Evil Marketing? What A Buffalo Rancher Taught Me About Selling

by Dr. Joe Vitale

Yesterday I met a rancher who raises buffalo and sells bison products. He clearly loves his job. He gushed facts. For example:

I didn’t know buffalo never get cancer. Or that buffalo meat is leaner, healthier and better for you than any other red meat. I also didn’t know that buffalo contains less calories than even chicken.

“Most people just don’t know how to cook it,” the rancher explained. “Since the meat is lean, it needs to be slowly cooked on a really low flame.”

He went on to add:

“People on the Paleo Diet, sometimes called the caveman diet, really love it. It helps them lose weight and get trim naturally,” he said. “I eat one to two pounds of bison every day, some veggies, and I’m fit and strong.”

Since I’m into wellness and just lost over 70 pounds, I was eager to hear all this. I was so taken by this new information that I placed a large order on the spot.

But the rancher also had some opinions that made me curious.

“I’m just a rancher,” he told me. “I run my ranch by myself and I work night and day, yet at the end of it all, I have to go out and market this stuff. I almost hate it.”

“You hate marketing?” I asked.

“I just saw the actor Billy Bob Thornton on television and he said, ‘Marketing is evil.'”

“That’s interesting,” I countered. “The reason Thornton is on television is he is marketing the latest movie he’s in.”

“Well, I don’t like marketing,” the rancher told me. “Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to do it.”

At this point, Nerissa came out and met the rancher, too. He offered her a sample of the buffalo jerky he made. He held it out in front of her as he said:

“You’ll eat this and you won’t want anything else the rest of the day. This is the most filling and satisfying food you’ll ever have,” he said. “There are no preservatives and it’s all natural.”

Of course, at that point I wanted some jerky, too.

When the rancher went to write up our order, he pulled a beautiful notebook out of his truck. He started to place it on the hood of my BMW Z3 sports car when I stopped him.

“I don’t want it scratched,” I said.

“Look at this,” he said, rubbing the leather on the notebook. “Go ahead and touch it and see how smooth it is.”

I did. The leather was melted butter soft.

The rancher then asked me something hypnotic:

“Can you imagine walking into a meeting with one of these under your arm?”

Of course, that natural question activated the visual part of my brain and engaged my ego. I instantly wanted the unusual product.

“How can I get one of those?” I asked.

“I can have one made for you, if you want.”

I ordered one of the buffalo notebooks, too.

I then paid the rancher, shook his hand, and he got in his truck, still muttering that he didn’t like marketing. He said he was so behind in learning marketing that he was prehistoric in his practices.

“Guess you’re doing Paleo Marketing,” I offered.

He laughed and drove off.

He didn’t seem to notice that his “non-marketing” made a lot of sales that day. I bought meat, jerky, and a notebook. I also bought a case of honey, which I forgot to mention. None of it was cheap, either.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Marketing is simply engagingly informing the people most likely to be interested in your product or service that it’s available.

This is what I teach people in my Executive Mentoring Program. I’ll repeat it:

“Marketing is simply engagingly informing the people most likely to be interested in your product or service that it’s available.”

It’s not about manipulation.

It’s about information.

The more passionately and sincerely you convey your information, the more hypnotic your marketing will be.

But if you try to market your business to someone who has no interest in it, you may be considered evil.

That rancher was marketing, though he’d never admit it. His love for his product was apparent. He eats buffalo, wears buffalo, raises buffalo, and talks buffalo. He doesn’t talk bull, he talks buffalo. And when he talks, if the people listening are at all interested in bison, they buy.

Marketing is only “evil” when you lie or mislead people to make a sale, or when your message isn’t appropriate for the audience you reached. No one should ever do that sort of mis-guided marketing. Ever. There’s no excuse for it.

If you’re offering a product or service you believe in, then share your excitement for it to the right audience. (If you don’t believe in your product or service, what are you doing trying to sell it?)

Said another way, if you have something that would truly benefit a certain group of people, and you don’t tell them, aren’t you doing them a dis-service?

Again, marketing is basically sharing your love. Your passion. Your belief. When you share it with someone who welcomes it, more often than not it leads to a sale. Naturally. Easily. Effortlessly.

And that’s no BS.

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