Nows or Laters?
you just told them to give up on you
People are in the market to buy what you’re sellin’ today. There are also people who are not shopping right now, but they will need you someday. Have you chosen which group to speak to?
The “Nows” are very attractive because they have money in their hands and they are looking for someone to give it to. Now. You get their “now” money by telling them that if they don’t come to you right now, they will miss out on a great opportunity and there will never be another chance to ever give you money ever again. This is the JCPenney approach. There are only two days to save, and after that you will have to pay full price. Until next weekend, when we do it all over again.
The “Laters” are the ones who don’t need you now. They may not even know they need you at all. The “Laters” are going about their day, taking care of their families, eating candy bars, and putting gas in the gas tank.
Good sense would suggest that you must go after the “Nows.” But, your good sense isn’t all that good. When you advertise to the “Nows,” you can get them, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. But, you’ve also put an expiration date in their heads. “You must come this weekend to get this thing. If you don’t, you’ll miss out.” This leaves almost nothing in the minds of the “Laters.” They have no reason to remember you, because you just told them to give up on you Sunday night.
The “Nows” are also a smaller population. On any given Saturday, let’s pretend 3% of the city needs a new mattress. You and the other mattress stores are fighting over that little clump of people with the “biggest sale of the year.” You might even get some of them.
But, consider this: The rest of the city, 97%, will need a mattress someday. Everyone will need a mattress someday. If you consistently and deliberately tell the “Laters” why you’re special, and what you believe, the day the “Laters” become the “Nows,” you have first position in their minds.
If you’re thinking about brands of mattresses right now, are the names Sealy and Serta coming to mind? That’s not a lucky guess. They are the biggest brands and they advertise consistently. (If you’re thinking Tempur-Pedic, that’s also Sealy. If you’re thinking Simmons or Beauty Rest, that’s Serta). If you thought Select Comfort, well done. That’s #3 in the marketplace. Now for the crazy thing: Nobody reading this is thinking Corsicana Bedding or Comfort Solutions. Those are not fly-by-night companies, they’re numbers 4 and 5 in mattresses.
Did you get all of that? If you’re not in the top 3, you are a virtual unknown.
Damn. If you’re not being considered, you’re not in the game.
Slow and steady wins the race. Aesop already taught you that. Marathon runners know it, and it seems successful brands know it, too.
Think of a local HVAC place. Now think of a local dentist. Now think of a local car dealership. Now a plumber. I bet the most successful ones in town are the ones that came to mind.
…and I bet they all know the power of talking to the “Laters.”