The ever rising cost of living is reaching a height beyond what some market analysts had predicted. A true tragedy of this result is the rising cost of staple foods, and healthy alternatives. Some have noted the price of everyday nuts has skyrocketed in the previous decade, with no stagnation occurring. Costing over $10 per pound,healthy nuts are quickly becoming an expensive luxury.
Unfortunately there are a myriad of reasons as to why this is the case. Few of which are preventable. In the previous 20 years nuts have become much more popular. Their high fat content, as well as protein and fiber has been determined to be a healthy snack with tonnes of benefits. Subsequently, demand has risen and costs have to accommodate.
Most nuts are produced in California, which has been subjected to numerous droughts, limiting the yield. Serious costs and labor are associated with nuts, because of their limited growth. Trees are more susceptible to drought conditions, and costs for mass production are increasing.
Labor is a serious problem associated with nuts. Most require significant cleaning or manipulation in order to be edible for the masses. Almonds come in hard shells, which require significant effort to extract the food. Cashews are covered in a acidic poisonous liquid upon growth, and need proper cleaning in order to be edible. I don’t know how anyone figured that out safely. Oh and you know how the bee population is ‘ironically’ dropping and nobody seems to care? Well they are responsible for almond pollination so you had better start caring.
In contrast, peanuts are incredibly cheap. But why you ask? Peanuts are an annual crop, and are grown underground. Legumes, unlike the standard almonds, and walnuts which grow on trees, are less effected by weather, can grow in all kinds of climates, and have a higher yield. This is a significant factor, as they are not as location dependent, can grow more per square foot, and are less labor intensive. As most nuts are grown in California, and are exported, the costs associated with nuts are likely to continue. Because of space constraints, and lower yields, don’t expect the nuts you purchase at the grocery store to become any cheaper.
First off I want to start my review under the caveat that I love this book. I will not be impartial, it’s just fantastic. Not only am I a huge fan of Entourage, which this historic character is based off of, I happen to have Jeremy Piven’s voice burned into my subconscious. This adds to the effect. Now I know cater my content towards self help and sales. This book is about confidence and how you’re going to get it. It never ceases to fire me up and genuinely think I can do anything sales related. While the examples used are entirely fictional, it’s all about the principles and the overall message. Kinda like the bible.
Anyhow the book has a laundry list of topics and tidbits that are presented hilariously. On the outside they are blunt statements but in reality the importance of networking, creative thinking and confidence are all emphasized under Gold. Having a powerful presence and a residing persona are all topics broached, all under blunt scrutiny. Instead of simply saying grow your network and don’t limit yourself by industry or culture he succinctly says “be an octopus at an orgy”. Relevant.
“I wish I could say my success was fuelled by passion and creativity to instead of aggression and ambition.” Anyone who knows his character in entourage would believe that rage is strictly Ari’s fuel. He even discusses lifestyle choices. Be clean shaven, wear a nice suit, exercise regularly. The book covers the spectrum of how to be your best version of yourself. A rather noble goal.
“Money can’t buy you happiness, happiness can’t buy money”. People romanticize not being dominated by work. Saying work is the key to dying. If you don’t love what you do that you obsess about it, then you aren’t trying hard enough. I like this statement, because it is counter intuitive to most books regarding work and activity. People romanticize the work – life relationship and this provides a fresh new take. Workaholic tendencies are embraced not vilified in this diatribe.
“Don’t do damage control, do damage”. The confidence in this persona is frankly inspiring. Knowing that you are a machine, a Titan of industry is a leg up is anything you do. Frankly it’s an easy read as well as a humorous premise. The fictional voice is powerful and descriptive relying upon excellent examples. If you’re a fan of Entourage it’s a nice plus for the read. If you’re tired of the same “don’t be a workaholic”, holistic approach, it’s a nice change of pace with a few useful pieces of relevant advice.
Smile, Enthusiasm, Eye Contact. These are the first impression indicators that allow you to make headway with customers. The first ten seconds of a relationship is essential in sales. You are already fighting an uphill battle in terms of a relationship. A new customer has no reason to purchase from you, or any reason to like you. Nobody buys from someone they don’t like. I don’t care if the product is 10 times cheaper and 10 times better, if they don’t like the salesperson it will reflect on the product.
A smile goes a long way. Nobody wants to be sold to, if that wasn’t the case all salespeople would be successful. If you’re smiling and giving them positive energy, a customer will have a very hard time saying no to you. As stated before, sales is a relationship you build between the client and yourself. Smiling allows you to get their attention immediately and allow them to subconsciously think you are trying to solve their problems. At the end of the day, all you need to do is solve one simple problem and the sale practically closes itself. Whether you are upgrading quality, or lowering prices, you need to be solving a problem.
Enthusiasm is not easy. You can feign enthusiasm all you’d like but ultimately, you gotta be positive in your sale. If you are enthusiastic and confident, this will translate to a confidence in yourself to give them a quality service and that the product is stellar. Enthusiasm could be interpreted in a number of ways. Frankly use some inflection and mix up your tone a bit. If making small jokes or conversation is possible, do that. Keeping things casual represents your indifference. Indifference is key, check out my other work in regards to FUJI.
Eye contact means confidence. This confidence will demonstrate confidence in yourself, but also in your product. Eye contact is a must for customers, as it demonstrates you respect them as a client. It also allows you to scope out where they are looking. If they are returning your eye contact, and maintaining your connection, you have a solid relationship built down.
Eye contact is arguably the most important factor because it lasts the longest. You can only smile for so long without coming across as a crazy person, and enthusiasm is hard while deflecting the conversation and getting down to the brass tax. Eye contact allows you to keep control of the conversation and track their eyes as well. You are the hunter, they are the prey. By looking solely at them you show them that they are the most important person in the room. They represent the sale, therefore they are the most important person in the room.
Sales as stated previously is a transfer of energy. Clients feed off your vibes, man. In reality a sales process is a complicated series of chess moves where you build impulse and close on value of your product. The Jones effect is the final sales technique in FUJI that I will discuss.
“Several clients of mine have been calling about this product, I just wanted to give you the opportunity to upgrade your services as they did”
“Your neighbor’s love their new ___ and i’d love to give you the same opportunity”.
“Your competitors in the market are using this, I can help you get a leg up in your sector”
These are all problem solving techniques using the psychology of the Jones Effect. People don’t want to be the first people to be sold a certain product. In fact people don’t want to be sold to at all. But if Jerry down the street has your product, or a competing store, then the product must be good. Clients understand that if someone has bought a product previously from you or your company then they must know something they don’t. The Jones Effect allows you to state your product is great without actually saying it is. People don’t want to miss out, or feel like others are benefiting without them. Consumers love the bandwagon. Just look at Apple, or the Golden State Warriors. Same idea.
You can also manipulate this effect further. “Your competitor bought this product at this price, but because I am here today I can offer our services for this price”. That may not necessarily need to be true, but it can be done. Knowing that a consumer is paying less for a product makes the product seem like a better deal, and increases impulse. Ideally a hard sell and a quick close is the goal here.