties are to hotels what Salvador Dali paintings are to art – not for everyone. Schrager expressly designs his hotels for one traveler in 25. “Let 24 of 25 despise them, for all I care,” he has said. “Just so one in 25 loves them.” Can any marketer afford to write off 96% of the public? Schrager’s small hotels net more than $20 million a year (2003).

He’s since sold his hotel group, but has made a small fortune on his approach. His idea of being different and “not for everyone” is scary as hell to most businesspeople, though. In a world where “Likes” and followers are the new status quo for being successful in business (entirely a FALSE metric if viewed in isolation from other critical metrics like profit), and online trolls abound and pressure you to conform to their viewpoints, it CAN feel “dangerous” to stand out and take an unpopular view. Disapproving things and shaming and bullying others is a full-time job for many, a pastime for many. Believe me, I know.

It’s in conflict with everything you’ve been taught about service and the customer always being “right.” Choosing to be deliberately and blatantly against the majority is a stance that will challenge every fiber of your being and test your self-confidence.

Yet, that’s exactly what is required if you want to stand for something and be highly attractive to a minority of fierce and loyal clients.

Saying anything and promoting yourself in any way invites risk today. But I submit that a greater risk is in not saying anything, not promoting yourself at all, or being so mild and milk-toast that nobody cares and nobody pays attention.

Back in the session I delivered at Boot Camp, we discussed this under the topic of “Advocated Positions” in the session The Ultimate Secret To Generating More Qualified Leads. Didja watch it? Already forget?

In that session I urged you to create a list of “Advocated Positions” regarding what you sell. A list of absolute non-negotiables. Rules to live by, NOT suggestions. Below, my list. Where’s yours? You know you’ve got a good one when your list rubs at least a good majority of your pool of prospects the wrong way, eliminating them from the possibility of doing business with you. If that doesn’t exist in your list, then you need to work on it more.

  • There is NEVER a good reason to neglect or stop marketing. Never.
  • Money earned is the ultimate measure of success in marketing.
  • Direct response marketing is the ONLY type of marketing you should practice (all other advertising or marketing is wasteful and stupid).
  • Marketing should position you as an authoritative, trusted expert, NOT “just another” salesperson.
  • You should embrace a strong work ethic,
    NOT Easy buttons.
  • Victim mentality is reprehensible; you make your own circumstances.
  • Timidity in selling is shameful.
  • You need to be a serious student of marketing, sales and success principles.
  • Financial freedom is not only an opportunity but an obligation.


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