19. Corollaries to the Bitter Truths

Bitter Truth #1

The success of your venture depends much less on the quality of whatever it is you are selling than on the quality of the marketing and sales you use to sell it.

Bitter Truth #2

People buy a product not because of its intrinsic qualities or characteristics, but because they believe it will either solve a problem or meet a need that they have.

Bitter Truth #3

In any sale, the customer’s needs and viewpoints count far more than yours. In fact, yours hardly count at all.

These truths suggest three corollaries:

First, that marketing and sales should not be thought of as a secondary or subsidiary activity to your activism, but as the main show. Your projects, events and even candidates could, in fact, be thought of as “vehicles” that provide you with a reason and opportunity for marketing and selling your viewpoint.

Remember: activism is marketing and selling.

Second, that marketing and sales are among the very best uses you can make of your time, money and other resources. Don’t rush them, and don’t skimp on them. A good guide on how to achieve quality marketing for very little money, by the way, is Guerrilla Marketing (see Bibliography).

And third, that a little marketing and sales is way better than none at all. In an ideal world we would all have plenty of time, money, and other resources to market and sell our viewpoints. In the real world, however, resources are always limited, and sometimes severely so. Marketing and sales are such powerful techniques that you should never skip them, and in particular you should never skip the marketing. Remember: it accounts for 90 percent of every sale.