Are You Selling Ice?

22 Feb Are You Selling Ice?

Ok – so I’m about to date myself and trigger a flurry on google for some of my younger readers.  Here goes….do you remember the TV series “Little House on the Prairie”?  

 Set in the 1870’s, the town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota was bustling with activity.  And while farming and building the railway were major drivers of the economy, a number of other businesses were thriving.  The dry goods store, the blacksmith, the saloon and hotels were busy.  Coffee, a staple in my day, sold for 16 cents a pound!

 During this time there was a company who sold ice.  They were without a doubt the best ice company in the state.  They were competitively priced, they had the fastest horses and best drivers and always delivered on time.  They would customize the service to meet the needs of their customers.  You want big ice blocks or small ice blocks delivered once a week or twice a week.  They could do it.  They even made emergency deliveries and served their clients 24/7.  No-one could touch them.  They were the greatest!  Sounds like the claims of many businesses today.

 So they happily sold ice day in and day out and their customer base grew as result of their exceptional service.  Cash flow positive and happy, the business continued to flourish.

 Then….out of the blue….without them knowing, someone came up with a product (kind of like a fridge) and the ice company went out of business.  They didn’t expect it, they didn’t even see it coming.  But they should have.

 What should they have been selling?  They thought they were selling ice but they were completely wrong!

 They should have been selling “ways to keep food cold” because that’s really what their customers were buying.  Now, if they had been thinking that the whole time things might have turned out differently.

 Are you “selling” what your customers are buying?  Or are you selling things like exceptional service, competitive pricing, features and benefits?  Could it be that you are selling the wrong thing?

 What are you actually selling?

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