I’m torn, really torn. I like the fact that they are encouraging the noble art of selling, but they are going about it in a very poor way I think.
They use the analog of a door to door salesman. A bad start; to me that conveys high pressure tactics unrelated to the need of the ‘buyer’.
And is a YouTube video ‘selling’ especially by a person? How does it develop the contributor’s sales skills? Advertising, perhaps.
“Salesmanship has been lost in the pursuit of art or the dazzle of technology,” said Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman and chief executive at OgilvyOne in New York. “It needs to be rekindled in this postrecession environment, as consumers are making more informed and deliberate choices.” (As an aside, can you pronounce the chairman’s name – without using the web?)
Now that I agree with! Helping consumers make informed and deliberate choices is EXACTLY what we as marketers and sales pros should be doing. Now how are you going to do that? Are you really going to develop and hone those skills in the individuals taking part? With a video, really? Explain how please! Or are you simply employing a cheap gimmick to promote your company? It feels more like the latter to me.
“Those involved in developing the contest considered something more exciting as the subject, said Mish Fletcher, worldwide marketing director at OgilvyOne, but “the iPad does not need ‘the world’s greatest salesperson.’ ”
This quote simply reinforces The ‘they don’t get it’ feeling I have. Apple are the master storytellers and they DO do it with video more than most other organizations (and yes, I am a fan boy, I’ll be picking my iPad up at 9AM tomorrow). Back to my point though; none of knew what to do with an iPad until Apple told the story. We don’t know the full story yet; we’ll learn a lot by using the tool In the future. But Apple told a story compelling enough that we rushed out and said ‘that’s good enough for me’. The (rumored) sales Figure was over $75million in the weekend it was available to order.
So let’s hope that OgilvyOne do a bit more to develop sales skills in the wider world than a flashy piece of PR. How about an ongoing effort to help people grow their skill? That would be a real boon. But only once you ‘get it’ that sales is about storytelling and helping people make choices. Not about kicking down the door.
So what’s the lesson for YOU? I’m back on my authenticity kick. Is the offer you are making to your customers authentic? More importantly, do THEY find it authentic? How do you know, have you asked them?