Selling The First Telephone

May 2022, million-followed clip creator Adrian Bliss lands on an issue close to solution seller hearts.

How to sell our wonderful, landmark, game-changing new product.

Of the 112 replies at time of my blogging here, the vast majority relate to the performer appearing 'cute', the "ohh it's raining" reference, and happy climax of "I'll take it!".

Merely half-a-dozen though, ventured comment on the sales angle. As follows:

Should have asked if he was married first before you sold the telephone. Seems like that was the problem the first go around.

He missed an opportunity to tell him he needs to buy for his friends and family so he can talk to them. And they will instantly become an elite group who can talk to one another without leaving their homes or shouting across the street.

Or make a "BOGOF" offer... / Should’ve done a buy one get one free deal

It's the 'eventually' for me

Can you imagine the strain he must have had to get it into market

In this context, selling as a pair feels the winner. I'm reminded of the early days of the fax machine. Two-for-the-price-of-one deals anecdotally claimed to have helped establish the market. Especially where a supplier was keen to cement their relationship with a buyer. Although it must be said that in the UK, the infamous 1988 postal workers strike provided the key product breakthrough impetus.

How about this citation for a bit of context. From Chapter One of Andrew Chen's 2021 book, The Cold Start Problem;

A telephone without a connection at the other end of the line is not even a toy or a scientific instrument. It is one of the most useless things in the world. Its value depends on the connection with the other telephone and increases with the number of connections.

Written by the boss of AT&T in the Annual Report from ... the year 1900.

Let's look at that vital first exchange;

What is it?
-It's a telephone.
What does it do?
-It makes it so that you can talk to anyone from all around the world.

Although, as it turns out, not quite anyone.

Through the comedy, we hear the folly of the 'what'.

No new product should ever be framed such way.

There's a couple of alternatives.

One with much recent traction, is to 'start with why'.

Another is to state the problem you eradicate.

Yet a third path exists.

When a product is by definition 'new', its appeal is naturally limited to those hardy yet enthusiastic souls for whom the allure of the new is compelling.

Find them.

Devise a pitch that attracts them. Confirms them to be at the vanguard, the cutting edge, the wave's crest. First-in movers and shakers. They won't be disappointed. Also recognising there may even be effort required on their part to fully enjoy the fruits.

Like giving their friend one too.

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