It’s Friday and so on to something food-related. Today it’s something you might own or something of which you’ve never heard – potato ricers. For those of you in the latter camp, this kitchen tool is sort of like a huge garlic press. It’s a hand-held thing and you put the spuds into a box that holds one or two. You bring the handle over, push the cooked potatoes through a disk sort of like a meat grinder and the results can resemble rice, hence the term.
Of course, I think about ricers in terms of running a business.
A potato ricer is one of those kitchen tools that you see in a store and think “why would I need/want one of those.” I mean, you can mash potatoes easily enough with a potato masher or even a big fork or spoon. Why spend the money?
The answer is try one. The potatoes are fluffier and smoother done this way. As an aside, if you make gnocchi, this is an indispensable tool. But back to business.
There are two business thoughts here. One has to do with selling a product. In this case, it isn’t until you try the results that you understand the need. I’d say that’s true about a lot of products both large (does anyone really need a luxury car?) and small (a new flavor of gum). Obviously this is why they give out samples of new products in stores (and of course this video is the classic moment to that end).
The second thought is sort of a corollary to that. The difficulty in getting folks to understand their need for a new product is inversely proportional to how tangible that product is. Better mashed potatoes are immediately recognizable. Better business solutions for running a mashed potato company (or anything else) is much less obvious initially.
Those of us who sell services need to work especially hard at demonstrating tangible results to make a sale. It’s a point we often overlook as we’re describing hypothetical benefits but one that must be brought forward if we’re to succeed. A 30 minute capabilities presentation is going to get a potential client’s attention way sooner if it begins with a demonstration of how you helped a client realize better profits/revenues/cost-savings.
I own a ricer and not because I feel sympathy with its under-appreciated status as a useful tool. We just love good mashed potatoes! But there are great lessons to be learned everywhere.
And now, off to mash-up a good weekend. Enjoy!