We had a hot summer here in Central Texas. Now that may not sound like an earth-shaking statement, but I’m really talking hot. Hot as in 80 days of triple-digit temperatures. Hot as in 23 days that topped 105 degrees, with a couple of 110s and 112s in there just to kill off anything that might still be alive. Hot as in, our hottest summer ever. That kind of hot.
What did I do? Most of the time, I hid in my office with the blinds drawn, which worked out fine because I got a lot of writing done with minimal distractions. I avoided the worst of the worst by escaping to New Mexico for a week. Then it was back to my air-conditioned cave to await the inevitable break in the heat.
What did thousands of others in my area do? They went jogging, riding their bikes, sunbathing, walking — and they loved every minute of it. On the absolute hottest day of the year, in fact, many of them were burning their insides as well as their outsides at the annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival.
Could you sell me a hiking trip or cycling tour during the dog days of August? Would I drive for miles in 112-degree temperatures to eat hot sauce? No way, Jose. But some people will. You can sell them a bike at the height of a Texas August. You can sell them on a hot sauce festival when the air itself is practically on fire. In other words, you can market products or situations that totally fly in the face of common sense from your perspective, because there’s always somebody somewhere out there with a different point of view. You just have to find that person.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “He could sell ice cream to Eskimos.” Well, I’d bet you the compressor pump on my AC that plenty of Eskimos and Arctic dwellers devour gallons of the stuff — just as many folks in hot climates can’t get enough sun, sweat and salsa. I might not share or even understand their enthusiasm, but I’m not marketing to myself. I’m marketing to that precise niche of individuals who really want what I’ve got, and that market always exists somewhere. It’s your job to isolate it, target it as accurately as possible, and pitch away. The only products or services you can’t sell are the ones you’re pushing onto the wrong people. Pinpoint that ideal target market and you’ll find that you can sell ice cream to Eskimos or hot sauce in a heat wave.
And now if you’ll pardon me, I have to go crank up the fan.
For more about my writing services and current package deals, check out my website at www.reynoldswriting.com.