How to Sell Crabs to the Japanese (Marketing Lesson)

So how do you sell crabs to the Japanese?

Well I’ll tell you that step 1 doesn’t involve writing a ridiculous sounding blog post title like this one!  So let me explain what this post is all about…

I’m a big fan of Seth Godin’s work.  I’m currently listening to his latest Podcast series: Seth Godin’s Startup School.  If you haven’t listened to this yet I highly recommend it.  Seth speaks with new entrepreneurs on business development, marketing, branding, positioning and a host of other topics.  It offers great content and best of all it’s free!

In one of the sessions, Seth shares a story about a seafood restaurant in New York City that was always packed.  He visited the restaurant on a few occasions but each time was disappointed–the crab was salty, tough and just wasn’t that good.  He wondered why it was always so busy.  Then strangely, he looked around and noticed that about 90% of the patrons in the restaurant were Japanese.

Upon doing a little digging, he uncovered that the owner of the restaurant was a better marketer than chef!  In order to fill his restaurant day after day, he understood that he needed a “feeder channel”.

The owner of this mediocre seafood restaurant spent time and resources to connect with tour guide-book publishers in Japan.  He positioned his restaurant as the go-to seafood establishment.  This was a place that every Japanese tourist in NYC had to visit if they wanted the area’s best crab (according to the guide books anyway).

He built and nurtured a feeder channel.

So, the purpose of this post isn’t to teach you how to run a mediocre restaurant.  Instead, think about who your feeder channels might be.  Who already has the ear of your target audience?  Find your prospect’s trusted advisors, and build relationships with them.

If you can get a referral from a highly reputable source, the sales will come with minimal effort!


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