‘I Am The Greatest’: A Powerful Marketing Secret That Shouldn’t Be Secret

What is a three-letter word in a crossword puzzle for “the greatest”?

“Ali”

Yes, many years after he hung up his gloves and years after his death, he is still synonymous with “the greatest.”  And why is that?

Very simple — he told everyone that he was the greatest.  Who can forget him on TV, in the ring, in front of the newspapers, saying again and again: “I am the greatest.”

I remember it and it was 30 or 40 years ago.  How could I forget it? It was blazed into my mind.

You know if you tell people you are the greatest at something, some of them will believe it.  Even if you are flat-out lying, some will still believe it.

Is that percentage of believers 1 percent or 99 percent?  Of course, that is subjective pertaining to the matter and your believability, but I do know that it will always be greater than 0 percent.

However, if you don’t tell people you are the greatest, then it is pretty sure that 0 percent will believe it.

So — using basic math, which I always love — it is very simple: in marketing you have to come up with something you can credibly say “I am the greatest” in and then tell people about it unreservedly.

And this is the essence of the Power Niche, about which I have written so extensively.

Of course, you can’t say you are the greatest lawyer in the world, as that is kind of ridiculous — but you can narrow down a “niche” that you can own — and with a moderate amount of work you can become “the greatest” in that niche.

Having been a veteran of several thousand pitches — no exaggeration — I have learned that there is simply no way to avoid this somewhat uncomfortable necessity in business development.

Except for commodity work, clients always want “the best” or, in other words, “the greatest.”  And you have to come up with a way to convincingly be the greatest or you won’t get the gig.  Of course, I don’t advocate lying or even stretching the truth — no way on that.  But it is perfectly legitimate to narrow your market so that you have ownership — greatness — in that market.  Then you are 100 percent telling the truth that you are indeed the best in this smaller Power Niche.

By the way, bolstering what I am saying with a bit more math, I believe I read in The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing there is a statistic that the leader in an industry typically gets 50 percent of the market, number two gets 25 percent, and the rest get the remaining 20 percent.  So you really want to be first in your market, don’t you?

As you read this, I bet you are shriveling up inside and thinking, “I just could never do that.”  If so, well, I suggest you just do it anyway and the way to do it is just practice.  First, in front of a mirror, then with your family or close friends, and then finally at work.  You will be amazed at what happens, which is a version of that famous Ted Talk, “Fake it Till You Make It.”

At first you feel like you are faking it and then, all of a sudden, you aren’t faking it because it is absolutely true and the Power Niche feeds on itself.

You can do this!

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