Running Out of Gas in the Desert (and the marketing lesson I learned)

So here’s what happened. You’re looking at a map of Utah here. Let me see if I can show you the terrain so you can see a little bit. This is our road trip, and we stayed in Grand Junction, Colorado, and we were traveling through here. I was seeing quite a few towns in here so I wasn’t too worried. I’m looking at my gas, it’s getting a little bit low but I wasn’t too worried about it. And then we hit this stretch right here of a couple hundred miles where there was just no towns, no gas stations, nothing at all. And, man, my wife had said, “Hey!” You know, somewhere back in here there was a gas station and she said, “Hey! Maybe, we should just get gas.” And, I was like, “Uh, no. We’ll be fine.” And, man, do I ever wish I would have listened to her.

So we’re traveling and right around here I start to realize, “Man, we’re going to run out of gas!” And, if you can see in here, it’s really just an arid stretch. I mean, there’s nothing there. I think it was about a hundred degrees outside, and I’ve got my four kids plus a friend. So I’ve got five kids in there and my wife, and I was stressing out. And so, we’re traveling along here, and I see on the GPS there’s this place called Randy’s Service. And they are about ten miles off of 70 and the only gas station. I mean, it was really my only option. So I’m driving on just a breath of gas and my Honda’s pretty good that way. I mean, it gets great gas mileage so I thought I could make it, but I was thinking it’s possible I won’t make it. So we were praying. I mean, I was just on a breath of gas, just praying, “Oh, God! Please get us there!”

I knew I wouldn’t make it all the way to Salina over here because this is sort of mountainous here. Really twisty and so this is a lot farther than it looks because the road is so twisty and turny. So this is really my best option. And, if you look at their Google+ local page here you can see, “A bright light in a vast sea of darkness.” Liked: Gas. That’s so funny here. “Lifesaver!!! Twelve miles off the freeway but necessary if you did not fill up in Salina.’ Actually, this is really the only gas station around anywhere. And, the reason why I bring this up is it’s a great lesson, a great marketing lesson on positioning. And, how being positioned in front of a desperate market is so important. It makes your job so much easier. And, I would’ve gladly paid three times the normal price of gas at this place. I wouldn’t even have thought, “Oh, these people are ripping me off!” and been angry about it. I would’ve just been so relieved that they were there, positioned in front of me when I was in separate need for gasoline.

Now, Randy’s Service, I got to say they’re not charging too much more. I think they’re charging about the same as everyone else for gas. So they’re not aware, I don’t think, of the marketing advantage that their position puts them in. They could easily charge much, much more for their gas, and I doubt that people would even complain. So the lesson here is, with your niche and with your website or websites, how desperate is your market? And, not only that, but are you catching your market at their desperate points? Are you aware of where they’re at and when they desperately need what you have to offer?

Do they have a desperate need? If you have a market but it’s not selling that well, you need to think about what are their desperate needs. Because, when people are starving for something they are willing to pay a premium, and your profits can increase dramatically just by you taking advantage of this principle of positioning yourself in front of starving, hungry, desperate people. It makes it much easier to sell what you’re selling to them and to sell it at a much, much higher price if you’re positioned properly.

Now, I’m going to show you in a second, this Randy’s Service, what it actually looks like and you’ll be amazed. They don’t have much going at
all as far as marketing. They’re not real snazzy. It’s just super simple. Just basic. Just tiny town. There’s really nothing there and even their gas station has very little in terms of offering bells and whistles and all kinds of added things. And, if they were in a town full of gas stations, where there’s a gas station every few blocks, they would probably get passed over for someone else who’s doing a much better job at marketing themselves and a much better job of their storefront looking nice and everything. You’ll see from the video that I’m about to show you that Randy’s really does not have the snazzy look that an urban sort of gas station would have. But, I guarantee you if they would increase their prices three times people would still pay. And, actually people would have to pay because there’s nowhere else to get gas. But, not only would they have to pay, but I would be willing to bet people would be willing and happy to pay because they would just be so thankful that someone was there for them.

If you think about it, there are all kinds of things they could offer here. I mean, they could offer a service driving gasoline to your car for a premium price. “We’ll drive you and a gas can out and fill up your tank for you. ” There are all sorts of services they could offer just for the market of drivers on I-70 who are running out of gas. And, if you would have felt the desperate feeling that I felt when I was on that freeway and I was thinking that I was going to have to walk 10 or 15 miles, maybe even five miles, to get gas in the middle of a desert. It really shows you what it’s like. The kind of power and force that is present in a desperate, hungry market that’s desperate for what you want. And, Gary Halbert liked to say that if you’re in front of the right market you can write your sales pitch on a napkin and hand it to them, and it will be super, super powerful because of the leverage of the desperation of the market.

So without further ado, I’m just going to show you what Randy’s Service is like. I took a little video of their facility there, and you’ll get an even better idea of how they could profit just by increasing their prices and not needing to do anything else, just purely based on their

So this is Randy’s and if you look, there’s really nothing here at all. Sorry for that noise in the background. Somebody’s parked their car here next to mine and it’s got a real rattle-y muffler there. You can see that it’s really nothing here. I mean, they’re about ten miles off the main freeway but they’re right in the middle of an area where there’s hardly any gas stations for many, many miles. And, this is a great example of positioning and why positioning is so important. You can see here they don’t have much going on. They’ve got one gas pump here. They’ve got a simple, little building. Hardly any marketing. Middle of a tiny, little small town but they’re positioned to be the only gas station for many, many, many miles. They even sell a “Ran Out of Gas” souvenir T-shirt inside. It’s a great lesson on positioning and how just having your position in the right place in front of a qualified stream of traffic can provide you with a lot of business. And, you can tell from the T-shirt they sell inside, the “Ran Out of Gas” souvenir T-shirt, that they get a lot of people coming here desperate, running out of gas. And, tell you what, the last ten miles to get to this place we were praying. We were driving on a breath of gas just to get here and I thought, “I’m going to be walking with my family parked in the desert.” You can see we’re kind of in the middle of the desert here. I’m going to be parked in the desert, and I’m going to be walking to this gas station.

So positioning. Make sure you’re positioned in front of a qualified stream of traffic, and you don’t need much for marketing or facility or even a setup. You can have a good stream of cash flowing your way. Little lesson there from the middle of Utah, middle of the desert, on positioning. And, I just went inside and asked them, they said they get a lot of people running out of gas right here. If you look at the map, directly below here you see there are no towns anywhere and you’ll see what I mean.

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