Tesla Unveils Model 3 from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

I used to hate marketing, but now I love it. There’s a fine line between love and hate actually. Here is the thing about marketing, it helps companies make a difference. I helps you make a difference.

Naturally, it helps companies that should disappear tighten their grip. However, it also helps companies that do great work prosper and do even more great work. In the end, no one grows without marketing themselves one way or another…

This brings me to Elon Musk and Tesla. There is a lot to learn from just observing how he has grown his company and the marketing he has used to do that. I am not a car guy. I have had my car for 6 years, it’s crap and I have no intention of changing it anytime soon…

In 17 minutes, however, Elon Musk has managed to make me add “owning a Tesla” to my bucket list. Yes, it’s that powerful. I could recognise the tactics he was using and I was still sold…

Now, what I’m going to tell you is extremely valuable not only for your business, but also for yourself. It can change the way you appear to others. It should change the way you pitch yourself and your business. It’s something I learned from the great Simon Sinek.

I talk about it a lot to the people I coach and I tell them to present things in this sequence as much as they can. The reason I’m insisting on this particular point is because most people will read a blog post and say “OK that’s nice,” without realising that sometimes there is real value. This is one of those cases…

If you look at the way Elon Musk unveils the information on Tesla Model 3, the sequence is why, how and then what. This is crucial, as most people tend to start with “what” and then talk about how a little bit, which makes the product or the service really unexciting…

In this video, Elon Musk starts by saying why he believes it’s important to make electric cars, and why it’s not a luxury. He tells his audience why his company exists, accidentally making them feel part of a movement that is changing the world…

Then he unveils his masterplan, his big “how.” This allows him to justify charging a lot for the first cars he produced because it allowed him to prepare for the “affordable” car. It actually makes total sense and a lot of companies have an ecosystem of products that allows them to touch people from multiple income sizes.

For a service based business, it makes sense to have a high ticket offer, and lower-priced offers that can scale up better. Elon Musk started with the high ticket offer because it’s easier to make a profit this way when you’re small, contrary to popular beliefs.

I have found myself telling clients to stop charging less for that particular reason. Selling a product or a service is about creating trust and making them believe in what you sell. The price is secondary. If they don’t have the money, the person is not the ideal customer for this product, but it doesn’t mean the product can’t sell.

It’s much easier to sell a $10000 product to a customer who’s a right fit for that product than it is to sell a $47 product to 10 people who doubt you. Seriously. This is why Elon Musk didn’t bother selling cars below $50 000 to start with.

Back to his presentation now. After unveiling how he went about changing the auto industry for the better, Elon concluded with the big “what,” namely, the Tesla Model 3. You can also notice that for almost every feature presented, there is a “why” involved and values presented.

Here are a few of these instances: “We really believe at Tesla that safety has to come first,” “At Tesla, we don’t make slow cars,” “A lot about having a car is about freedom…” These values allow the company to connect the audience at a much deeper level.

Now, how can these lessons be applied to small businesses and even solopreneurs? Well, we are all in business and we all have to pitch ourselves. Starting by stating what we stand for, what values we have and why we do what we do allow us to connect to potential customers or followers on a much deeper level than just saying “I’m a consultant, I’ve studied at Harvard…”

It doesn’t mean you should never say what you do. It just means you need a connector first. You need to show people you believe in what they believe, or show them you are not a right fit for them. People who buy Tesla cars are people who care about the environment. People who believe that global warming is a conspiracy theory will be lost from the start, and that’s a good thing. It’s expensive to market so if you can prequalify people before you market to them, it costs you less and produces higher returns. Everybody wins.

The biggest connector is your “why.” It’s when you prequalify who is a right fit for your message or not. Then you gain trust with “how.” Once you have said your “why,” people are curious, but they don’t trust you yet. When you unveil your how, you show that you have actually thought this through. People trust you now (or have gone somewhere else). That’s when you propose…

Saying what you do and pitching your product has to come after trust is built. That’s when people already know they’re gonna buy, even if you haven’t unveiled the product yet. Notice how Elon Musk describes the car and gives the price only at the end, when people have more or less already made up their mind.

Wrap-up

This is an extremely valuable tool in business and in life. It can even help you in your marriage. Rather than confronting your spouse on the “what” of a decision, try appealing to your spouse’s values and what they stand for first. Imagine that sequence: “Honey, do you believe people should not accept dictatorships?” That’s when normally you obtain a yes. “So you believe rebellions against a powerful oppressor are highly inspiring?” Normally, that’s another yes. That’s when you say “Well, the new Star Wars movie is all about the start of the Rebellion so it’s going to be a highly inspiring masterpiece, how about we go and see it?”

And that’s how it’s done…