DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Author: Mirko Bunčić, Creative Strategist, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
This is the first lesson I learned in university, from Professor Veljković. I remember it as if it was yesterday. That first class of practical exercises. The Professor wasn’t the Professor anymore, he was playing the role of a car servicing shop and my colleague Nikola from the front row posed as his customer.
The Professor immediately spotted that Nikola was young and inexperienced and sold him his lemon of a car at a higher price than it was worth. He earned 200 euros more, but he also lost his customer forever. Because Nicola, when he came home and talked to his relatives and friends, he realized that he had been played and quite expectedly he would never return to that servicing shop again.
But the Professor was a marketing magician. While he did notice that Nikola was young and inexperienced, it was merely an opportunity to make a loyal customer of him. And quite easily for that matter. First he sold Nikola a car to satisfy his needs as a student. Cheap small car with good fuel economy. But it needed servicing. No problem, the Professor will do it and he’ll even give him a discount every time. After a few years, Nicola graduated and got a job. He needed a better and fancier car. No problem, the Professor will take care of it. Nikola got a baby, it’s time for a family car. The Professor is the right guy to go to! Nikola’s wife is coming back from maternity, they now need two cars. No reason for panic, again, the Professor’s the man!
Hence, in 20 years, the Professor sold Nikola 4 cars. He seemingly lost 200 euros in the start, but over the years he made much more money of Nikola from car sales and servicing. And not just that! He built a relationship, created loyalty, won Nikola over for good and who knows how many more of Nikola’s friends and acquaintances.
With this example, the Professor instilled us at the very beginning the real point of marketing and sales, which we, as a people, seem to forget quite easily. I feel like our philosophy is that it’s better to play someone for peanuts while you can, instead of making money gradually of that person over time.
And that is the difference. You can make a profit, but you can also keep making money over time. You typically make profit once, but you make real money steadily over a long period of time.