Bill: Are we on?
Lorenzo: We’re on.
Bill: Good morning brother Lorenzo.
Lorenzo: Brother bill, good morning, how are you?
Bill: I’m just fine, thank you. Actually, do you want to know how I really am?
Lorenzo: Tell me.
Bill: You know, we’re gonna have a segment, by the way on this show, a regular segment on this show called what ticked off Bill today. One of the things, this wasn’t even planned but people always go “hi, how are you?”, you know, waitresses come to your table or you go up to the counter, “hi, how are you?” and everyone says fine. But I can’t just do that, because I think it’s kind of an insipid thing.
Lorenzo: Yeah, just say I’m really bloated today.
Bill: Well, I just say “do you really want to know?” and they say “yes, yes, tell me!” and I say “well… I’m hanging over the pit of doom, twisting slowly in the wind.”
Lorenzo: I’m hanging by a hair and anything could set me off.
Bill: I’m holding onto the edge of the cliff by my fingernails, about to drop into the pit of doom. And they look at you, “oh my god sir!” and I go “no, but it’s okay, it’s actually up from yesterday. And other than that, everything is great!” and they can’t believe it. So, you know, it’s just one of those things.
Lorenzo: Make sure you get this guy’s order right.
Bill: Well, no, basically they’re saying, they look to the other one and they have the signal they have, the “call a cop.”
Lorenzo: Be on standby.
Bill: Right. Well, what’s our show about today Lorenzo?
Lorenzo: Today’s show is titled ”Marketing without sales is motherhood without sex”.
Bill: I think you forgot an important word in there, but we’ll say it again. “Marketing without sales is like motherhood without sex.
Lorenzo: That’s right, marketing without sales is like motherhood without sex.
Bill: Right, and that, by the way, that’s enough of a microspript that we could end the program right there. But we’ve got to talk a little bit about what we mean.
Lorenzo: Let’s break it down, because I think that most people forget about sales. Or, more importantly, I actually think that sales in general has a very bad brand that it doesn’t deserve.
Bill: Okay, yeah. Let’s get back, just back up for one second here. We talked about branding, what branding is. So just to remind people, look- if we’re gonna say that a brand is an idea attached to a name, that’s really how the brain thinks about the brand, as an idea attached to a name. Another way to think about it is this thing that you’re famous for, and you’ll find the thing about famous people through history or whatever, people usually will say one thing. They’re famous for hundreds of things but there will be one thing, like Abraham Lincoln, he freed the slaves. So this is the thing that you’re really famous for, and your brand, if it’s a brand, people know you as famous for this one thing, this thing that you stand for. So a brand can be France, or I say Paris, it’s a brand! It stands for something, yet they have a whole litany that they think about. Or if I say Germany.
Lorenzo: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Bill: Right, well that’s a tagline for a brand, but we’ll say Las Vegas is a brand and that was their wonderful tagline, and taglines is a whole other thing we’re gonna talk about. Las Vegas is the world’s adult playground, right? Where all kinds of adult things and fun things are gonna happen. Now, Germany’s a brand, like we said, but Nazi Germany is another brand. So brands, just because you’re famous for something, that doesn’t mean it’s good or bad, but here’s the critical thing. It doesn’t mean that someone wants to buy you. Richard Nixon was a brand, the president that no one would vote for. The key here, that we’re talking to our listeners about, is the fact that we want to talk about a very, very special kind of brand called a selling brand. And that’s a brand where that idea that you stand for is this one reason that makes me want to choose you over all of your competitors. That’s a selling brand, and that’s a very, very critical thing. So we get down to what’s a selling brand. A selling brand obviously has that element of sales in it, like we said- what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, or it’s made from splenda, right? But the thing is, we want people to know and we want to talk about today is that in marketing, a lot of times in companies there’s the marketing department and the sales department, and they don’t mesh.
Lorenzo: They’re like the Montagues and the Capulets, a lot of times they hate each other.
Bill: You know what, we have to make this a TV show, so that when you say these far off, obscure, incredibly erudite, intellectual things, they can capture my expression of “what does that mean?”
Lorenzo: It’s like West Side Story, they’re two gangs.
Bill: Yes, yes, exactly. That’s right. They don’t come together. And the thing is, though, they didn’t used to have marketing departments in companies. They didn’t have marketing consultants! Can you imagine that? They had sales departments, but what happened was, the marketing departments came on later because people started talking about strategy, and then the marketing department started to think “oh, we’re so strategic and so smart and so intellectually above the fray, that we’re in this rarified place” and you’d ask them about sales people, “oh, we don’t talk to them. They’re animals. They’re animals, that’s why they’re in the pit, that’s why they’re in the cellar of the company. They make noise, they ring bells and they eat bananas without unpeeling them, I’m telling you they’re animals. I’m telling you those people are animals. They’re brutes! But they’re good at what they do, we need them to help to move the product, but really we’re above that.
Lorenzo: We wish we didn’t need them. We wish they didn’t exist. Well I think, at a macro level, I think sales in general, if you ask people, “what is the brand of sales?”, so many people think of the used car, high pressure, you know, what is it going to take for me to close the deal today, and my experience has been, when you meet a real, professional sales person, they’re amazing! They’re some of the smartest, most well read. I felt, like a doctor, they’re trying to diagnose and solve your problem. The professional ones.
Bill: Well, the good ones. Like you were saying earlier, Lorenzo, when we were sitting here just fooling around you always come up with these great lines and then you forget them in the show. You said selling has a bad brand.
Lorenzo: Selling has a horrible brand.
Bill: Now see, that’s a great thing, why didn’t you put it in the show?
Lorenzo: Well, we’ll edit that in.
Bill: No, no, no. But you were right, I wanted you to mention that. Selling has a bad brand. Anybody in business, people here are interested in marketing, marketing serves a purpose. Marketing is supposed to help sales by creating an aware market. Sales people call it, put wind at your back, an air cover, so that people already know about your brand and your reputation before you come in. People come in with the brand idea, and marketing is supposed to pre-sell customers with this brand idea, but businesses exist to create sales and create revenue, and marketing departments have to help the sales department make sales or there’s no business, there’s no company, there’s no nothing.
Lorenzo: And I also think that they’re the first people that pressure test your brand. They’re the ones that can actually say “ehhh, well, you’re really making a false claim, or we don’t really do that”.
Bill: Now who’s doing this, the sales guy?
Lorenzo: The sales guy. When you beta test your brand or your market, you do your marketing campaign with them, they’ll give you real gold feedback.
Bill: Well, that’s a huge reason why they’re important, because what too many people do in companies is they sit around in four walls and they breathe their own fumes all day. They do! They don’t get outside their own walls enough, it happens all the time. The sales people, their job is talking on the phone, or they’re outside every single day talking to real customers. And they get feedback, the customers tell them what they like, what they don’t like. A lot of time the customers give them their taglines. Greatest taglines come from customers talking about how they like the product. So the fact is to ignore those guys, not want to listen to those guys, every day they’re outside test marketing in the marketplace! They’re invaluable, so it’s crazy to think the marketing department like that, we see it everywhere, the marketing department and the sales have a huge divide. And if you could just bring them together, you’d have something much, much more powerful.
Lorenzo: I remember a story at Rackspace, the first time I saw a professional sales guy use the brand of Rackspace like an Olympic curler, my favorite sport, by the way. Curling.
Bill: Curling used to be my favorite hair dressing style.
Lorenzo: Well, your hair’s very sexy.
Bill: Anyway, keep going.
Lorenzo: Well, at Rackspace, we did managed hosting, which is a whole other show to try to explain, but it was the plumbing of the internet. And, back then, our competition, there was so much competition that everyone was trying to differentiate, and I remember listening to a guy named James Brem, he has a company at Geekdom and he’s a legendary sales guy, and he was on the phone with this customer. Managed hosting, basically we managed peoples websites. And no one wanted their website to go down, because when it went down then all of a sudden they were losing a million dollars every second, every second their website was down. And so, James says “hey, look. Our superlative, our number one, what we’re famous for is fanatical support. We’re gonna give you better service than anyone else.” And the customer came back and said “everybody says that.” Right? And so, James had overcome the obstacle, and what he did I’ll never forget, because it talks about one of your principles bill, which is the facts of the difference. James told this customer, I want you to call us back at 3 AM on Christmas Eve and I want you to ask the hardest question you can about Lennox servers. And so this customer calls in, 3 AM, Christmas Eve, immediately gets transferred to an engineer, and ordered, boom, 20 servers the next day. And I went, only a sales guy that is armed with a great brand, can do what this guy just did. Because he understood the value of what this person really wanted. The person wanted the brand to be true, and he said “I can actually prove it to you.” And marketing, great marketing actually can give you guys the ammunition to do that.
Bill: Marketing has to make a promise. I’m gonna make a promise to make your life better. Every human being wants their life to be better, they want some pain taken away or they want some advantage. But then the marketing also, in conjunction with operations in the company, has to make sure that the company does what it promises. And you need to give people proof points and ways to measure what’s going on. One of the first things is let’s show them. But that comes from having a marketing mission, really, about this is what we’re gonna stand for, and now let’s figure out how do we stand for it. Ultimately, in the company, everything, marketing, sales, and operation all would be linked. Right now, talking about marketing, marketing and sales, sales has a bad rap. Yeah, the reputation of sales, everybody says “oh, they’re pushy”. They think of used car salesmen. And, just to get into that, we already forgot what we had said our opening was gonna be. Remember how we talked about how there’s a joke for every occasion? Well, I had a sales joke.
Lorenzo: You have to say it.
Bill: It’s a little sales joke.
Lorenzo: We need it.
Bill: We’re gonna try it out real quick.
Lorenzo: We need it. As Nacho Libre said, “tell me”.
Bill: Tell me the joke or I kill you! Okay, here we go. So, there’s an old man sitting in a park bench in the city, in Brooklyn maybe. He’s looking kinda down, kinda drawn. And another guy walks up and sits next to him. Guy says “how come you’re lookin’ so down, buddy?” And the old man says “Oh, I don’t know. I’m thinking about the end of my life, I’m gettin’ there, you know. I don’t have that long to live and I don’t feel that good about dying.” And the guy sitting next to him says I’ll tell you what, listen- don’t show anybody” and he pulls up the back of his parker, and you see a little wing sticking down and he says “Look, I’m an angel. I wouldn’t tell anybody but I’m actually an angel. You’re a nice guy, if you’re really worried about it I can fix this. We can try before you buy. I’ll take you up to heaven, you can look around, I’ll take you down to hell and you can look at that and then we’ll come back to Earth and it won’t be a mystery anymore.” So the old man says okay. So poof, they go to heaven, walk in the pearly gates, just what you thought. There’s clouds around, people playing golden harps in the sky, and the sun is shining. You know, they look alright, but it is what it is. So then they say “okay, you’ve seen that. Let’s go down and look at hell”. They go down to hell, they walk in, and I gotta tell you- hell is a party. It’s unbelievable. Hell has got, like I said there’s old guys chasing around beautiful women with skimpy bathing suits or whatever. There’s a DJ, there’s a band playing, a great band is playing. They’re lying around with chocolate fountains, champagne fountains just pouring into their mouth. There’s an open bar.
Lorenzo: Bottomless mimosas.
Bill: Oh, yeah! That’s a new thing, they just came up with that in hell. Everything you can imagine. It’s a riot, it’s great! So they go back up to Earth. And after a couple weeks, the old guy, he does die. So the angel says “where are you gonna go?” and he says “all due respect, heaven was pretty good, but… I don’t know, I’m gonna try hell.” “Oookay.” So he gets on the elevator, whoomph, down to hell. He walks in the door, devil greets him, and he says come on in, and the second he walks through the door, it’s just… beasts are coming and surrounding him, and they’re biting at his flesh, and pulling it off, and it’s hot and it’s burning and needles are sticking into his skin, and it’s just awful! Terrible frickin’ place! It’s just terrible! And the old man says, “hey, wait a second. It wasn’t like this the last time I was here!” And the devil says “Oh yeah, last time you were a prospect. Now you’re a customer!”
Lorenzo: You signed your contract now, buddy!
Bill: What’s the point of that joke? Nothing!
Lorenzo: Nothing but sales.
Bill: Well, it’s kind of a customer service joke, but the point is this is the way people think about sales guys. They don’t tell you the truth, they stretch things, they don’t listen.
Lorenzo: Well, in one of our previous episodes we talked about the great Rosser Reeves, and how the original titans of industry, you know, what you had told me one time is that what made these guys great, one of the things that made them great, was that they were all real sales guys, they knew how to sell. They were sales guys first, I feel like, before they came up with the brilliant copy.
Bill: Well, they were. Here’s another thing about why sales guys got such a bad reputation. I knew a guy once that had little sales course that was actually kind of interesting. He talked about the five stages of selling, and one of them was getting to know someone and building rapport with that person, which is a really important thing. It doesn’t mean you have to be the most likeable, backslapping guy, it just means have someone think “hey, I kinda trust this person, and this person is interested in what I want, not just interested in what they want. The sales person asks questions and listens, actually listens.” Which most sales people don’t do, and you’ll find our that the best salespeople, one of the myths is that sales people are big back slapping party guys, loud mouth, joke telling drunk…
Lorenzo: Couldn’t be further from the truth.
Bill: No. The best salespeople are the best listeners. Because when you ask someone what their needs are and you ask them about their life and you ask them about their problems, which most people really don’t do. People don’t ask them that kind of thing. But they really want to know, and they reveal their concerns. What happens is, they start to trust you and they will give you the keys to how it is to sell them. So, there actually is a point to this story. So in this little sales course the guy would ask the people in the room “what do you think about sales people? Just write down all the first things that come to mind”. And they write down pushy, loud, dishonest, doesn’t care about me, on and on and on. What do you think people think about sales people? Then he’ll say “okay, but did you ever have a great sales experience? I mean a really great experience in your life, where there was a salesperson you really liked.” And they’d go “yeah, there was”. “Well, write down that!” And they’ll write down “the person listened to me, the person was really interested in what I did, the person took time to show me, he asked me lots of questions that really were concerned, he didn’t want to ram anything down my throat, he really wanted to make sure that he fit me with the right kind of product. I felt comfortable, he took his time, he didn’t rush me or anything like that”, they’d go on and on about these great things. And he’d say “well what happened?” “Well, I bought this incredible thing from this person and I came back again and again and I referred ten people to him”. And he said “so then, you described a great salesperson. If you want to be a great salesperson, you don’t have to be this pushy, awful thing. You can be the good one! Everybody in this room can be that kind of a sales person.” And all of a sudden it was reframed for these people. All selling really is, so it has that bad reputation, but what it is is it’s persuasion, it’s listening, it’s matching somebody with a need, and it’s a little bit of persuasion to make people understand the advantages that you have for them with something that they really need.
Lorenzo: You know, I’m not one to bash Hollywood, but I think one of the things that’s contributed, you know, their traffic sucks, but one of the things that I think has contributed to it, you have these movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and the Boiler Room, you know, where Ben Affleck’s throwing his Ferrari keys on the table, and we’re gonna jam our products down our customers throats, and I think to your point, the best guys I’ve ever met in sales were almost quiet, because they were listeners and they would methodically take notes because they were going to solve this customer’s problem. But I also think that, you know, when I was going and reading Rosser’s book and your first book, Why Johnny Can’t Brand, your first marketing book, I remembered that both the USP and the DSI, the unique selling proposition and the dominant selling idea, the word sales is in it, is in both of them. Because you’re not doing it to win an award like we’ve said before, you’re in it to sell, baby, Sell, sell, sell.
Bill: Well, that’s right. When you talk about a selling brand, the idea is not that it has a lot of cathedrals, which might be the Paris, what does Paris stand for. A selling brand has an idea of a difference, it’s an idea of a difference that you stand for that makes all the difference that makes me want to buy. It’s what you do. Back at Ted Bates in the advertising days, they’d be sitting there, “what do we do that nobody else does?” They’d ask questions like that. “What does the world need us to do that no one else can do? What are we gonna be famous for?” It’s that thing that makes a difference in my life. And so, for example, Volvo, you know, the safe car, the difference was “we build the world’s safest cars”. That’s an important thing. So, the other thing is this- the great leaders, some people will tell you everything is selling, and I think it is. I think it is.
Lorenzo: I agree. I think our third brand brother, Graham Weston, who will be with us in a future episode, my favorite line is that everyone is in sales. Because if you’re not selling a product you’re selling yourself and your ideas.
Bill: You’re a parent, you have little kids, do you think they’re in sales when they want a chocolate chip cookie? Are you kidding me? They’re the used car salesman type of sales! “Daddy, daddy, daddy, I want an ice cream, we gotta have an ice cream!”
Bill: Right, exactly. But here’s the everybody is in sales. You look at the greatest leaders in history. Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill had to get up and sell an entire nation that was defeated, that was mentally defeated by an absolutely overwhelming foe that had just rolled over all of Europe and now was concentrating everything on destroying England for the first time in a thousand years. It was pretty bad. He had to sell that country on having confidence.
Lorenzo: And hope.
Bill: And hope, yes. Hope. That’s a better word. That’s right. He had to sell them hope and confidence and the most important thing of all for doing anything in the world, belief. He had to make them believe what he believed, and that was selling! That kind of leadership, making people see a vision and want to march, remember? Put people in motion is selling. There’s nothing else to call it but that’s what it is.
Lorenzo: Well, and I think to your point, let’s just say you’re a small business owner, the reason this is so important is because you have to sell your employees on the mission. When you do it right, you’re inviting them to join you on it. And that requires thoughtful salesmanship, right? So many companies are not the military where you bark orders. People have to volunteer their best. But you don’t get them to do that by barking orders, you get it by selling the idea.
Bill: That’s right. And then you get to how do you sell an idea, and one of the things is, and this is why we talk about how important it is to articulate that dominant selling idea, when you focus on one thing, when you articulate it, what the leader does it make a muddy vision or a cloudy vision crystal, crystal clear. It’s like, take a muddy rock in your hand and turn it into a polished diamond. This is Bill’s 113th law, that the power of the vision is directly proportional to how clear the leader can make that vision. And so that’s why, and we get later on because we’re gonna talk about microscripts. That’s another program, we talked about the dominant selling idea, what you stand for. But then you’ve got to tell the story in a very compact way, in about a sentence, and make it crystal, crystal clear. And that kind of thing is critical, and again that’s what leaders do. Getting back, if you have a business you have to do two things. You have to make yourself famous like we said or you’re just going to be that tree that fell over in the woods that no one ever heard. If you’ve got the greatest product in the world and nobody knows about it… So the marketing department helps you think about and articulate the selling ideas. But they have to work with the sales people, then, to first of all make it famous, and then go out and get people to act.
Lorenzo: You said it the other day, which was you can have the greatest product in the world, but if you can’t sell it it’s not doing anybody any good. And I just thought, you can have the cure for cancer, but if you can’t sell it you can’t save any lives! You need the sales guy- they’re indispensable.
Bill: Here’s a little example, the marketing people if they’re good are thinking about sales strategy, and what’s our message gonna be? We had a company once, and this gets into another thing we want to talk about, which is you don’t have to be a huge New York enterprise, giant global company, who with a 500 million dollar budget and a big agency to do any of the things that the brand brothers are gonna tell you, folks.
Lorenzo: We’re here for you.
Bill: We’re here for you, how about that.
Lorenzo: The brand familia.
Bill: That’s right. But the point is, these principles can be used whether you’re an eight billion dollar company or an eight dollar company, and I’ve seen it and we’ve done it. They’re the same principles. And the fact is, big companies have a little bit more power to go on TV and everything and extend this stuff, but still the principles are the same. So we had a company that we started way back, several years ago around the dot.com bubble, and we had software, this is actually in the book, but we were building bank software so you could bank at home on your PC, and the internet was just coming in and you had to put a disc in your computer in those days. And we were going up against Microsoft and Quicken, but the banks wanted all of this really fast and they wanted it to be really super simple. So we’d say “we’ve got a great product!” and we went out and we got in the car and “they’re gonna love us because we have the best product!” Well, we couldn’t get a meeting. From anybody. Because they’re big banks, they don’t like to talk to 5 guys in a taxi. Which is what we were, you know? Even though we said we were the leading company.
Lorenzo: We’re number 1!
Bill: It didn’t matter, we weren’t number 1 then. It didn’t matter. So what we did, and the strategy we came up with was ideas that we could sell with. So the first thing we did was said that we were gonna call it home ATM. And all of a sudden we had a name.
Lorenzo: And a story.
Bill: And this gets into microscripts. We had a name, it was very clear and evocative, and visual. It made people say “oh, I get that, that’s interesting, and that sounds like something I could do”, so we called it home ATM. Then we said to them, it’s so easy to use it doesn’t even have a manual. That’s how we tested how easy it was to use, we don’t even have a manual for you to learn. We said “do you know how to use an ATM machine?” and in those days everybody did. If you knew how to use an ATM machine you’re already an expert in our product. And then we said to the bank “now you can have an ATM in every home.” WE said this to the bankers because we made the product customized so it looked like if you were Comerica it would look like Comerica on your screen, that was easy to do. So we had those four things. Now, we came up with those, and then as we went out to sell it, I was going out and selling it. I was armed, now, with these ideas and these little scripts, microscripts. Do you know, after that we never didn’t get a meeting? Really. Because what we had was so compelling, the bankers themselves could say “Oh! Wow, I get that!” And also they could tell their boss. But the point is that the marketing department was helping the sales guy sell and we were all working together because if we didn’t sell we didn’t survive. And ultimately the most powerful companies find this merger of sales and marketing because a sales guy, yeah they do eat unpeeled bananas, full disclosure, they do, right? They walk around with their shirts off.
Lorenzo: There’s a story that you reminded me of when I first joined Geekdom, which is a collaborative coworking space here in San Antonio, I’ll never forget the first day we opened, because the founder, the great Nick Longo, had done all this great marketing, and he had really put the word out there. So all these people show up, but to your point, Bill, that you said earlier, it was a young girl, recent college grad, that gave us the selling line. And I’ll never forget, she got off the elevator, looked around, and said “Oh, it’s like a YMCA. It’s like a gym membership for geeks.” And I just thought, that’s a selling idea. That’s an idea that I can explain to my mom, right? Which was, all of a sudden now, all of our tours were centered around this line, which was we’re showing them like a YMCA for geeks, you’re in a community. But it helped us sell so effectively, but to your point, you have to be listening. Because when you’re listening to your customers they’re gonna help you sell your product when it’s true, when it’s believable and when you’re delivering value. And I think the other thing that I think we have to say is that, and there’s no science behind this, but most of the sales guys that I’ve met actually, the commonality that they have is that they like to compete. I have found that the great sales guys, they get up every day to win. And that’s what you want. A lot of people think it’s about money, you know I think that’s another bad brand that sales guys have, that they all just want money to drive a Ferrari. I’ve seen a sales manager put out a set of steak knives, and they’ll kill each other to win it because they wake up in the morning to compete, and I think that that’s part of what you’re looking for when you hire your sales guy.
Bill: Yeah, the people that gravitate to the marketing department might be more cerebral and strategic than the sales people, it takes all kinds. But selling isn’t easy, selling’s hard and it takes a certain personality or a certain kind of person that likes to go to work every day and do that and that probably is a competitive thing. But the thing is that their objectives, their mission has to be the same. Which is the marketing people have to realize that they can’t have a company without selling, without the sales people, and the sales people, if they’ve got a good marketing department, furnishing them with little scripts like we just said like home ATM, they will love you! They will love you! But the other thing, there are two ways that you get those amazing selling ideas. The first is that you come up with out little.. We’re gonna have to talk about in the next program, microscripts, because you come up with these little phrases that are so magical and unforgettable, like “Hey, it’s called home ATM”, or “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, I mean nobody can ever forget that line, it’s a magic line. So you come up with the first ones and the sales people take it out in the marketplace. Now if the sales people are listening, and they’re talking to customers who love their product, which they inevitable will, the customers will come back and give you these gems. They’ll give you better lines and better marketing and better taglines than you could ever even come up with half the time! Can I give one example? So, everybody’s heard of Airborne. It’s like, the little vitamin C tablets that you would take and they got to be hugely popular until of course they got sued because the whole thing… they didn’t cure colds or anything, and they were way over claiming, but okay… they got past that. But, if you talked to people, they called it Airborne, because it was airborne germs. And they started out with a little story, and they said “you know, airborne was invented by a second grade teacher who was tired of getting sick when she went to school with those snot nosed kids.” Now, everybody knows that that is the ultimate germ buffet. It’s a germ circus when you walk into a classroom full of nine year old kids.
Lorenzo: And they’re grabby, and they’re sneezing.
Bill: And they’re wiping their noses on everything, and oh it’s awful, right? But so, that’s the ultimate torture test, we used to call, that you want your product to cure. So the second grade teacher, who doesn’t trust a second grade teacher? Goes home and in her sink, and she’s not a scientist, she’s not a physicist or a doctor but she’s a second grade teacher so she knows everything.
Lorenzo: Wholesome and pure.
Bill: And she just knows everything. She starts mixing up some sort of chemicals in her sink, I mean, I don’t know! But then she got this concoction and she started to take it, went to school, never got sick. That was the story and the legend. Invented by a second grade teacher.
Lorenzo: I’m sold. I’ll take two.
Bill: Okay, so that was Airborne. And then customers started to talk through word of mouth! Because they had this wonderful story to tell, and they imagined this stuff was working but it was a placebo. But then, then, because it was called Airborne, other customers thought, they started to have the story about how it was what flight attendants, airline hostesses, it was what flight attendants used to not get sick on airplanes. Now everybody knows that flight attendants know everything, they’ve got tricks, so this is what flight attendants used to not get sick on a plane. Now, again, another torture test, but they just made that up. Now, the Airborne people listened to that, they heard that, so they changed the packaging, and you’d see the packaging had some clown on there, a little cartoon guy and a plane! But this is them hearing these microscripts. So I went to the supermarket one day, and there was a line of ladies, and I said, it was ladies on that day, and I was saying “hey, you ever heard of Airborne?” “Oh, yeah!” Now, 10 out of 10 people said “that’s the thing invented by the second grade teacher!”
Lorenzo: Come on!
Bill: I’m not kidding. This is at the height of the whole thing, because it was famous. Someone said “Oh yeah, that’s the one flight attendants use not to get sick.” But that comes from just about listening to your customers, and you’ll get this golden stuff.
Lorenzo: But when it’s done well they sell for you.
Bill: Of course they do. See, that was the selling line, but it was also the branding! Because those lines were what articulated the brand for people. So what do the brands stand for? It was this little thing not made by a big, bad pharmaceutical company, made for you and everybody trusted it. But the point is sales and marketing, last but not least, if you really appreciate sales, if you’re a marketer, selling is an amazing process, it’s a psychological process, it’s a process that puts people in motion, it makes your company successful. You need to appreciate how fantastic selling is, and watching market share go up, watching companies become successful. Marketing people, the good ones, love sales people, love what they do, and the good salespeople vice versa. So you have to bring them together.
Lorenzo: I think we’re advocating for a hug a sales guy day. You know? We’re starting it here, on the Brand Brothers.
Bill: A sales guy or a girl. A salesperson.
Lorenzo: A salesperson, yeah. So if you have a company right now, go get your sales person and your marketing person and let them braid each other’s hair.
Bill: Better than that, I mean go off and go spend a weekend in Fiji with them!
Lorenzo: There you go! And do some trust falling, do some trust falls and your business will take off.
Bill: Trust falls, that’s like, wait a minute..
Lorenzo: That’s when you fall and they catch you.
Bill: Oh god, have you ever done drunken trust falls?
Lorenzo: No, I highly advise to our listeners, to our branding family…
Bill: Well, but seriously, I’ve drunk a lot of things that were funny, because I was hoping to see the drunken ski jump in the Olympics, I mean come on. How much would their ratings have gone up if they just had the drunken ski jump? Can you imagine?
Lorenzo: We’d be watching it right now, come on.
Bill: I know, it’d be fantastic, it would be! So, I don’t know Lorenzo, you think we beat this one to death yet?
Lorenzo: Join us next time, for…
Bill: But first, the tip of the…
Lorenzo: The takeaway of the day.
Bill: Today our takeaway of the day, ladies and gentlemen, is actually the line that we began with, the title of the show, don’t forget: Marketing without sales is like motherhood without sex.
Lorenzo: Nailed it.