Almost everybody wants to be number one in something. Nobody dreams of being second. In this episode, learn why second place is just as interesting as the first as we talk about the best-selling food in America, and who doesn’t like food? Alex Mandossian shares how rejection can be beneficial if you look at it in the right way. He expounds on the notion that improvement isn’t necessarily the only way to go in business, and dives into great details of how these two concepts can be used into building multi-billion dollar industries.
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Second Best-Selling Food In America
In this episode, you’ll discover how rejection transformed into an ultra-profitable innovation because of a happy accident. You’ll learn why replacing a proven winner is less risky than improving a proven winner. Finally, you’ll learn how a traveling salesman built a billion-dollar industry out of the trunk of his car through grocery stores.
The Potato Chip
This is the story of the potato chip, arguably the second bestselling food in America. Hamburgers are number one, but worldwide potato chips are only second in human consumption to rice. I’m talking about those thin salted and crispy chips that is no secret are some of the favorite snack foods that kids and adults enjoy. What most people don’t know is how the potato chip was first originated. It all started in New England on the Northern East Coast of the United States.
It was a slight variation of French fried potatoes. Oddly enough, it was the result of not a sudden stroke of culinary genius, but rather an angry outburst of a New England resort chef who was rejected. Here’s the story.
In the summer of 1853, there was an American Indian named George Crum who was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. In Moon’s Lake Lodge Restaurant, the menu had fried potatoes prepared by Crum in the standard thick-cut French style that was popularized in France during the 1770s.
It was Thomas Jefferson who first brought the recipe home after serving his term as ambassador to France. On one history-making evening at Moon’s Lake Lodge, one picky dinner guest found that Chef Crum’s French fries were too thick for his liking and rejected the order. He sent them back. Crum cut and fried a thinner batch, but the finicky guest rejected those fries as well. Crum was exasperated. He was frustrated as the story goes and decided to rile the guest.
He sarcastically produced French fries too thin and too crisp to skewer with a fork. The potato chip was born. Crum had his plan backfire because the guest was ecstatic over the brown paper-thin potatoes. He ate it with his hands. Soon other dinners and other diners were requesting Crum’s special potato chip recipe, which was an accident and was the result of rejection. It eventually appeared on the menu as a house specialty and they called it Saratoga Chips.
It’s fascinating how rejection can lead to a multibillion-dollar industry. It gets better. As the popularity of the snack grew, Saratoga Chips soon were packaged and sold locally. That’s what happens whether it’s Wolfgang Puck or it’s California Pizza Kitchen or any other restaurant that seems to have a popular food. They end up in the grocery stores in their package for mass consumption. Later, they were distributed throughout the entire New England region. They were consumed and reorders were coming in.
[bctt tweet=”Delegating your vision is a mistake. It’s like giving up your newborn baby to an orphanage.” username=”AlexMandossian”]
In 1923, Herman Lay came along and he decided to start peddling, selling potato chips to Southern Grocers. He was a traveling salesperson. Out of the trunk of his car, he would go from restaurant to restaurant, grocery store to grocery store and sell these potato chips that were bagged. By selling potato chips from the trunk of his car, Lay’s potato chips became America’s first successfully marketed national brand of potato chips.
Isn’t it interesting how being rejected can be transformed into an ultra-profitable innovation? It wasn’t Crum who ended up making the fortune. It was Herman Lay who ended up becoming the Ray Kroc of potato chips. Ray Kroc was the franchise or genius of the McDonald’s hamburger chain.
I want you to think about your own business. If you’re rejected or someone says no to you, do you look at other opportunities to where that rejection leads? The rejection is not rejecting you so much or the product but it’s a different preference that could turn into a multimillion-dollar empire.
Delegating Your Vision Is A Mistake
The Alexism for this episode is this, “Delegating your vision is a mistake. It’s like giving up your newborn baby to an orphanage.” Herman Lay had a vision. He had a proven winner. He took something that was attempted to be improved. The French fry which was a thick cut was cut much thinner.
There are different sizes of French fries as you probably know, but that wasn’t good enough for that guest at the Saratoga Springs, New York Lodge. By replacing the French fry by accident and turning it into a new product like the MP3 player being replaced into the iPod or the Sony Walkman turned into the iPod. Steve Jobs didn’t want to find more CDs and create CD backpacks to play more albums on a Sony Walkman, which was a runaway success.
He invented something where you could have a thousand songs in your pocket and after launching it, you didn’t even have to buy the whole album. He invented iTunes and for $0.99 a song, people could download their own playlist and the rest is history. The same happened with the tablet, the same happened with the mobile phone into the iPhone and the same happened with the watch. Replacing something is a lot less riskier than improving it because it’s a whole new product.
I learned that first from Perry Belcher, my good friend. It was at a War Room Intensive at a Mastermind I belong to. I’d heard it many times before, but when I heard it from him, it finally struck me. “What could I replace instead of improving because it will have a lot more pulling power in the marketplace?” The third part that’s important. The first is rejection can turn into something profitable. The second is replacing is better than improving. The third part is a traveling salesman or salesperson to be more politically correct.
Herman Lay went belly to belly face-to-face with grocers. He was handing these samples for them to try because experience is not the best teacher or the best influencer. It’s the only teacher. It’s no different than what Wally Amos did on Wilshire Boulevard handing out samples of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. It’s no different than what Colonel Sanders did by giving away his recipe to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It’s that door-to-door, face-to-face, nose-to-nose, belly-to-belly experience where people are sampling your product until they carry it on an ongoing basis. If Herman Lay didn’t do that, then the potato chip probably wouldn’t have been commoditized and sold in stores. If you have kids, you probably had wished that there were fewer potato chips in the world because they’re not the most nutritious food, but they are definitely popular.
Attitude Versus Competence
I want to make one point between attitude and competence. When it comes to sales, a good attitude is not enough. You got to be competent. I have a mentor by the name of Roy H. Williams. I have a Mastermind every single year called the Pathfinder Mastermind at his Wizard Academy, which he’s had for over a decade. He has a quote that is one of my favorites. He says, “An incompetent salesperson with a great attitude is still an incompetent salesperson.”
It’s not the attitude or the inner game that’s the only thing. That’s half of it. You got to have a good attitude, but you got to have a level of competence and be willing to go face-to-face sometimes. Give that strategy session, that clarity call or the discovery session to get that high-end client in sampling what you’re all about. Even give free advice many times until word passes on and you have word-of-mouth. In these days, word-of-mouth is marketing.
An incompetent salesperson or employee with a great attitude is still an incompetent salesperson or employee. There’s the notion of creative avoidance and it deals with anticipating rejection. Rejection many times is not rejection, it’s an objection which can be turned into a question. Over time if you get the same ones, then you can anticipate the objections no longer rejecting you as a buying signal. I look for them.
If I hear an objection that I haven’t heard before, then I jot that down because I always have a response for the objections I normally hear, whether it’s one of time, money, ability or skill. Some people don’t think they have the skill or ability to work with you if you’re a consultant or coach.
[bctt tweet=”Experience is not the best teacher or the best influencer. It’s the only teacher.” username=”AlexMandossian”]
It could be overwhelmed. It could be confusion, they don’t know what the alternative could be. There’s always fear, which I asked my prospects to help me with that because I can’t do the work with fear. They have to overcome that and meet me halfway.
There’s a rumor when Tony Robbins was starting out and getting people into his seminars. What he would do instead of creatively avoiding these face-to-face encounters, rather than going door-to-door with homes which are far apart, he would go door-to-door at apartments because the apartment doors are a lot closer.
Even though it may not be the most efficient or effective way, it is a lot more effective because there’s the law of large numbers, especially if that apartment complex has a sense of wanting to come to an event.
Proximity Is Power
I don’t know if that story is true or not, but Tony is known to say, “Proximity is power.” When you’re in the proximity of a potential client, member, student, customer, patient or whatever you call them, good things will happen even through happy accidents like the New England Resort and George Crum found out in 1853.
A review of the insights you and I rediscovered in this episode. Number one, how rejection can be transformed into an ultra-profitable innovation like the French fry was turned into the potato chip. Number two, how replacing a proven winner, being French fries that were usually eaten with a fork during dinner. If those were cut so thinly that you couldn’t stab them with a fork, you replace the French fry with a potato chip.
It’s still coming from the potato, but it’s not improving the French fry. It’s replacing it. Replacement is always more effective than improvement. Finally, traveling salespeople know that when you go face-to-face and Ray Kroc is no different, he was a traveling milkshake making salesman. He would sell milkshake makers and he stumbled upon the McDonald’s brother’s restaurant. He noticed that they bought eight of them instead of one. He knew he had something, as a result.
The milkshake mixer that he sold was the vehicle to put him in the position to one day run the McDonald’s empire, which he did. He didn’t improve the system because it couldn’t be improved. The McDonald’s brothers had a great system. What he did is, he replaced the single store with franchises and ultimately didn’t sell hamburgers. He is in the real estate business. They own the real estate and they would lease it back to the franchisees.
I hope you enjoy this one and remember, these insights can only work for you if you work them. If you’ve already given me a review on iTunes then I hope you would write down your single biggest a-ha or takeaway on an index card. Save it so that you would have a compendium of a group of index cards you can go back. That would be your All Selling Aside a-ha group of stacked cards.
If you haven’t already given me a review, I’d like you to go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes and type in your biggest takeaway or a-ha that you got from this episode. That will not only mean a lot to me but it will make a declaration publicly of what you learned. What iTunes does is once you give a review, it will ask you to rate the episode. You don’t rate and review the entire show. I just want you to do it for this episode because this is the one that you’re reading. I hope I’ve earned five stars from you.
Will you do that for me? I hope you do because one big takeaway could make all the difference. You can look at those lists of takeaways on index cards after you’ve given me a review. It will only take three minutes out of your day. What you declare could prove to provide you a lifetime of learning because you’ll remember it.
I have one final gift to give you in honor of this 38th episode of All Selling Aside. That is complimentary access, which everyone else pays for $197. You simply need to go to MarketingOnlineMentor.com. When you go there, you’ll learn how to number one, identify your target market.
Number two, create an irresistible message and number three capitalize on the most lucrative media sources available to you. Market message media those are the three M’s of marketing and you’ll also learn about the big shift that’s happening in digital marketing.
Please do whatever it takes to join me for the next episode because our topic will be Why Henry’s Ideas Made Billions. This is a special Henry. He made billions of dollars through simple ideas and he did it better than most. Most people can have different ideas and make money from them and he had that skill. I encourage you to invite a friend or bring a study buddy because it’s more fun learning with someone.
[bctt tweet=”Rejection many times is not rejection. It’s an objection which can be turned into a question.” username=”AlexMandossian”]
I can’t wait to connect with you because it will not only be fun, but it’s interesting to learn the stories of the past at how some people who were not born salespeople ended up becoming the most wealthy and powerful ethical influencers of their day and their stories live on. It always starts with a story. I can’t wait to connect with you. All good wishes.