"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.
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?"
"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 whining...you'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