Ron Popeil. If you asked the average person who Ron Popeil was, chances are they couldn’t tell you. Ask the average consumer if they’ve heard of the Showtime Rotesseri or the Veg-O-Matic and more than likely they’ll tell you “YES” and probably even remember many of the sales pitches like; “Set it and Forget It” or “...wait, there’s more“. Ask anyone in marketing or advertising who Ron Popeil is and it’s likely they’ll tell you he’s the man who revolutionized marketing products on TV.
Ron Popeil did his first TV ad in 1956 with the Chop-O-Matic (later renamed to the Veg-O-Matic). If you watch that TV ad and his latest ads for the Showtime Rotesseri, you’ll see little has changed in his pitch. Why change what works?
I can remember as a kid watching his TV ads for the Veg-O-Matic and Dial-O-Matic and asking my mom to buy them. I have no idea why I wanted her to, but I do remember I was captivated by his ads!
At a recent live show on QVC, Ron Popeil sold 1 million dollars worth of Showtime Rotesseri’s in one hour at a price of $127 per unit. You do the math. Love him or hate him, this man can sell and has the art of pitching to crowds down to an art.
Side Rant: There are times when I do nothing but watch infomercials on TV with a notepad, taking notes on the sales pitches. QVC is my favorite. I’d love to spend time behind the scenes watching what goes on. Their high-tech control room can correlate the pitch the salesperson is giving to the phone calls coming in. They can tell instantly which keywords trigger phone calls or which product scenes trigger calls. That would be one a great learning opportunity!
Back to Ron Popeil though.
Mr. Popeil learned early on in his career as a pitchman in the Chicago street markets how to sell to crowds. The lessons he learned long ago selling Kitchen gadgets that his dad had invented to crowds on the streets of Chicago still work in marketing today. They’re not lessons you’d use in a Business to Business type climate, but if you have a product or service to sell the general public, you’d do well to follow Mr. Popeils lessons.
Here are lessons we can learn from Ron Popeil about direct marketing to the masses.
- Have Passion for what you’re selling – This is a tried and true lesson but I’m still amazed at how many people change their affiliate products as often as they change their underwear. To be successful selling anything, you need passion. If you have a genuine passion for what you’re selling, the selling will be the easy part. That also goes for you small business owners! If what you’re doing doesn’t excite you, then find something that does, then you’ll be successful!
- Make the Prodcut the Star of What You’re Selling – I know this may shock some of you, but “it’s” not about you, it’s about your product. Ron Popeil knew people were going to buy his products because they solved a problem for the consumer or made their life easier. Just watch one of his Infomercials. You’ll rarelly see Ron, but you’ll see the prodcut in action, over and over. You’ll see the product solving the problems of the consumers and making their life easier. At the end of the day, that’s what people want and are willing to pay for.
- Timing Is Everything – Ever see Ron Popeil pitch a product? Most of us have. Have you ever diagnosed his sales pitch? I have as many others have done also. He shows you all the wonderful features and benfits you get from his products and how much better you’ll life will be with his products. By the time he’s halfway through his pitch, you’re begging for a phone number and price. That’s his timimg. He never tells you the price until he’s at least halfway through the show. Ever wonder why all those landing pages for eBooks never tell you they’re $97 in the first sentence, instead of making you wait till the end? Now you know. Play up the benefits and features first. Hook ‘em, then you can land ‘em!
- Don’t forget the backend! If you ever called in and ordered a product of Ron’s, you know they’re not going to let you go without trying to sell you something to go along with your order. Whether it’s a 4 way Ravioli maker for his Pasta Machine or a specialized rack for the Showtime Rotesseri, they’re going to push you to buy something else! There are a lot of people who make more on their back end sales than the do with their main product…that’s a nice problem to have!
- Markets Exist, Don’t Try Creating One – Ron never created a market for his products. All of his products were invented because he saw a need and tried to fill that need. Take his Showtime Rotesseri for example. He said he would see a line at the Suupermarket of people lined up to buy the Rotesseri Chickens. Then at Costco there was another line for people to buy Rotesseri Chickens. The light went on in Ron’s head. He started shopping around to see what was available to the market. What he saw was either too pricey or not compatible for the average Family kitchen. The rest is history! Find the market, don’t try creating it!
- Persistance Pays Off – You’ve heard it before, but Ron success is the perfect example of how persistance pays off, time and time again. He had a unfortunate childhood that he could have used as an excuse for failure (as seems to be the norm today) but instead, Ron Popeil put this behind him and kept pitching his products. He’s had a failure or two, the Garbage compactor that is also a stool is one of them. (personally, I thought it was a Genuis idea, even tried to get Mom and Dad to buy one) Ron Popeil is the perfect example of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonaide”.
Whether you’re starting your own work from home business, small business, large corporation or an Online business, Ron Popeils lessons virtually guarantee you success if you do your part.