Linda has a lesson for you

By Mark Overbye

Have you ever received an email trying to sell you Linda Ronstadt music? Me neither. Do Linda Ronstadt ads follow you around the internet? Didn’t think so. How about being asked to subscribe to Linda Ronstadt’s website or online store? No again.

While on a recent flight to attend a west coast dealer meeting, I watched a Linda Ronstadt biography, and was struck not only by the prolific nature of her work, but its breadth as well.

She achieved success working in different genres of music such as operetta or Spanish, even as her producers advised against it, thinking her rock and pop fans wouldn’t approve.

Ronstadt understood intuitively though that music is expansive, and she repeatedly proved her advisors wrong as her legions of fans grew larger.

One of the most successful performers of her time, her music appeals to listeners of rock, pop, R+B, big band, jazz, operetta and across multiple languages.

This is a partial list of Rondstadt’s accomplishments:

Over 100,000,000 records sold worldwide.

Charted 36 albums, 12 Platinum albums, 10 top-10 albums, and three No. 1 albums.

21 singles reached the top 40, 10 reached the top 10, two simultaneous top five and one reached the top spot.

First-ever female recording artist to score three million-selling albums.

Set records for top grossing concerts for over a decade.

She has earned 12 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an American Latino Media Arts Award, as well as nominations for a Tony and a Golden Globe.

Here’s another staggering statistic. Linda Ronstadt is currently number 45 on Billboard’s current list of top 100 artists. It all adds up to an impressive 40+ year career that’s still going strong, despite the fact she has lost her voice due to Parkinson’s disease.

So makes her so special? And is there any utility in studying her? Further, her greatest success came at a time prior to the internet and digital music downloads. That means that millions of times someone traveled to a music store, selected her albums, gladly paid, then traveled back home to listen. No click to purchase and instant downloads with Linda.

Such a massive and loyal following is the envy of every business. Especially one where the client base is in hot pursuit of your product. Linda Ronstadt offers a lesson and here it is. It is pure joy that drives people to pursue Ronstadt’s music. People simply love to hear her sing. Her music makes people feel good and the business results are undeniable. When people feel good, they forget about the price, any inconvenience factor and ambient distractions. If they like it enough, they do it again.

In thinking about Ronstadt, there’s a stark contrast to how things are promoted and sold in today’s world. The constant pounding of ads frequently spotlights superficial benefits of price or physical features. Too often the soul connecting benefit of joy is absent, yet that is what so many people crave.

Analyzing the Zen of the buying experience reveals that regardless of what people buy, even if they’re professional purchasing agents, they buy what makes them feel good about the product or people they interact with. Logic plays a distant, second influence. In reflecting on my own experience, whether I’m buying cars, airline tickets, printing or searching boat parts, I first call the people I like. That equates to trust, another highly desirable business component.

As I reflect on countless visits to boat, car, RV, powersports dealerships, routinely the initial sales process begins with a logical approach instead of an appeal to emotion and joy. The specifics of this include visuals screaming monthly payments, horsepower and product stats, company position in the marketplace and inventory, instead of images of joy, happy people using the products, and other touch points that inspire positive feelings of ownership.

Mark Overbye is the CEO of Anthem Marine and Chairman/Trustee of USA Waterski and Wake Sports Foundation.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Mark,

    I am taking a moment to recognize the Linda Ronstadt article you wrote.

    It is rare that an article is written that encompasses the foundational motive involved in a purchase. That being, the emotional aspect. How often are we, as consumers, met with a logical approach while seeking emotional empathy? How often is this logical approach playing out on the marine sales floors?

    Nicely written,
    Glenn Roller

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