Earthquake Radar Digs Bullshit From Buyers

Earthquake Radar Seismograph Bullshit Detectors


Zhang Heng.  

This guy was the Chinese “Leonardo Da Vinci” back in the year 132.  He was also the first man to build a machine that NO ONE could copy for over 1,700 years.  

What machine was that you ask?  

It was the “earthquake detector” (read: seismograph)… and the moment an earthquake happened even 400 miles away, one of the bronze balls in its mouths would fall in the direction of the quake.  

Zhang Heng Seismometer For Marketing

How’s that for simple yet effective?

And how does this relate to your marketing and sales writing (read:  copywriting)?  

You don’t have to drop any bronze balls to figure out what your buyer wants.  

What you should be doing is talking with your buyers… and watching their every move.


  • How do they use your product or service?  
  • What are their biggest complaints?  Or “hard ons”?  
  • When do they use it?

Often what they say doesn’t tell you as much as what you see… especially when it’s outside a lab.  

Brant Cooper, an entrepreneur (, once told a story to an audience of two hundred at MaRS about how a slushee company wanted to sell more of their drinks to working class professionals.  It goes like this…

Slush De Marketing


They called their target buyers in for focus groups and chatted them up to learn what they wanted… and changed their drinks to be sweet as molasses just like the people said.  

And the sales tanked.  

So they hire another smart guy to try to turn it around, and this fellow says, “Sure.” He takes the money, hires some folks and they go out to the stores that sell the slushees and watch everyone who comes to buy.  

Eventually they notice that these folks are coming in wearing sweat pants at 8 in the morning…  and then they go up after awhile and ask them, “Why are you buying slushees at 8 in the morning?”

The folks reply, “Because I was bored and I need something to keep me going while I’m stuck in traffic”

And what happens?  

The company adds more fruit to the bottom of the slushee, and big chunks of them so they get stuck on the straw… and it takes longer to drink… so they have more fun and kill more time.

Sales shot up by a lot.  

So when you want to sell something to your buyers… ask them what’s giving them hell but it’s even more important to read between the lines…

… and watch them when they think no one’s looking.  



Sunny Lam

Sunny Lam

Marketing Consultant & Copywriter

March 5, 2013

Toronto, Ontario

South of the Danforth (Beaches-Woodbine)


P.S.  Most people often tell you what you want to hear or tell you what they think they want…  but the reality is that most people don’t know at all.  That’s why Steve Jobs, that wily entrepreneur, never asked customers what they wanted.  You could say he was good at reading between the lines.

P.P.S.  If you’re having trouble digging out what your customers really want then call me at 1.416.845.0818 or email me at to arrange a Skype chat.  There’s no obligation to use my services after we talk (and you’ll learn more about your customers then you’d care to).


Andrew and a slush drink (Photo via Wiki Commons –

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge
This site is using OpenAvatar based on