Growing Market Share: Learn from the Master

September 30th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

When reading articles and books about successful people I like to see how I can apply any learnings to market share strategies. I just read an interesting Sports Illustrated article about Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, called “Want a better life? Follow Jerry Jones’s time-tested 6-point plan.” The article was written by a person who had a personal tour of the Dallas stadium by Jerry Jones and from his tour he took away six points from Jerry on what it takes to be successful:

1. Get the party started – During our hour-long conversation, Jones mentioned “party” or “party atmosphere” seven times when talking about the new stadium.

Market Share Selling: When trying to grow market share in a vertical or market segment make it fun. It does not have to be all business; give the campaign a fun name, use fun images and give away lots of prizes.

2. Micromanage everything – This is how Jones operates: peering over shoulders, revising, and always doing things his way. True, it may undermine the authority of those who work for him, or make for repetitive tasks, but it’s clearly working. After all, have you seen his new stadium?

Market Share Selling – Use sales automation tools like to provide visibility to the success of your market share campaign. Sales automation will allow you to micro-manage without pissing people off.

3. Stop wasting your time with sleep – During our talk Jones told me he’d been averaging two hours’ sleep during the week leading up to the opener. He’d go to bed at midnight, then wake up at 2 a.m. and feverishly work out for an hour and a half—“lots of push-ups, sit-ups and cardio”—before returning to the stadium to oversee preparations.

Market Share Selling – Use tools to do your work for you while you sleep. I recently did a review on SalesView; it is a business intelligence tool that is crawling the web looking for content relevant to your target market, and this is all happening while you sleep.

4. Go against the crowd – Zigging when others zag is how Jones made all that oil money, and it’s how he bought the Cowboys. People forget that when he purchased the team, in 1989, not only were the Cowboys a mess, but one of the stipulations of the sale was that he also had to buy Texas Stadium, at the time seen as a financial handcuff.

Market Share Selling – The commitment to capture market share is more of a straight line than a zig zag; let the other guys chase the quick hit deals, stay true to market share selling and it will be more profitable.

5. Go Big – This one’s self-explanatory, provided you’ve ever seen a Jerry Jones home game or press conference or followed any aspect of his career (this is a man, after all, who tried to buy an NFLteam when he was 24 years old, entirely on credit). One example from Sunday: Just before kickoff, Jones’ prized Gargantu-tron showed a series of captioned photos that began with the Pyramids before showing the Parthenon, the Great Wall, Taj Mahal, Roman Coliseum and, finally, inevitably, Cowboys Stadium. You may call that self-congratulatory and tacky. I call it genius.

Market Share Selling – If you are serious about acquiring market share never settle for any less than 30% market share.

6. Be magnanimous – As I walked out of the stadium with Jones around noon, a group of Cowboys fans who were there for a tour—at $15 a pop! (further proof he’s a financial genius)—saw him and did a double-take. He inquired about their experience. They said the tour had been sold out, so they weren’t able to go. “I’m really sorry about that,” Jones said, seeming genuinely concerned, then added brightly: “How about we take a picture together then?” At this, the fans lit up and scooted into position and snap went the camera. Everyone walked away happy.

Market Share Selling – In the end it’s all about the customer.

Topics: Sales Consulting