Hopium: Not The Best Professionals Sales Tip

On page 20 of the September 2010 issue of “Fast Company,” they mentioned that September 12 was the date of “KaraokeFest” in Pomona, CA.

In the short article, it was noted that annual sales of karaoke music and karaoke machines in the U.S. “have fallen a whopping 80% off their…peaks to just $40 million.”

(The next line is where the inspiration for this post enters the picture.)

Rick Priddis, president of Priddis Music, conjured up images of Spartacus, Lincoln, and Patton as he said

It’s gotten a lot worse because of the rise of the Internet. But we’re all just continuing on and hoping for the best.”

(This brings to mind an adage my dad often utters about pooping in one hand and wishing in the other and seeing which one fills up first…but I digress.)

Hopium: Not Among The Best Inbound Sales Tips

How does that type of “hoping leadership” inspire you, your team, and your customers?

This dude says the Internet has hurt his business, and that was in 2010!

Now that 2017 2018 2019…2024 is here, has the internet gone away?

Scooby Doo on The Sales Whisperer®

I made great buggy whips until that dang horseless carriage came about!”

And I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you dang meddling kids!”

The internet has been a viable business platform for 30 years now, and he’s been open since 1984, yet his inbound sales solution is to HOPE FOR THE BEST?!!!

Are you kidding me?

This guy had 32 years of industry experience when that article was written, and his plan to get through tough times is based on the business-killing drug HOPIUM, and he blames his tough times on THE INTERNET!?

Sure, piracy has gotten worse over the years, but if there are 100,000 people willing to come down to Pomona in Southern California and see karaoke singers compete for trophies at the LA County Fairgrounds, then there are at least ten times—if not 100 times—more people (that’s 1 million to 10 million) willing to spend $1.46 per week for a new track for their machine.

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Doing some back-of-the-napkin math shows that if 1 million people download just one track at $1.46 per week, then this is a $72.8 million-a-year industry.

And that’s just in music, not counting the machine.

And who has a hobby that they’re passionate about and only spend $73 a year on it? Most people will spend a lot more than that!

So poor ol’ Rick’s response is to hope it gets better.

Well, Rick’s hope has paid off.

My Best Inbound Sales Tips For Rick

Here is a brainstorming list of things that are streaming out of my brain as I sit here this morning pondering the business that could be Rick’s if he’d stop hoping and start doing!

If business is down 80%, I’m sure a heck of a lot of his competitors have gone out of business. How many did he contact and offer to buy their domain names/websites?

If their domain names have expired, he can just buy them on GoDaddy or any other big registrar for $10 per year or less.

What about buying the phone numbers of past competitors and having them forwarded to his office? (I used VOIPO.com for years and got my phone number for $99 for two years. That’s a good investment to buy your competitor’s phone number when they go out of business. It won’t take many sales to make back a $4.13/month investment.)

What about buying the contact lists of former competitors? Offer them 10% of every sale for life.

What about making them affiliates of his when they go on to their new careers and paying them 10-50% of every sale they help generate through their affiliate links?

What about partnering with other business owners that serve the same market but don’t sell karaoke-related devices or music and having them become affiliates, and they then cross-promote for you and vice versa?

What about offering free karaoke machines in return for a 2-year subscription to his music-of-the-month club?

If this model works for printers and coffee machines and razors, why not karaoke?

What if this guy sold a hand full of machines each week, leveraged the internet to promote his music and machines worldwide, maybe offered a membership/subscription program, did more videos on YouTube (he has a nice YouTube channel, but it’s under-utilized) where he offered tips and suggestions on how to throw a fun karaoke party for special occasions such as:

  • kids birthdays

  • retirement parties

  • reunions (DUH!)

  • sales meetings

  • trade shows

  • county fairs

I bet he could kill it!

The good news about the internet and being a small business owner is that you have the speed and agility to either change with—or stay ahead of—buying and marketing and advertising trends.

Make sure your website has

  • no broken links,

  • good intra-linking within your own site,

  • a way to capture visitor information via some sort of free report and web form,

  • good SEO (search engine optimization),

  • mobile responsive capability (mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches),

  • all forms of media—good copy, good images, video, audio, free reports in the form of PDFs, worksheets, spreadsheets, etc.

If you do all of the above, you won’t have to rely on HOPE to carry you through tough times, which will always come and go. (Despite all their promises, the gang in D.C. can’t outlaw business cycles.)

If you want to go out of business, continue thinking small, looking backward, and focusing on the obstacles instead of the opportunities in the business world in general and in your particular niche.

You have two choices in business and life:

  1. Be a spectator and hope you’re entertained.

  2. Compete and run the risk of getting bloodied along the way to making your own destiny.

A hard rain hit us in 2000.

A really hard rain hit us again in 2008, and its effects lingered for years.

Another hard rain will come again, whether it’s a trade war with China*, another recession, more political acrimony, etc. 

SIDEBAR: I first wrote this in 2017. It looks like that war came from China in the form of COVID-19, but I digress.

Meanwhile, families, businesses, and our rights remain under attack. California has no problem attacking all of the above (and driving both families and businesses out of the state.)

In light of this I’m amazed at:

  1. How much energy people put into watching sports.

  2. How much money people put into watching sports.

  3. How little energy people put into learning their faith.

  4. How little money people put into supporting their faith.

  5. How little energy people put into improving their job skills.

  6. How little money people put into improving their job skills.

If everyone that painted themselves blue and green and purple and gold and screamed and yelled and tailgated and road-tripped for hours and days at a time on a weekly and even daily basis put just 15.7% of that energy and money into their faith and their jobs and their personal development how much stronger would our nation be?

Another hard rain will come.

What holes in your roof have these rains exposed? How will you respond to those holes?

  1. Watch and scream and hope for the best?

  2. Compete and run the risk of getting bloodied along the way to making your own destiny?

Noah survived the rains just fine by learning a new skill and and applying a lot of focused effort ahead of the storm.

Now go sell something.