I was thinking of my old Apple IIe, and Steve Jobs, and what a shame it was that he died so young. Maybe he wasn’t warm and fuzzy, but he was certainly a genius as a marketer.
Carmine Gallo, a noted communications coach to businesses, wrote an article a while back for Entrepreneur Magazine, entitled “Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success.” The article was Gallo’s take on the values and rules that made Jobs so successful.
Here’s my take:
Do What You Love. Figure out what you’re passionate about, and do that. If you don’t yet know what you’re passionate about, work hard at figuring it out.
You Can Make a Difference. If you have a vision of something you would like to do or accomplish, and you don’t lose sight of it, you can make great things happen. Sell the vision. Jobs got John Scully to leave Pepsi and come to Apple by asking him “Do you want spend your life selling sugar water, or do you want to change the world?”
- Look for Connections. One of the hallmarks of genius is supposed to be the ability to see connections that others haven’t. Jobs consciously did things and studied and took classes and went places that seemingly had nothing to do with business, but he saw connections from different fields that led to remarkable products.
Focus. When Jobs came back to Apple after having been forced out, he reduced the company’s product line from 350 items to 10. Why? He wanted to put an “A” team on each product. Did it work? One day a few weeks ago, for part of the day, Apple was the most valuable company in the world– bigger than Microsoft, bigger than Exxon. Worth $343 billion.
Be Innovative and Creative. Job’s concept for the Apple retail store was to create a new kind of experience for customers—he actually wanted to “enrich their lives” and create an emotional connection between Apple and its customers and shoppers.
- Tell Your Story Properly. A big part of good marketing and good selling is good story-telling. Remember that “Facts tell, but stories sell.” Jobs was a master story teller, who informed, educated, inspired and entertained all at once.
- Sell Dreams, Not Products. It’s sort of a grander way to say “Sell benefits, not features.” People don’t buy an electric drill because they want an electric drill. They buy an electric drill because they want a hole. Your customer isn’t interested in your product—she’s interested in his own hopes and ambitions and dreams. Help your customer see that you can help her achieve his dreams.
There’s a story that a Disney executive called Jobs asking his advice about reinventing the Disney Store. His advice? “Dream Bigger.” Pretty good advice. Most of us can do a lot more than we do—we just don’t dream big enough.
Of course you still have to execute.
How do you feel about Steve Jobs, and Apple?