Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if you only try!" Theodor Geisel

"It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never less than analytic." Edgar Allan Poe

"That which we know is but little; that which we have a presentiment of is immense; it is in this direction that the poet outruns the learned man." Joseph Roux

Today's image: more nature-y crap by nurseynicole. Fine shot. Thanks for sharing.

"If there was a technique that would improve your chances of closing by more than 80% would you use it?"
Kevin B. Sweeney

Back in the day during one of his storied weekend sales training sessions the amazing Mr. Sweeney asked the question.

There was no need to poll the room. We were all 100% interested. The engaging Mr. Sweeney had again arrested our attention. What could this technique possibly be?

He began by asking more questions.

"We're in the business of selling intangibles. Our biggest single competitor, newspaper, is in the tangibles business. To get business from newspaper we need to tangible-ize our business?"

What? Tangible-ize?

"The client can hold the newspaper ad in their hand, show it to their friends, post it on the bulletin board in the employee lounge, make copies of the ad. The newspaper ad is tangible, so is the Yellow Pages ad. Tangible is the single biggest advantage of print. When clients buy newspaper they get something tangible. Something tangible that proves, confirms how savvy they are. What do they get when they buy us? What do we give them to show their friends how smart they are?"

How smart they are? Where's he going with this?

"When the client buys newspaper they get something tangible to show around. 'Here's my new newspaper ad.' When they buy us what do they get to show around? A schedule? A times report? A contract? A well written bound pitch featuring our logo in full color?"

Yes. They get all that tangible stuff. Our bound presentations are slick, they really do stand out but there's more, we're in the idea business. Every presentation includes a big idea that will help the client gain a bigger share of market with young adults. They can show that around, right.

"Close, but close only counts in horseshoes, slow dancing, bad breath and grenades. The technique that will improve your chances of closing by eighty percent or more, the technique that will put into your client's hand something tangible that will make them look smart to their family, friends and employees is..."

Yes, what is it?

"...a technique less than ten percent of sales people use but the sales people who do use the technique are very successful, more successful than the ones who don't use it. The technique that will tangible-ize your pitch is the spec spot."

That's it? Is he kidding?

"The spec spot engages the client, gets them into a discussion about their favorite subject, their business. The spec spots starts the dialogue, moves along the process of the consultant sell. Giving a copy of the final finished spot to the client puts into their hands the tangible proof of their genius. Now, the client can show their newspaper ad and play their radio spot."

Tangible-ize your pitch. Works like a charm for all electronic media. Today the dead tree guys email PDFs. Today we can email audio and video files. Better, we can upload to our site or to YouTube or to any number of places where the audio and/or video can be made easy to find. We can send the client a link to forward, to share, to make them look smart. It works. Try it. That's it for today. Got to email the YouTube link to our really cool new TV spot. Seriously, thanks to David Sanks and team at WISC TV, they did a killer job creating the new TV spot for our retail store. They get it. They make us look smart, make us feel good about investing in advertising and we love doing business with them because of it.

A word to the wise: "We should stop talking about what was...change the way we do our business...stop've got to start hiring young people and don't tell them what to do - ask them what to do." If you click on no other link today, click on this one. It's an article by Timesman Stuart Elliott that you need to read if you work in media or advertising. Please read and share this link with the smartest folks you know. THINK AGILE! Click here.

Kill all the lawyers, fire all the consultants: YES! Wait a sec. I'm a principal at a management consulting firm. Read Get rid of unchallenged consultants

Bonus: Postcards From Yo Momma

Congrats & cheers: Steve Dahl delivers outstanding, market-changing numbers. Norm Winer returns WXRT to top five in demo. Christine Travaglini named Christal Radio prexy. Brian Benedik heads new Katz 360 Sales enterprise. Google for the sake of art.


kristin said...

David, thank you so much for the mad cool lesson. Being a dos for a tv duop means always being on the hunt for ways to motivate sellers and put tools into their hands that translate into win-win propositions. This posting does just that and then some. Cheers

Anonymous said...

good solid practical take away - cheers

slicknick said...

yes sir, blocking and tackling works every damn time, thanks for the refresher on the basics, well done

Anonymous said...


W O W - thanks for that NYT link. Those are the kind of deep thinkers and real leading minds we need to be following. Shared the link with every manager in our group. RE: Sweeney - stop giving away the secrets you could be charging a fortune for (just kiddin about stopping not about the worth of today's post, bona fide print, save, circulate and discuss material) You done good.

Anonymous said...

david thanks for the elliott link but readers of this blog have heard you say the same things for some years now - me thinks you are involved in some ghost writing if not then some playas got this blog in their reader

sydney davis said...