Think about the way many sales people present their products to you.
- My product is best
- It has won awards
- It has amazing features
- It has unique benefits
- You should buy it now
Yep, whatever product flashed into your mind right now, you could quickly nestle it into this scenario, right? Insurance. Washing machines. Cereal. Airlines. Whatever concept you chose, I’m sure you can find examples of how they “sell” in this exact approach.
That’s because selling in this manner is the safest way to success. And as humans, we’re all about safety, right?
Don’t believe me?
Head back in time to your high school graduation. You chose one of two paths – a job or college. And in either case, you’re ultimate goal was a job, right? The path was painted for you long before you reached this fork in the road. Your parents, your teachers, even your friends taught you both consciously and subconsciously about the right path for you. So you:
- Went to high school
- Took test after test
- Chose a college (or trade school)
- Got a job
Until one day when you stopped and wondered “why”.
In the case of selling, and in the case of living, you did what you were supposed to do because it was expected.
You moved forward in the anticipated direction. You followed the rules. You did what everyone told you to do. You didn’t want to buck the trends. You simply wanted to follow along, be secure, and do what was safely laid out for you from those around you.
Now imagine what would happen if you zagged instead.
Zagging simply means that when you see “everyone” doing things one way, you know its time to do something else.
So when they zig, you zag.
Why? Because zagging is what gets you noticed. It catches the attention of those around you in a way that zigging never could. It adds novelty to your idea. It makes the mundane desirable. It gives you a purpose. It sets you apart from all those around you.
Who wouldn’t want to jump on that bandwagon, right?
The Story Of A Photographer Who Thought Differently
Sounds easy enough to zag when everyone else is zigging, right? But how do you go about it? Let me show you an example.
Back when we first started growing our photography business, I noticed one thing. If you opened up a bride’s magazine, all the ads looked exactly the same (of course the photo, the logo and the phone number changed, but literally they could have used a template to create their ads).
And when you heard each of these photographers promote their wedding packages, it was like a cookie cutter was set into motion, each having a package almost the same as the next.
For most photographers starting out in business, they chose the easy road. They picked up a wedding magazine and duplicated the ads they saw. It must work right? Then when it came time to create their pricing lists, it was off to “copy” once again. Choose three photographers at random, choose what you like about their package plans, mix it up a bit and create your own. A hybrid of those around you.
From the clients perspective, that’s where confusion sets in. She travels around visiting photographer after photographer. The pricing changes a bit. The look of the photographs changes a bit. The packages change a bit – maybe an extra hour of time or a different sized image. But ultimately a bride chose a photographer based on price, maybe a “feeling” she had when she was with the photographer, or a special image she fell in love with and wanted the chosen photographer to duplicate. Nothing was different. Nothing said wow.
Yep, almost every photographer in existence and coming into the marketplace zigged.
So we zagged.
We didn’t focus in on what every other photographer added to his or her package (a certain number of hours and a certain number of photographs taken) – 6 hours of time and 250 images to select from.
Instead, we offered something very few photographers did – unlimited time and unlimited images.
Then we used that in every approach we made to attract our potential clients.
“How can you trust a photographer who only guarantees 250 images; what if he misses the most important photograph of you and your grandma because he’s already reached his 250 image quota?”
“What if your photographer walks about before your first dance because he’s reached his 6 hours of time and he has another event to attend?”
The questions really made brides think when they visited us.
Instantly we jumped up an entire level over every other photographer a potential client was considering.
We learned to zag, while everyone else was zigging.
Its Not Just Business
That’s in the business world, but it applies to everything you do.
When you set out in this world, chances are you zigged. You went to school, took tests, went to college (or trade school), got a job, worked to pay the bills, lived the American dream.
The plan was set out way before you were born. That’s what we’re supposed to do. You can’t buck the system. You can’t set out and do things differently.
Or can you?
What if all of a sudden, right now, you decided to zag.
What would that look like?
You’ve always had a job. Everyone around you has a job. And everyone around you struggles. What if you zagged and started your own business?
You’ve always owned your own home. All of your friends own a home in the suburbs – that’s what you do. It’s the American dream. Yet you have no appreciation and the monthly payments are a struggle each month. Not to mention what happens when the water heater goes out or you need a new roof. What if you zagged and rented in the city instead?
You’ve always had the latest fashions in everything. New clothes, new furniture, a new car. You love watching for the best sales in all of your favorite locations. Yet how much satisfaction is that truly bringing you? What if you simplified and minimized? What if you quit spending and actually decreased your consumption habits while everyone around you kept theirs at the same level? What if you zagged when it came to “more” while everyone zigged and stayed on the same path? What could you do instead?
What would your “zag thoughts” do for what you truly want to do? Would zagging open up a whole new world for you? Would zagging allow you to be happier with what you do have, while eliminating what you really don’t care about anymore?
Would zagging open up your eyes to potential? Would you be able to see what you truly want to do in an entirely different way?