Become an Authority: Feed your Competition and Educate your Customer

There were a lot of questions from affiliate marketers. What should they do? Should they do more demos? Should they do more? People, who are into more commodity-type businesses like garments or children’s ethnic wear, what should they do?

Before we get into the actual tools and techniques of sales and marketing, which are lesser problems, I want you to understand is just from a mindset level. You want to have Ninja level mindset in this market, especially if it goes south, which it has been going on right now because of the lockdown. But even after the lockdown, if consumer behavior changes and your thing is not working well, then what you’re going to need at that time is mindset because a lot of the tools and techniques won’t even work.

We are not discussing tips, techniques, and tools, but we will talk about the mindset. My message to you is very simple. If the slowdown continues, you need to get to a higher level of authority in the industry where business flows to you.

Warren Buffett says, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you realize you were swimming naked.” So, people are not prepared. Business owners are not prepared. In an upmarket, everybody wins. Everybody is getting something. Everybody is under the mistaken assumption that I am a hotshot business owner. I’m a great sales guy. I run a great marketing diploma etc. When the market goes down, you see all these people complaining and saying it’s because of GST that I lost my business. It is because of demonetization. It’s because of the pandemic. It’s because of Corona.

You need to develop a steely mindset. One mindset item that I’m going to discuss is that you need to develop an authority in your sub-industry so that everybody wants to come to you. You need to be at level 4 or level 5.

How do you become an authority?

To become an authority, you need to have three product lines:

  1. You need to have your consulting product line.
  2. You need to have your products and services.
  3. You need to have your programs, which is digital information.

You sell from your Instamojo store. You don’t need to be involved in those sales. If people just want to know about and get some information, they can just go over your store and buy that information.

So, these are the three product lines that we’re going to be talking about. You don’t need to do it today, but you need to start thinking about this stuff.

There are four types of people in your industry.

  1. People who are players or business houses.
  2. The prospective players or people who would like to get into the industry and compete with you. People who want to set up a similar business like you.
  3. Then there are prospective customers.

What you need to do to become an authority in your industry, you must have an ecosystem-based approach. If you need one product or one product line, or whatever your affiliate marketing offer is if you go with any one single product, or one single product line or any one theme, then you will lose because there are hundreds of other people like you and customers are going to spend so much in the post lockdown phase. So what you want to do is to be the only go-to person. You want to engage all of these four types of people we mentioned above.

How do you do that?

You have educational products, which cater to prospective customers. You have your products and services which cater your customers. Then you have consulting, which caters players and prospective players. So by using all that you have, you can become an authority that people would love to approach.

Educate a customer

Feeding your competition means both of you win. It’s going to be a symbiotic relationship. I know it doesn’t work in the Indian context because it’s all about competing. There are too many suppliers for everything, and everybody’s trying to compete on price. Everybody’s trying to give the bigger discount. But if you want to create an ecosystem, you want to supply all of these four people. Never go into the market with one product line.

If you have one product line, you need to get other product lines if you are like an insurance agent who has just ICICI Prudential. You need to build your own educational programs. You need to build your own consulting and charge for your consulting. If you explain the insurance concept to people and all of them turn around and say I’ll think about it and get back to you. What did you get for your time? Nothing.

Instead of that, you should ask them to pay you 650 rupees for your consulting. What you’re going to do is compare all of the product lines in the market and don’t even expect that the listener writes you a cheque. You say I’ll give you so much information that whenever a new insurance agent comes to you, I will give you the ten things you need to ask them. And I will give you three templates by which you just put the figures from each of those insurance policies into these templates, which could be Excel templates. You will be able to compare among, and then you can play all the other insurance agents. That’s how we educate a customer.

Educate your competition

How do you educate your competition? I’ll just give you a quick example. One of my friends is into the restaurant business. He has his own restaurant. He’s very popular in Pune. He also consults other restaurant owners who want to set up their own restaurants. Why does he do that? Why is he feeding his competition?

Because he knows he could make the best pan pizzas on the whole planet and all of history, but the same customer doesn’t want to go to the same restaurant all the time. They want a change. So, what he does is he holds the credentials for having one of the best running restaurant brands for the longest possible time in Pune. And restaurants don’t run very long because every 2-3 years, they have to change the name and ownership because people want to change. He’s developed a reputation that if you want to be profitable in your very first few months, then you need to bring him on as a consultant. So either he goes as a consultant or the Profit partner.

Why does he do that? Because he knows that going to the market with just one trick in your bag is not healthy. Everybody’s your friend in the new market as long as you are the authority. This is how you build an ecosystem.

Why Ecosystem is Important

All of the biggest companies in the world have made ecosystems. Apple is an ecosystem. Not only does it provide you the phone, but they also provide you the iPad, the laptop, and iCloud, so all of your data is synced in all your devices. If you want to get out of Apple, it is a very big decision. That means you’ll have to change literally everything, including the intelligence inside your house. You’ll have to change. It’s a huge decision trying to get out of an Apple environment once you get in. The value they provide is so much.

Similarly, with Amazon, they provide you stationery, they provide you electricals, they provide you everything under the sun. It’s a wonder they’re not selling you air tickets and hotel reservations and cars. But very soon, they probably will. Getting out of Amazon is very difficult. Even if you find a cheaper offer somewhere, even if you find a cheaper offer on Mantra or Flipkart, you don’t go there because you are just too comfortable with Amazon. You go to Amazon, click a button, and somebody calls you on your cell phone. That is the level of customer service. I don’t want to change. I don’t want to do business with anyone else for saving 200 rupees. So that’s how you create an ecosystem. You need to figure out how to set up these (consulting, programs, and products/services).

What needs to be done

You need to think of a strategy. Do not think about do I need to do more demos? What do I need to do? Is this line going to work? All of the lines will work if you come with battle tactics, the next generation battle tactics. If you come with one knife to a gunfight, you’re going to get slaughtered. So, I’m just giving you the advice upfront because that’s why you and I are on this together.

Of course, hard work has to be done. But when you come to the battlefield, you have to come with an arsenal of tactics and strategies that will make you the default winner regardless of who competes with you.

I’m just saying this because consulting feeds your competition. The products and services feed your customers. In my particular case, it works differently. My customers buy my consulting. My digital programs are pretty much bought by my competition. A lot of people want to know how is this guy doing this? What is this guy selling to the customer? They go over to my Instamojo store and pick up stuff.

I wake up in the morning, and somebody bought products worth 10,000 rupees. If you are on top, there is no competition. The color of money is green; it doesn’t matter where it comes from. So, what I am trying to say is just keep these ideas in your head, and your mind will show you the answer.

Some of the questions were wrong. So, if you say, hey, is this thing going to work? What should I do in order to push my product? Should I do more sales presentations or demos? Of course, you will have to do that. But how do you set yourself in a position by default? You are the player of choice for a small number of people. You cannot supply everybody. You cannot compete against the whole market. You cannot make everybody happy.

You need to figure out what is the minimum size of the market that only you can supply. And in their eyes, you should be the go-to person. You should start building that whole community. So, this whole ecosystem approach works when you have a community approach. All these people we discussed above are your friends. The prospective customer who comes and waste your time. And then he says that we’ll get back to you. They’re also your friends, except that you’re pitching the wrong product to them and wasting your time. You’re doing these presentations to the wrong sorts of people and wasting your time throughout the month. You may do 20 demos, and you get no sales or very few sales.

Why an Online/Digital Product?

Instead of that, you need to have an online product. You say, if you want to know about me, go and buy it for 350 rupees. You can download my videos and watch them. It’ll give you 90% of the knowledge that you need. Once they do that, you tell them why don’t you come to me instead of traveling and wasting your time. I was doing all this stuff. We’re traveling and going to meet people. It’s a complete waste of my time when they said we will get back to you. So I said 90% of whatever I’m going to tell you is already in there. You just pay 350 rupees and watch. And you’ll be 90% clear in your mind whether you want it or not. And if you want to know about all the different players and how to compare all those different players among each other. If you still want to meet me, then after that you can come to my office. Then see how much that build your authority.

People will look at you with respect, and they will treat you with respect. Nobody will bullshit with you after that, I can guarantee you. Right now, just think about mindset, just think about strategy and how to be the go-to guru in your space.

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