I have a spotlight. Wherever I focus my attention, the spotlight follows. And just like a spotlight at the theatre, it's hard for me to see anything outside the light.
If you'd like to get my attention, you'd best be standing in my spotlight. I only buy coke when I'm thirsty and burgers when I'm hungry. My spotlight refocuses depending on my mood, the time of day, my location, my current projects and concerns.
Your location is critical. Printer ink is an important and precious part of my life. I use it almost every day. But I rarely focus on it. Ink sits outside my spotlight until the moment it runs out, then I immediately rush out for more. But try selling ink at the gas station, and I simply won't notice. I fill up my tank after work, sometimes before. But I'm not thinking about the ink at the gas station. My spotlight has moved on and you won't get noticed.
It's not enough to stand in front of your customers. You also have to time it right. Pay attention to their spotlight and make sure you're lighting up at just the right time.
Imagine you're a rock star. You know we fans will pay large amounts to get a T-shirt at your show, but you probably wouldn't bother selling 'em at Walmart. We fans go to Walmart too, but when we walk into Walmart our spotlight's looking for cheap STUFF, not your STUFF. When we're at your show, our spotlight becomes highly focused on you. It's not that your shirt is suddenly more valuable, it's that we can now see the value more clearly because our spotlight is focused.
Whatever your STUFF, think about your AUDIENCE. Where is our spotlight focused? How can you get into the light, so it catches you in the dead center of our attention zone. For once we clearly see you and your value, it's easy to see why we absolutely need you and your STUFF for our very own.