Last week, we introduced the concept of selling people what they want – instead of what they need. There is a big difference. In the most simplistic terms, there are only five basic needs our bodies require to survive. They are air, water, food, shelter and sleep. Let’s compare a couple of our basic needs to what we might want. We need minimum nutrition – but we want an abundance of foods that taste good. We need basic shelter which may consist of nothing more than warm and waterproof outerwear – but we want to live in a nice house with all of the modern conveniences.
Cow-calf producers, for the most part, produce beef. As we established last week, people do not need the beef we produce. They can get along just fine with much cheaper forms of protein. People, however, want the beef we produce because it provides a much more enjoyable eating experience than do chicken or pinto beans. The beef industry needs to STOP thinking the world needs what it produces and start focusing on what consumers want. As individual beef producers, we can take that a step further – if we so desire. Many PCC customers and subscribers have doubled and tripled their profits simply by focusing on what consumers want.
Last week, we discussed the amazing increase in demand for grass-finished beef. In a previous PCC Update, Dr. Allen Williams said, “The status quo beef industry is dying a slow death, but most in the status quo herd don’t know it yet. The consumers are slowly but surely taking charge of the products they buy and are now a major influencer on what food products surge forward in the retail marketplace.” If you have been paying attention, you have seen many examples of grass-finished beef being heavily promoted in supermarkets, fast food joints and upscale restaurants.
I closed the leadoff article in last week’s PCC Update by saying I could provide examples other than grass-finished beef, but I would rather see what other Herd Quitters have to say. I asked subscribers to share other examples of selling people what they want? Unfortunately, I did not receive as much response as I had hoped for. I will share the examples that I did receive.
- Organic and/or natural beef
- Dried beef products like jerky that do not require refrigeration
- Precooked beef entrees (heat and serve)
- Freeze-dried entrees with a 25-year shelf life
- Ground beef (hamburger comprises 55% to 60% of total beef consumtion)
- High-dollar pet foods and treats
The possibilities and opportunities are limited only by our imagination. You do not have to be all things to all people. You just have to be very good at what you do. There are niche markets around every corner. I know many small producers with 50 cows or less who are much more profitable than most big producers with 500 cows or more. I know of a few big producers with 500 cows or more who are open-minded enough to do what is required to double the profits they used to receive. You will never be too big or too small to produce a product that the consumer wants.
No matter how bad times get… there will always be people who can afford to purchase what they want. Do you have a product that is unique enough to be wanted by the elite – at almost any price? If you do, then you have the world by the tail with a downhill drag. Opportunities abound – but only for those who have enough courage to break away from the status quo, herd-mentality way of thinking.
Many PCC customers and subscribers have dramatically increased their profits simply by sharing their lifestyle with those who would love to experience what we experience on a daily basis. We take way too much for granted. Others are willing to pay to partake in our lifestyle on a temporary basis. Some progressive-thinking ranchers are selling nothing more than fresh air and sunshine to people who want to briefly escape the concrete jungle. Once again, the opportunities are unlimited!
small producer in Iowa sells calves at birth for market price at slaughter weight plus 10 percent. The calves never leave the farm until they are ready for slaughter. His customer, however, owns that calf from birth to the dinner plate. The customer pays for all out-of-the-ordinary expenses. The customer is encouraged to stop by on a regular basis to see how “his” calf is doing. In this case, a beef-loving consumer is given the opportunity to be invested and involved in the production of the beef his family consumes. This is just one example of many win-win situations that are out there just for the taking.
Quote Worth Re-Quoting –
“The only place opportunity cannot be found is in a closed-minded person.” ~ Bo Bennett