Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Space flight ticket seller - selling dreams

My oldest daughter recently read The Rolling Stones by Robert Heinlein. She left the book lying around so I reread it one night. This is a classic book, worth reading. One of the images that stayed with me was of the twins wandering around a used rocket ship yard trying to find a space ship to buy.

For Toastmasters today the focus of my speech was to give a sales training speech. The idea was to teach people how to sell something. Part of the challenge of the speech was picking the object to be sold.

I kicked around a couple ideas with my wife. I thought of trying to teach the audience how to sell rock climbing equipment. We brainstormed about some way to work in a homeschooling theme. Then I mentioned a more exotic idea: teaching the audience how to sell rocket ships. (The Rolling Stones was still on my mind.) My wife toned it down a bit by suggesting that I teach the audience how to sell tickets to space flights. This seemed a bit more reasonable.

I worked with the Toastmaster of the meeting to set the stage. We pretended that it was 2013, seven years in the future, and that at least one company was selling tickets to space flights. I was to be the Vice President of Sales teaching some new hires how to sell flights on our rocket ships.

The more I played with the idea the more I realized we really would be selling dreams. It is clear the first couple dozen tourists into space will be driven by a realization of a dream. But this will also be true of most the next hundred, the next thousand, maybe in the next ten thousand. Once the price drops to some reasonable level, more and more customers will buy their dream. Many have grown up watching Star Trek or Star Wars. They will spend money to fly into space.

Salesmen are taught that they are not selling the steak, they are selling the sizzle. This is true for cars, trips to Europe, or trips into space. As more of mankind starts moving into space, initially many will be motivated by achieving a dream.

We can help now by telling people about the success of companies like Rocketplane Kistler, Armadillo Aerospace, Matsen Space Systems, and others. We can tell them that it will be possible for their dream to come true.

By doing this we’ll help make sure our dreams come true.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'Heinlein' must be going around. I referenced Podkayne of Mars yesterday.