Getting your opening sale

I’m no Tom Hanks or Usain Bolt, but I’ve received my fair share of sales calls. Most appear to know that success doesn’t happen on the first attempt so they get their kicks of rejection hoping it to be the road to a sale. Maybe there’s some groupthink going on, “I wont get a sale until the 7th attempt so I better get on and fail six times as quickly as possible.” We. Must. Get. Rejected.

So many ‘marketing approaches’ are mundane. You’ve seen them: the barrage of companies who’ll save you money on everything from leases to HR. That firm who will get you to the top of Google, guaranteed! All the advice, saving and success is just at the end of the phone – who knew?

Well, as always, you can outperform the common practice if you’re willing to dig in and innovate. Cue Chris Hardwick of the Nerdist Podcast.

Chris wanted to interview Tom Hanks. He called and got rebuffed by Mr Hanks’ people. He tried again and gathered he was flogging a dead horse. So, knowing of Mr Hanks’ passion for vintage typewriters, he bought a 1934 Smith Corona typewriter and sent it to the same peeps who’d been keeping him at arm’s length.

His note went…
Dear Tom,

Please accept this typewriter–o–gram as a formal invitation to be a guest on my wildly-popular-with-the-kids Nerdist Podcast. It is a super relaxed, fun chat that will probably cover comedy, NASA, and whatever else you want to talk about — a new WEBSERIES, perhaps?? We are nice guys who are easy to get along with and have never murdered anyone. Other guests have included folks like your son Colin, Tina Fey, Conan, Jimmy Fallon, Bryan Cranston, John Lithgow, Willem Dafoe, JJ Abrams, Neil Patrick Harris, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Joel McHale, Jon Hamm, and THE MUPPETS. It would be an absolute dream come true to add you to this list. Please accept this 1934 Smith Corona as a gift for even considering this request. It should only VERY SLIGHTLY affect your decision.

Hugs and high fives,

Chris “Vintage Typewriters” Hardwick

Mr Hanks replied in the spirit of the approach (see image) and Chris and his peeps bagged their man. Yay for the little guy!

Okay, that’s not possible for every sales channel. It’s also bordering on bribery which will get you closer to exit than entry at a lot of corporates,  who wont even entertain staff accepting gifts, but it demonstrates the need to get your buyer’s attention. As anyone who’s learned the AIDA acronym knows, sales start with attention, so we’d better figure out how to get some.

How about you, what methods are you using or have you seen any good approaches lately?

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