Sell in Unusual Places

With a title like “Everything Men know about Women”, you would expect it to be a short book.








Really short.

In fact, when you flip it open, it’s nothing but blank pages.









Everything Men know about Women has sold well over a million copies, but not just through book stores.

Cindy Cashman is the author and is a good friend of mine. Cindy knew that marketing the book would require the type of original creative thinking not usually taught in MBA schools. She recognized that selling through traditional booksellers would be a hard sale, as it would get lost among the thousands of titles. Therefore, she developed a marketing plan to sell outside the book industry and stores bought them by the thousands.

She sold her book through “non-traditional” channels and partnerships. She went where other authors never dreamed of; check out stands at clothing stores, gift stores, etc.

I was on vacation in Sedona, AZ last month and sat down at the Blue Moon Café for lunch prior to our scheduled tee time. After placing our order, we had nothing to do for the next 15 minutes as is typical in any American restaurant. I noticed a book on the table sandwiched between the ketchup and mustard:










I gave it a quick scan and really laughed at some of the stories. I wanted a copy.

A sticker on the book said “This copy is not for sale, but the ones in the display rack near the cashier sure are”.

With another 8 minutes to kill before eating, I walked over to the stand. The author Ben Goode had a dozen or so titles for sale. I picked up three that looked the most interesting and told our waitress to add it to my tab.

Genius – A captive audience who is looking for a 15 min distraction. Bam! – There it was.

Of course this would work for other products besides books. What product or service do you sell? Who else could you partner with to sell your product? If you offer a service, why not place your flyer in their location? Point them to your web site (with a unique URL for your partner so you can track it and pay them a commission.)

Think unusual here. It’s not hard. Today while you are driving home, take note of all the shopping malls, mom and pop shops, any and all stores and locations. The key here is that your product or service does not necessarily have to have anything to do with your “new partner.”

• Ball game concession stand
• Furniture store
• Concert
• Music store
• Theater
• Grocery store
• Local watering hole

Would any of these partners work for you?

“No” you say? Are you sure?

Get off your ass and go ask. Split your profit 50/50. Get creative.

How many “No’s” do you think it would take before someone says yes?

Mark L. Fox

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Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

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