In the classic adventure movie Raiders of the Lost Ark there is a terrific scene where the hero Indiana Jones is facing an opponent who pulls out a huge sword.
Indiana Jones has just had a fight using his whip to beat a number of other baddies in the movie.
So movie viewers are expecting him to use his whip to fight this sword wielding person as well.
Instead, Indiana does something totally unexpected and pulls out a gun and shoots him.
What he did was change the rules of the game.
Instead of using his whip to fight he pulled out a gun and his opponent was finished.
The same strategy of changing the rules can work very well in marketing your business.
Here are two examples to think about:
Neil Raphel is an expert in marketing and publishing.
His marketing company, Raphel Marketing, develops websites and produces direct mail campaigns. And he publishes business books for authors as well.
Neil told me that sometimes when you are competing in business it's smart to change the rules of the game.
In the 1980's Neil worked for Victor Niederhoffer. Victor became kind of famous for making and losing a lot of money in the commodities markets.
But before he did that he helped people sell their companies and he did a remarkable thing.
He was competing against the likes of Goldman Sachs and he couldn't compete with them because they were so famous and so well known.
So he decided to go after the companies that Goldman doesn't want, companies that are worth 5 million dollars or less because Goldman had a threshold of 5 million or more.
He sent postcards to companies in that size range, with a really simple story. They said if your business is doing really well, if you are not even thinking about retirement, if you are at the height of your game and you think your business is going to be worth a lot more years later, now is the time to sell.
His point was that you should sell when you are doing well -not when you are nearing retirement age and not when somebody else is ready to take over the business, because you will get your maximum value when the business is at its prime.
Victor concentrated on small companies, he did direct marketing and he ended up doing more mergers and acquisitions than any other firm on Wall Street at the time.
They were smaller in size than people like Goldman Sachs but he changed the rules, he just took the business that they couldn't afford to go after and made a fortune doing it.
Neil used this 'change the rules' strategy in his own publishing business.
The way the publishing industry worked in typical times was they gave the authors a big advance, and then gave the authors a little bit of money when the book sold.
They figured they would have about nine failures for every success but the success would be so big it would pay back all the money they spent and make a great profit.
Well those times are over.
The publishing companies haven't survived. The ones that were doing that are all falling by the wayside.
You can't have nine failures for one success so what Neil has done in his publishing business is change the playing field, change the rules.
He said to business people wanting to write books; "we will be your partners. You put up half the money and we'll put up half the money. You get involved in marketing, we'll get involved in marketing and when the money comes in instead of getting you 8 per cent of 10 per cent we will give you 50 per cent of the sales."
Instead of having nine failures for each success, Neil has over nine successes for every failure.
He changed the rules and he makes a lot of money.
You might want to look at how you could change the rules in your own business as well.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain
How can you change the rules in your own business?
- Graham McGregor is The Added Value Marketing Expert™. Register at his website www.addedvaluemarketing.com and Graham will give you a free copy of his brand new free guide 'Easy Sales with Added Value Marketing'. (This guide contains ten time tested strategies that any business can use right now to create easy sales and delighted clients and is with Graham's compliments.)