Did you know that the illegal drug market is a 2.5-trillion dollar industry? That’s right: it’s not a billion dollar industry. It’s a trillion dollar industry.
I know what you are thinking, “Drug dealing is illegal”. Although you are correct, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few things from it because it didn’t get to be this big of an industry out of sheer luck.
Here are 7 things you can learn from a drug dealer:
Don’t take your product for granted
Do you think drug dealers get into war just over location? They also get into fights over product because they all want the best stuff. They know that you’re only as good as your product.
And if you have great product, you won’t have to work too hard to sell it.
So with your business, don’t take your product for granted. Try to create the best product in the market because people will get addicted to it. If you create a shitty product, they may use it for a bit, but sooner or later they’ll dump it once they find something better.
Word of mouth is the best form of marketing
Have you ever seen a drug dealer advertise his or her product through billboards, magazines or television? Of course not! And it’s not just because drug dealers don’t want to get caught selling. It’s because they know that the best form of marketing is word of mouth.
If you have a great product that people love, they’ll talk about it and share it with others. Drug dealers know that having your customers tell other people about your product is the best form of marketing out there.
As a business owner, you’ll want to spend money on advertising. And by all means, you should do so. But don’t forget how your product can help market itself. Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing!
Freemium models can be very lucrative
Do you think web guys were the first to invent freemium business models? Drug dealers have been using the freemium approach way before the Internet was even born.
They love giving people a small taste for free because once you try the product, they know that you’ll want more. They may even give you a bit more for free after that, but once your addicted, they’ll start to charge you and make a ton of money off of you.
If you are looking to get more customers, consider the freemium approach. Give away a bit for free, and once people want more, charge them for it.
It’s better to be the brain of the company than the face
Would you rather be doing grunt work or would you rather manage people? Smart drug dealers aren’t the ones on the streets who are dealing. They are the brains of the operation. They figure out how to get drugs, to whom to supply them for distribution and how to keep a low-key operation while counting the cash.
They know that if they are the ones on the street dealing, there is a higher chance that they’ll get caught and go to jail. So, instead, they keep their distance from the dealers and just watch the money roll in.
If you want to be rich, you don’t have time to do the grunt work. Instead, you have to delegate and focus on strategy and execution. There are always people who you can hire to do the grunt work, but you have to focus your time and energy on the tougher stuff. It’s much harder to train someone to come up with your overall strategy than to train someone to do the work.
You can always upsell
Have you noticed that drug dealers never stop hustling? They’re always trying to figure out ways to make money off of you. Whether it is selling you a better product or new drugs, they never stop selling.
Just like a drug dealer, you should never stop selling. Just because someone is a customer doesn’t mean they can’t spend more money with you. You can get more money out of your customer base by surveying them to find out what else they want out of your product. Or you can see if they have any other problems in their organization that you may be able to solve and charge for.
Whatever you do, don’t forget about upselling as it can start becoming a huge portion of your income.
Control supply to increase prices
If there are more drugs in the market than buyers, what happens? Price must come down, right? One of the best ways to keep the price of your product up is to control supply.
Drug dealers do this all the time because controlling the supply allows them to force the junkies to pay whatever the dealer wants, just to get a quick fix.
You can do the same thing with your business. For example, when Gmail first came out in the market, they didn’t open it up to everyone. They controlled the supply of their free service so much that people were selling invites on eBay for up to $50. That’s not too bad for a product that’s supposed to be free.
It’s easier to keep your customers happy than it is to get new ones
No matter what industry you are in, it’s always tough to get customers. Even drug dealers struggle, which is why they do whatever it takes to keep their current customers happy. From hooking them up with free drugs every once in a while to hooking them up with free equipment that lets them use the drugs they just bought, drug dealers try to do whatever they can to keep their customers happy.
You shouldn’t just focus on getting new customers. You should also focus on keeping your existing ones happy. If you’re losing customers and have a high churn rate, make sure you fix that before you waste too much money on acquiring new ones. It’s all about maximizing the lifetime value of your customers as that’s where the true value of your business lays.
I hope this blog post didn’t convince you to start dealing drugs because although it is a lucrative business, it’s also an illegal one. Instead, I hope that it taught you how to take your business to the next level. From looking at freemium strategies to working on upsells, there is a ton of room for you to grow your business.
So, what other business lessons can you learn from a drug dealer?
Neil Patel is a New York Times best selling author. He is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar and he helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil has also been awarded Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives. Continue reading