Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Customer A Minute

I just read the most amazing marketing book I’ve ever read, and believe me when I tell you that I have read LOTS of marketing books. Joe Vitale, of The Attractor Factor and The Secret and Ho’oponopono’s Zero Limits fame, wrote it ten years ago. It’s called There’s A Customer Born Every Minute: P. T. Barnum’s Secrets to Business Success, and it’s a true winner, a marketing bible for anyone anywhere who wants to participate in business at any level.

Most people know who Phineas T. Barnum was . . . or, I should say, is. He’s the same Barnum who can be found today associated with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. P. T. Barnum died 110 years ago and he’s still a brand name today! The other thing people “know” about Barnum is that he said, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but it’s not so!

P. T. Barnum had the utmost respect for people. His business dealings were all about generosity, education and sharing. He was a genius at dreaming up wild and crazy marketing to draw the attention of the public to his marvelous displays. He didn’t think of people as suckers, he thought of them, each one, as customers. Vitale’s book title is spot on.

In the book, he details ten Rings of Power. Few of them will surprise you if know anything about marketing at all. What will surprise and delight you, however, is the scale upon which Barnum practiced marketing. If it could be Jumbo, then by Barnum, it would be JUMBO! Barnum even failed on a jumbo scale once upon a time, and dug himself out the same way.

Vitale’s rendering of the showman of showmen is bright, lively and real. His adulation is patent and he wrings the final drops from each of Barnum’s 10 rings. A particular favorite of mine is the visit to Barnum’s grave in East Bridgeport. The long and the short of it is that Joe has a spiritual experience of P. T. Barnum just before he begins to write the book. Barnum, in effect, passes his mantle on to Vitale. It’s beautiful, and it brought tears to my eyes.

The gravestone is simple. It bears his name and a favorite quote of the deceased. “Not my will, but thine, be done.” And that, dear one, is a far greater testament which explains Barnum’s hands-down success in the world.

To Joe Vitale, thanks for accepting the marketing mantle of P. T. Barnum. He’s a genius, and you must be too since you recognized him for what he was . . . and is today.

Here’s the Amazon link to buy the newest edition of this gem:

The greatest marketing on earth!

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