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What Your Industry Doesn’t Know About Selling Wine

You don’t sell what you think you sell. Let’s get this straight. You need to understand this.

If you’re Nike you don’t sell golf balls and shoes and athletic equipment… you sell winning. That’s why you have Lebron and Tiger as your spokespeople. If you’re Debeers, you don’t sell diamonds… you sell “forever”. You sell “a special moment”.

This is what the teaching industry, or basically almost every industry, doesn’t get. Continue reading to find out how to fix this problem.

Case in point, over a year ago I went online to try and learn how to play the ukulele. What did I find? All the same stuff I found years ago before the Internet existed that stopped me from wanting to learn the piano.

In other words… learning was too hard. Accomplishing my goal was too hard. They didn’t make it fun. They all wanted me to follow their strict rules of lessons and reading music and proper technique. Blah. I didn’t want to do that 20-years ago when I wanted to learn piano, and I didn’t want to do that last year learning how to play the ukulele.

But perhaps most importantly, they didn’t “get” why I wanted to learn how to play the ukulele. Which was just so I could have some fun and play a few of my favorite songs. I had/have no intention of wanting to master it, or use all the proper strumming techniques or learn every chord.

I just wanted to mess around.

But what I found was miles of sites and guides that wanted to continue to make it hard, and show me how to “learn properly” and all that.

In other words… they were trying to sell me something I didn’t want. So I didn’t buy.

I taught myself online instead without classes and learned how to play (poorly, I admit) my favorite songs all on my own.

We’re getting to the point, bear with me.

Once I learned how to do the things I wanted to do, which was just play fun songs and have fun, I realized that the VAST MAJORITY of people who also wanted to learn how to play musical instruments really just wanted the same thing.

Yet, the music teaching industry keeps on selling the exact opposite product. Why?

Probably because they don’t know how to sell wine. Gary Vaynerchuk knows how to sell wine in a modern age. Instead of selling all the associated snobbery that came with wine, Gary changed the game and sold fun. He made learning about wine easy, and approachable. Everyone else was zigging… so Gary zagged and broke the industry in half, for the better.

Gary sells wine in a different way then everyone else, and now he’s got almost 100k people a day who watch him on his Winelibrary.tv show to prove it worked.

So this really isn’t about wine though. I’m using Gary as a prime example of what most people/businesses don’t do, and that’s know what to sell.

Last week I created a site called Play A Uke where I crafted a class on how to learn how to play the Ukulele. For $10, which I donate to charity, I teach you how I learned how to play the ukulele online for free. Again, admittedly, I play very poorly.

Since launching the class, I’ve had a lot of signups who love it, yet one ukulele person on Twitter called me out as “a dreadful load of junk”. Fine, I accept his/her opinion. They are a true teacher and I’m sure very skilled at what they do. That’s great. I appreciate the fine art and people who are highly skilled.

But don’t call what I’m selling “dreadful junk” and “not important” and blame me because you don’t know how to sell your product. Because you don’t. It’s pretty obvious.

And no, I don’t blame you, you’re not a marketer. You shouldn’t know as much as I do about selling. I don’t know a lot about teaching ukulele. It’s all even.

The truth is you sell all the wrong things, when you should be selling all the right things. People don’t learn how to play musical instruments, typically, to be the best in the world. They just want to mess around and sing some songs mostly. Yet, the teaching industry, music, or in fact, most industries in general, don’t sell what people really want to buy.

Take a look at how Gary does it, and get your brain working. What do you really sell? What do your customers really want? Because until you figure that out, you’re never going to find the success you think you should have.

I’m going to continue on this theme in the next few months. I’ve been doing a lot of teaching lately and it’s interesting to me to see the way the teaching online industry is broken. Let’s fix it.

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3 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Joel Libava
    September 2, 2009 at 2:44 am #

    Jim,
    Case In Point;

    People think that McDonald's is in the business of selling hamburgers.

    That's wrong.

    McDonald's is in the business of selling inexpensive, and convenient {Fast} food.

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

    • Jim Kukral
      September 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

      Exactly Joel.

  2. learn piano songs
    October 6, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    Business is all about selling and buying so you just have to know how to convince people and make them happy with your business.