Has your business ever been in a pinch for money? This strategy may serve you well — it’s the same strategy Icy Hot used to become a household name.
Back in the day, one of my college buddies was in need of rent money. He didn’t know what to do. His only idea was to work for it, because that was what he believed was right. I asked him, “What if I told you that you don’t have to work for money to make money? What if you could use your mind and a little effort instead?”
After thinking about it, my friend called up local radio stations and asked them if they had any unsold advertising minutes. They said yes, as all radio stations do. He asked if he could buy them all for 25 to 50 cents on the dollar. They agreed and sent him some paperwork to make it official. Before he signed it, he called up a local apartment building and spoke with the property manager. He asked the property manager if the building was full and if they would be interested in advertising their apartment building on the radio for one-fourth the price.
In exchange, he asked for free rent for the year. The property manager said yes. And suddenly, his rent problem was solved. He used his mind to create value. He used his mind to create something from nothing. He used what we call the “green glasses” at The Foundation. He was forever changed at the possibility this created.
You can re-create this strategy using television, newspapers or radio using a strategy called triangulation. It involves three parties:
- First, consider what you want. In my friend’s case, it was free rent for a year.
- Find someone else who needs something. Radio companies always need to sell advertising minutes.
- Give the party you want something from a deal based on what you negotiated from the second party.
This has potentially limitless applications in business. Icy Hot used this strategy to get $10 million in advertising dollars. They called up every single media outlet they could that sold advertising space: TV stations, radio networks and newspapers. Then they offered to fill those advertising spaces without paying upfront, with the exception that they would give the outlets $1.15 for every customer who bought from the ad.
The advertising agency could either run blank zero advertising, or run these ads and get the chance to make 115 percent of the purchase price. Most outlets chose Icy Hot.
Icy Hot sold for one dollar at the time, so the media outlets were astonished the company would pay more than the purchase price of the product. But they knew they would get repeat business and end up making more in the long run. The rest is history.