The Ketchup Popsicle

There was a Chris Farley / David Spade comedy released back in the 90’s called “Tommy Boy”. Among the hundreds of one-liners from that film that I have constantly heard repeated over the years, one stands out. David Spade, when describing Tommy’s late father, says …

“He could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.”

Now THAT’S a salesperson!

I always liked that line. Lately, though, it’s come to have new meaning for me. I found myself realizing that much of what is being marketed today is, in fact, a “ketchup popsicle” – something that’s an absolutely wrong fit for the consumer, but was sold so well that the buyer just couldn’t resist it.

Unlike a consumable, though, our “product” continues long after the initial transaction. The financial industry involves long-term relationships. Clients must choose you over and over, every day, and are always able to seek greener pastures at will.

My point is, the best marketing in the world can’t overcome poor service or a bad client/advisor “fit”. Don’t allow your marketing to “trick” someone into believing you’re something you’re not. It won’t work (at least not in the long-term). Market YOURSELF. Trust in that. Don’t persist in trying to be (or pretending to be) everything to everyone. Instead, seek out the clients who are looking for exactly what you can provide.

The ketchup popsicle is not the problem – you just have to sell it to the man with hotdogs in his hands.


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