Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Soap Can Teach You to Do in Your Business

A couple of weeks ago I trav­eled to Washington, DC, to do some consulting for a group I'm working with to help them focus their marketing efforts. Lorie and I decided to go up a few days early and spend the weekend visiting museums and seeing the sights, which are amazing in our capital.

Sunday morning we decided to go to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. On the way from the Bed and Breakfast ac­commodations we were staying at we walked through Dupont Circle, which was holding its weekend Farmer's Market. We weren't going there to buy fruits and vegetables as we wouldn't be making dinner, but we thought we might be able to get some food there for lunch and we weren't disappointed.

There were vendors selling the usual vegetables, but there were also people there selling crisp fall apples and the most amazing Asian Pears. There were vendors selling all sorts of cheeses, breads and pastries.

In addition, there was a vendor selling soap, not your ordinary deodorant soap, but about 50 dif­ferent scents of soaps. There was French Lavender, Cherry Choco­late Truffle, Honeysuckle, Lem­ongrass and a multitude of other samples lined up in a row that you could sniff and decide which one was your favorite. Once you made your choice of which one you liked, they would cut off a 1-inch wide bar of your selection from a large chunk of soap.

There were a few things that this vendor did exceptionally well that you may want to consider in your own business, even if you don't sell soap.

Help your prospect to inter­act with your product. All of the vendor's soap samples were promi­nently displayed so you could pick them up and hold them in your hand while you breathed in their scent. There were quite a few people in front of the booth, all smelling the soaps and deciding which ones they liked the best.

When I asked the vendor the price, she said the soaps were $6.25 each, but you could get 3 for $17. For some reason 3 for $17 sounded like a really good deal, but when I figured it out later, I only saved 58 cents per bar. Why do you think that is? The answer is that when you add.25 to the $6, it seems more than when you leave it off. You notice they left it off of the $17 so it seemed cheaper.

Now I bet you that even though I didn't ask, I'm sure they had tested various price points. Remember the only way to make more money is to charge more, get your customers to buy more, or get more custom­ers. Take a look at your own pricing structure and see what one works best in your business.

In addition you could join their frequent buying club and get a free bar after you bought 10 bars. Can you do this in your business?

Another nice touch was that they added a few small samples of other scented soap in your bag with your purchase so you could try out some different soaps later.

So what can you learn from them that you can incorporate in our own business? First, people like to interact with a product. They like to look at it, feel it, taste it, or even smell it, as with the soap.

People have five senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. And different people are more prone to respond with one sense over an­other. That's why it's vitally impor­tant when selling your product or service that you incorporate the five senses into the sales process.

Does your prospect need to see what your product does? Does your prospect need to touch the product to get a feeling of how it works? Does your prospect need to have the benefits and features of the product explained to her? Does the prospect need to smell or taste the product before he buys it?

While at the Farmer's Market, other vendors were doing just that... providing samples of the food that people could try before they bought it. A cheese vendor was giv­ing out samples of different types of cheeses. There was a fruit vendor offering a taste of different types of apples and Asian pears.

Now you may not have a product that can be eaten, but you can offer your prospect a free trial of your product so they can start consum­ing it to see if it's right for them. We sometimes call that a Try Before You Buy offer.

You can offer a money back guarantee so consumers know that they can try it out and if it's not what they thought, then they can return it.

There's a lot you can learn from a soap vendor. How can you trans­late that into your business?

Ron Rosenberg is a nationally recognized expert on marketing and customer service, business coach, and public speaker. Maximize your marketing efforts and generate more revenue in less time with his Business Self-Defense 90-Day Success Program and Business Owner Survival Kit. Get free marketing tools, tips, and tactics at or for details on our speaking and coaching programs contact us at 800-260-0662 or

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