Why Chuck Norris Would Lose a Pillow Fight
I’m convinced Chuck Norris is eternal, both in his physique and his celebrity status. Chuck started his film career in the 1970s fighting Bruce Lee and is somehow still a big part of pop culture in 2021. The man is 81 years old, still has washboard abs, and is quickly recognized by almost every age demographic as either Colt in “Way of the Dragon,” Walker Texas Ranger, or by the ridiculous “Every night the Boogeyman checks his closet for Chuck Norris” jokes. The man can seemingly do anything. But can he sell?
As Chuck’s film career was winding down, he became a regular on late-night infomercials. Alongside other aging celebrities that seemed to have found the Fountain of Youth, Chuck tried to sell us every type of new fitness equipment and home gym that hit the market. We watched him bounce around, flex his muscles, and do jumping twisty-twirl kicks with an unspoken promise that 2 minutes a week on this magical machine will help you do that too. And the average viewer watching infomercials at 2 AM with their hand in a bag of potato chips said, “Yeah, right.”
We know exactly what’s going on here, don’t we? Chuck was paid to come in and peddle a machine or gadget that he’s probably never set eyes on until the filming of that commercial. He has teams of nutritionists, trainers, and consultants helping him keep in tip-top shape, and the only “home gym” that Chuck Norris could honestly claim is because he has a gym in his home… like, an entire gym. Much respect to Chuck, but he has a zero percent chance of selling me fitness equipment by simple celebrity endorsement. It’s just not believable and comes off as disingenuous. Much like the car salesman who doesn’t care if you’re satisfied and is just after a commission, Chuck isn’t concerned if you get into shape or not. He’s cashing his check either way.
Now, contrast that with another popular infomercial that has found tremendous success – The MyPillow. Mike Lindell has made a fortune selling pillows, and he did it with a completely different approach. He didn’t hire a random face to promote his product; he decided there was no one better to promote his product than himself. He had no celebrity recognition at all before the introduction of his pillows to the market, but it was easy to see he wholeheartedly believed what he was offering would change your life. His passion and commitment dripped off the screen. He invented it, he used it, he knew it inside and out, and he’d be there to stand behind it. The MyPillow Company was started in 2004 with 5 employees and now employs over 2,000 with over 41 MILLION pillows being sold worldwide. Paid celebrity endorsements will always be a huge part of advertising, but of the two sales presentations I know which has a much higher success rate for those who are on the fence.
Sales is a necessary evil in the trades, right? We all need sales to keep our businesses afloat, but I talk to very few contractors who are confident or enjoy trying to sell products and services to their prospects. It gives many of us that icky, slimy feeling just to bring up an add-on or suggest a big-ticket item, and we’re careful not to come off as too pushy or predatory. So, we dance around, hint and hope… which very rarely leads to a sale. Due to more advanced scams, pyramid schemes, and high pressure techniques, the public has grown increasingly skeptical of being sold by manipulative measures. So, how can you close more sales and present your product in a way that assures your prospects you can be trusted?
Be confident – It’s been a running theme over the last few months of editorials that confidence is vital to your success. If you don’t believe your services are a good choice for a prospect, why would they believe they are? You are the expert who has been trained and certified to do what you do. Find a way to relay that information in a form that homeowners can understand. They don’t need a week of classes, but make sure they completely understand the problem and why you’re suggesting the best course of action, especially if it’s an expensive one. Fight the urge to talk over anyone’s head just to try and sound impressive. That sounds sneakily familiar to the fine-print legal jargon on the bottom of contracts – intentionally vague and misleading – and throws up immediate red flags. Assert yourself as an expert that knows and understands their home equipment issues intimately and is willing to take the time to help them understand them; then they’ll value your opinion as a trusted advisor.
Be transparent – Don’t be afraid to level with your prospects and relate to them homeowner to homeowner. Use phrases like, “At my house…,” “If it were me…,” and “This is why I would…,” as much as possible. Honest statements like, “Yes, you can keep putting a Band-Aid on it and hope it makes it a few more years, but here’s what it’s costing you to put it off,” are much more trustworthy than a feeling of high pressure. If you’re bold enough, you can even show the most hesitant of people your cost, commission structure, or whatever else they’d like to see. Be an open book. They know you’ve got a business to run and money has to be made to keep providing the services you do, so don’t be afraid to lay all the cards on the table at times. People are much more upset by charges they don’t understand than ones they do.
Care – This one could have really been at the top of the list, because you will get nowhere without it. We all go to work every day for other reasons than just loving what we do and having an absolute passion for it. But if it’s just a paycheck, just a commission, just a dollar-in that you’re looking for, people will see right through that. Do you care more about doing a customer right than you do an immediate sale? Can you give honest advice on addressing their problem even if it means the ticket may be lower? To be completely transparent, the answers to those questions might depend on who is reading this right now- if you’re the owner of the company and all things reflect on what you’ve built, or you’re just an employee that may or may not be in this long term. In order to take care of your company, you better be willing to put the customers’ needs above a quick sale; it’s also fantastic to see how this pays off in the long run.
The home services industry is a special market and there’s a reason why trust and reputation weigh so heavily in success and failure. There are so many tactics out there that might lead to a quick buck but sacrifice the confidence your area prospects have in your company. Be willing to put your name, face, and reputation behind everything you do with confidence: “This is what I do, this is who I am, and I promise I’ll do you right.”
Oh, and by the way, as of 2021 Chuck Norris’s net worth is estimated at $70 million. Mike Lindell, the MyPillow guy? Net worth of $310 million. Lindell might not be able to round-house kick a horse so hard he turns into a giraffe, but I think the American people speak pretty loudly that they’d rather be sold by people with skin in the game.