Paul’s story

Paul’s a cleaner. Cleaning: like waiting, a classic minimum-wage job. To Paul, the message is: angle yourself differently.

There’s nothing wrong with scrubbing floors. But why do people hire cleaners? Deep down, it’s not always about dirt; it’s about health. And among middle-earners – not typically the type to employ a cleaner – are millions of “worried well”: healthy people who take pains to stay that way. They’re gym goers, insurance buyers, checkup junkies.

So instead of the cleaning business, Paul decides he’s in the healthy home business. A few facts and figures can turn his sales pitch into a lower risk of infectious diseases, fewer coughs and colds . . . maybe even more years of life. Imagine that, a minimum-wage earner can stop you dying early! Now there’s a unique selling proposition.

In 100 days, Paul builds a roster of thirty families, each with a large home to keep fresh. His monthly sales communication to them is a report: bugs zapped, bacteria per square cm, compared to the average home. Giving his clients a yardstick that shows them how much more valuable he is than most guys with a mop.

Paul approached his problem from a different angle, by working out the emotional driver people were paying for instead of the straight-up task. And carved out his own position in his local market. He’s a six-figure freelancer.