Thursday, 30 April 2015

Selling your Sales Manifesto, any lessons from #Election2015 ?

The life of the Road Warrior is not quite dead !
“ A carter or a hedger is a more edifying companion than a politician”
William Cobbett 30th April 1821

Cobbett's portrait in the
National Portrait Gallery
In his lifetime William Cobbett stood for the UK parliament five times, of which four attempts were unsuccessful:

1806 Honiton
1820 Coventry
1826 Preston
1832 Manchester

In 1832 he was successful and elected as Member of Parliament for Oldham.

Salespeople have much to learn from his persistence and perseverance.  

Cobbett believed that reforming Parliament and abolishing the rotten boroughs would help to end the poverty of farm labourers. He campaigned vigorously against the borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters" .

Rural Rides

He embarked on a series of journeys by horseback through the countryside of South east England and the  Midlands. He wrote down what he saw from the points of view both of a farmer and a social reformer.

 'Rural Rides'  documents the early nineteenth century countryside and its people as well as giving free vent to Cobbett's opinions. It became the book he is most famous for - Rural Rides

Cobbett disapproved of proposals for remedies for agricultural distress suggested in Parliament in 1821. He made up his mind to see rural conditions for himself, and to "enforce by actual observation of rural conditions", the statements he had made in answer to the arguments of the landlords before the Parliamentary Agricultural Committee.

'Back in the day' an example of former rather genteel form electioneering on wheels
 - exhibitor at Car Rally, Farnham Spring  2015 in aid of Phyliis Tuckwell Charity

Rural rides 2015 
'Battle Ambulance' used in 2015 campaign by Dr Louise Irvine
 for the National Health Action Party standing for South West Surrey constituency

On the National Level

So with just a couple of weeks to go there is everything to play for in the General 2015 UK General Election. The media circus accompanies the party battle buses as they ride round the country. LBC radio’s Nick Ferrari (who has a passing resemblance to William Cobbett) has a battle bus emblazoned with his photograph as if HE was a Presidential candidate.  The BBC’s  John Humphrey on the Today Radio show doing the rounds of the marginal seats of the country.

In some ways personal elections, standing for election to be voted for onto committees etc.
standing for election  is the ultimate sale. 

In essence the seller is not hiding behind the product , they are the product.

This sale is a sale of TRUST

Since the crash , Big Business has been working hard to rebuild trust and establish or repair credibility lost.

Business Leaders and salespeople  ( if there is really a distinction) would do well to study the strategy and tactics which have been undertaken in this month long sales campaign of Election 2015.

Customers express their ‘purchase’ by whom they vote for, against whom through tactical voting or by ‘walking away’ and not voting at all.

Much of electioneering is the art of persuasive communication against resistance.
The methods being used parallel the mix of conventional and the new of corporate marketing communications.

Conventional Selling  at the constituency level is much like Regional selling  and is conducted by personal visit, --cold calling if you like.

Courageous candidates who 'stood up to be counted '
 and sell their manifestos at the hustings
(left to right) Dr Louise Irvine NHA,
Mark Webber UKIP ,Susan Ryland Green Party
and  Howard Kaye  Labour Party.
for the South West Surrey constituency 29th April 2015
Candidates  Paul Robinson-  from Something  New
  ( was ill and could not attend) and Conservative Jeremy Hunt
 sent  apologies for absence due to an engagement in London

There are beauty parade type presentations such as the hustings , the delivery of leaflet the equivalent of sales literature. 

Some parties are to be seen ‘sampling’ in the high street with campaign literature

Poster on a house wall

Along the high ways and byways are the posters with the invitation to vote for a candidate.

The actions on the national level are rather more formally managed. Staged rallies, Podium Style debates looking much like the "weakest link "show.  

The one to one interview /interrogation is both make or break for the journalist interviewer as much as the candidate.

Don't be surprised to find the formats that worked this election being mimicked at your next sales conference. 

Selling Challenge: What would your sales manifesto look like. If you had to stand for an election in front of your customers ?    The Key parts to your sales manifesto

Birthplace of William Cobbett formerly The Jolly Farmer pub referred to as "The Cobbett"
by Farnham locals where you can get Cobbett's magic of threes "bacon, bread and beer"
Tablet inside St Andrew's Church , Farnham.
Cobbett is buried in the Church graveyard
Let's leave the last word to Cobbett for this post

"The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labour, to take from those who do labour the produce of that labour, and to give it to those who do not labour."

William Cobbett

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Going Clubbing - Have a break Have a Kit Cat. Business Directed #Conversation

Man is a sociable animal and we take all occasions and pretences of forming ourselves into those little nocturnal assemblies which are commonly known as clubs.                  
Joseph Addison  co founder of the Spectator Magazine 

In the 17th  Century century business could well be seen to be conducted in the Coffee House and Taverns of the times. Coffee from Africa entered England in around 1650s.

Richard Steele co founder of the Spectator
National Portrait Gallery, London
Joseph Addison co founder of the Spectator
National Portrait Gallery, London
The Kit Cat club was a 18th-century English club in London with strong political and literary associations, committed to the furtherance of Whig objectives, meeting at the Trumpet tavern in London, and at Water Oakley in the Berkshire countryside.

The first meetings were held at a tavern in Shire Lane (parallel with Bell Yard where  the Royal Courts of Justice now stand) run by an innkeeper called Christopher Catt.

He gave his name to the mutton pies known as "Kit Cats" from which the name of the club is derived.

The club later moved to the Fountain Tavern on The Strand (now the site of Simpson's-in-the-Strand), and latterly into a room especially built for the purpose at Barn Elms, the home of the secretary Jacob Tonson.

 In summer, the club met at the Upper Flask, Hampstead Heath.

One bar bill for such an evening of the Kit Kat club read that the 55 members consumed

20 gallons of Claret
4 gallons of white wine
42 bottles of ale
and broke several glasses.
Coffee houses were popular for meeting friends and doing business and to read the latest books, periodicals  and even the Spectator. 

Launched in March 1711 the Spectator was a success. Selling for one penny it soon was selling  6,000 copies per issue.

 The readership was mainly supporters of the Whig party. Its purpose was to advance the moral and cultural refinement  seen as the  basis for a well ordered and genteel society.

The Spectator we know today is a weekly British conservative magazine. It was first published on 6 July 1828, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the English language.

KitKat of our times

the chocolate-covered wafer biscuit bar confection
 formally known as Rowntree's Kit Kat bought by Nestle in 1988
The "Kit Kat" brand go back to 1911, when Rowntree's,  based in York , England, trademarked the terms "Kit Cat" and "Kit Kat". The first conception of the Kit Kat appeared in the 1920s, when Rowntree launched a brand of boxed chocolates entitled "Kit Cat".

The original four-finger bar was developed after a worker at Rowntree's York Factory put a suggestion in a recommendation box for a snack that "a man could take to work in his pack".

 The bar launched on 29 August 1935, under the title of "Rowntree's Chocolate Crisp" (priced at 2d), and was sold in London and throughout Southern England.

The product's official title of "Rowntree's Chocolate Crisp" was renamed "Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp" in 1937, the same year that 'Kit Kat' began to incorporate "Break" into its recognisable advertising strategy.

The colour scheme and first flavour variation to the brand came in 1942, owing to World War II, when food shortages prompted an alteration in the recipe. The flavour of "Kit Kat" was changed to "dark"; the packaging abandoned its "Chocolate Crisp" title, and was adorned in blue.

From 2002, Hershey Kit Kats adopted the slanted ellipse logo used
 worldwide by Nestlé, though the ellipse was red and the text white.
This is  a wrapper from one I bought in Chicago last year.
To me - the taste was slightly different

 After the war the title was altered to "Kit Kat" and resumed its original milk recipe and red packaging .

The slogan for KitKat around the world show those who enjoy KitKats make up one of the biggest clubs around !

チョコとウェハーの名コンビ, एक ब्रेक लें, एक किट कैट लें, Ha en paus, har en kitkat, Есть перерыв, есть KitKat, Bir Mola, bir kitkat var, Faites Un Pause, un Kitkat, Machen Sie Eine Pause, eine Kitkat,Ada Break, ada Kit Kat,Tener un Descanso, tener un kitkat, Tenha Uma Pausa, Tenha um Kitkat.................. Have a break, Have a KitKat.

After your break may I wish you Good Selling! 

Related Links

Friday, 17 April 2015

#election2015 lessons for Sales Pledge Cards and Business Cards

The art of boiling down an entire election pitch to easily marketed bite-size promises is quite an art.

“But like it or not, they ( Political Pledge cards) are a leitmotif of the nature of politics and reveal something about how our leaders view the relationship between the state, civil society and individuals.” Gavin Kelly,  New Statesman

Business cards have increasingly become a part of the communications mix.

They are no longer a merely a visiting card with contact details but designed to coordinate the corporate image  possibly with logo, mission /vision statements even key selling points.
90% binned
Apparently over 27 Million business cards are produced every day in the USA, yet of those about 90% are tossed in the bin within the first week. It would not be unreasonable to assume that the proportion of binned  cards would be any different in the UK .

 (I guess the binning proportion could be even higher for the political pledge cards but they have a short life span of the election period.)

So how can we extend the life of our business cards and stay away from the client’s waste paper baskets.

5 ‘C’s of Business Cards that sell

Be Creative:  avoid being generic your card needs to stand out

Be Colourful: Coloured cards are held in wallets 10 times more than black and white

Be Clean: clean design, plenty of white space

Be Classy: Use quality paper or card

Be Customary:  ensure your card size fits into standard card holders

It still surprises me how many business cards still don’t spell out what the business is about or the person does. If you are too mysterious, you are not going to attract much business.
Business cards have two sides. 

It is a waste leave the back totally blank although some space maybe useful to write on. Your business card a “mini-brochure” by listing your services, putting a clever tag line, your website address, or even a graphic or photo on the backside.

Could you use the backside of your card as a “coupon” to offer a free service one time to new clients.

 I have heard this strategy called “just get them in the door the first time”.  It could initiate  a relationship with a prospect.

Put your personal photo on your business card, and make it large, as in 1/3 of the card. We are not talking about an old-fashioned framed “criminal” head shot. 

Get a new, professional shot taken by a photographer who specialises in business photography.

 All of us collect loads of business cards. 

Can you remember all those people? 

You will remember the person with a photo on the card.

And of course - that is not a new idea !

Here is a 'blast from the past ' before mobile 'phones, PCs...........

Heck ! This was a long time ago, back in the last
 century and I  still had my own hair and teeth !
Note the Telex number - Anybody remember telex?
Related Links:

Handshakes and exchanging business cards

Monday, 13 April 2015

UK #election2015 Lessons 4 Salespeople The TRIPLE LOCK, MOCK and QUARREL #LabourManifesto

Power-of-threes Update 15th April 2015 

   Selling The Good Life  Selling the next coalition

Power of threes from the Speech for the launch of the Lib/Dem Manifesto 15th April  from Battersea

The Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg says a coalition is "inevitable" after 7 May and only his party can provide a "proven rock of stability (1), continuity (2) and conscience (3)".

Somebody is going to hold the balance of power on May 8," he said. "It is not going to be David Cameron or Ed Miliband. It could be Alex Salmond (1), it could be Nigel Farage (2) or it could be me and the Liberal Democrats (3).

A "few hundred votes", he claimed, could make the difference between a "decent (1), tolerant (2) and generous (3)" government in the centre-ground and a "coalition of grievance" involving either the UKIP and SNP.

Power of threes from Mr Cameron
Mr Cameron at the launch of  Conservative party Manifesto at Swindon 14th April 2015 

Britain is a “buccaneering (1), world-beating (2), can-do country (3)” and “can do it all over again”,  said the Prime Minister Mr Cameron.

Together, with the hard work of the British people, we have rescued our economy (1), created record numbers of jobs (2), put Britain back on her feet (3).

In Britain we’ve always shown we have the ingredients (1) the will (2) – above all the people (3)– to overturn what’s inevitable.

He said that the “greatest sunshine that there can possibly be” is for more people in the UK to own their own homes (1), have more of their own money to spend  (2) and have “dignity and security in retirement” (3).

Not to be outdone in using the power-of-threes Mr Farage at the launch of the UKIP Manifesto April 15th 2015

Mr Farage said his was the only party which had the "self confidence and belief in the nation" that the UK should govern itself (1) , make its own laws ( 2) and negotiate its own international trade deals (3)  

Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
—It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright......  

"Character of the Happy Warrior" by William Wordsworth 1770 -1850

Milliband's  Personal Pitch The power of 3s

Ed Milliband , leader of the Labour Party
prospective MP and Prime Minister
The Happy Warrior of 2015
Ed Milliband made his personal pitch, saying that he felt ready to be Prime Minister at the launch of the Labour Manifesto in Manchester 13th April 2015. The manifesto is an 86-page booklet, some 20,421 words long

Essentially the Labour proposition is about selling their leader.

As in the launch of a Sales Product,  the manifesto launch allows you to control your presenting environment. 

 Like many speakers Mr Milliband  favours the delivery in the rhythm of threes -  a power tool of rhetoric

For example

Ready Ready Ready
He said: "I am ready,  ready(1)  to put an end to the tired old idea that as long as we look after the rich and powerful we will all be OK. Ready (2) to build a country that works for working people once again.   Ready (3) to put into practise the truth that it is only when working people succeed, that Britain succeeds.
Every Every___ Every
"If you elect me your Prime Minister in just over three weeks' time, I will work for that goal. I will fight for that goal. Every (1) single day.  In everything (2)I do. In every (3) decision I make."


Mr Milliband has been taking an enormous amount of advice in presenting skills.

It's not quite yet part of him . The multi 7 debate was a stranger arena for him compared to Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg who performed at the one five years ago.. 

Not only do the political  leaders have to speak coherently but must get the look correct -whether to look into the camera lens or to the facilitator and thereby through to the audience or debate looking directly to the other speakers.

A Sunday Newspaper , **The Sun on Sunday came into possession of Mr Milliband's private notes for the first TV debates of the seven leaders . The have the notes watermarked with the paper's brand .

Presenting the BODY LANGUAGE of the Happy Warrior

Mr Milliband prepares ( and so should we !) : The 10 pages of notes contained a motivational pep talk to himself along with some of his off-the-cuff answers and put-downs. Likewise you can add stage directions and notes not said which help you to stand still, smile ,relax etc.

The notes and direction himself included reminders to “relish the chance to show who I am” " The Happy Warrior" and talk to the camera to “use the people at home”.

His rhetorical skills in the power of threes is again used

In his comeback and put downs ( I hasten to advise salespeople NOT to do comebacks and put downs - we are not politicians. Our sell is every day NOT once very five years)

“You ( Mr Cameron) and Nick Clegg wrote the book on chaotic coalitions – chaos in the NHS (1), chaos on immigration (2), chaos on living standards (3) – and now you’re asking for the chance to do it all over again.

Mr Milliband's  notes to himself  advise him to ridicule Mr Farage rather than accuse him of racism

“Nigel ( Mr Farage)  you think all the problems of this country can be traced back to Europe (1), immigration (2) and breastfeeding in cafés. (3)”

And finally 

One last thought learning from other's mistakes :   Check you don’t leave your notes on the rostrum, lectern where others ( competitors) can pick them up. Or even the Sun on Sunday! ;)  

Good presenting !

Related links on presentations you may find useful:

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Grand National Day Sponsorship sells the Cider brand to cider drinkers and Investment to High Net-worth Individuals

“The British public will unload in excess of £80 million into the satchels of Paddy Power, William Hill, Victor Chandler ( Bookmakers) and any other scallywag with a chalkboard and a calculator. Not many of us will see a return on our investments. “ 
So wrote the tipster Rupert Hawksley of the Daily Telegraph on Thursday


Today sees some amazing sporting events and certain company names will receive a high profile to the brand though sponsorship and endorsement of historic events

The Boat Race and the Grand National.

Its estimated that a quarter of the UK adult population will bet on the Crabbie’s sponsored Grand National.

Most people will have a small each-way bet on a horse they fancy for no other reason then they like the name.

 Of course there’s nothing wrong with picking a horse for that reason, as pre-race favourites have a dire record in the race.

The Grand National is famed for its unpredictable nature and rightly so, in the past century five 100/1 shots have triumphed over the famous fences
However, the Grand National is far less of a lottery than many people believe.

 Trends and statistics have emerged over the last 20 years which can help you identify those runners who have the potential to run a big race.

Whether you decide to follow the trends and stats or choose your horse based on its name, silk colour or jockey riding good luck.

A TV audience in excess of 10 million will tune in to watch the drama of the 2015 Grand National unfold on the 11th of April at 4:15pm.

Along with those watching at home a 70,000 strong crowd will be at Liverpool's Aintree racecourse to cheer on the horses from the first fence to the final furlong.

Meanwhile on the Thames this evening the  Boat Race will race the profile of BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management and others. Watched by thousands along the banks of the Tideway, between Putney and Mortlake in London, and by millions more on TV around the world, 

The BNY Mellon Boat Races make a unique sporting event. With four very strong squads of athletes, we expect to see great Races this year. 

The  Women’s Race at 4.50 pm for the first time joining  the men on the tideway , the gentlemen race starts an hour later.

Sponsorship - What's it about?

offers opportunities to broaden your competitive advantage by increasing your credibility, image and prestige in sponsoring events attracting your target market.

So, why are the likes of Crabbies and BNY Mellon interested in sponsorship today?

When done well, it offers significant opportunities for distinct marketing and competitive advantages, as well as showing support of the event.

Sponsorship is the financial or in-kind support of an activity, used primarily to reach specified business goals.

It should not be confused with advertising. Advertising is considered a quantitative medium, whereas sponsorship is considered a qualitative medium. It promotes a company in association with the  event .

Sponsorship allows you to reach specifically targeted niche markets without any waste.

In addition, it is a powerful complement to other marketing programmes, in addition to having a powerful influence on customer relations.

Craven Cottage Fulham FC in background
Why invest in Sponsorship ?

Sponsorship offers the possibility of achieving several goals at once. 

Shaping Consumer Attitudes / Enhancing Image

 Often companies are looking to improve how they are perceived by their target audience.

Sponsoring events that appeal to their market are likely to shape buying attitudes and help generate a positive reaction.

 Crabbies ( Alcoholic Ginger Beer), for example is always looking to generate a positive influence of their products in the minds of their consumers and as such regularly support events they feel can influence consumer opinions.

Driving Sales

Sponsorship geared to driving sales can be an extremely potent promotional tool. This objective allows sponsors to showcase their product attributes.

The Corporate Hospitality tents are where prospects can be softly courted.

Food and beverage companies often use sponsorship to encourage samplings and sales. 

There could well be samples of Crabbies going !

Putney Bridge,,
 Red Buses --Spring Blossom on the Fulham shore adds to the spectacle
Heightening your Brand's visibility/ Creating positive PR

Many sponsors are seeking wide exposure in both traditional electronic and print media and social media.  Events offer a useful platform. e.g. #WhatBlueAreYou  for the boat race and #GrandNational for the Aintree event 

Positive publicity helps create heightened visibility of products/services.

Various media covering the event may include sponsors names and/or photos.

In addition, the kind of media coverage a sponsor may get is often unaffordable if the company were to think of purchasing it, and if it were available.

To maximise this objective, it is important for the sponsoring company to have a comprehensive media campaign to augment the regular media coverage promoted by the organisers.

 Sponsorship can often generate media coverage that might otherwise not have been available

Related Links

Friday, 10 April 2015

Selling Styles Go BANANAS 1633 -2013 #HappyLondonBananaDay or 1560

Happy London Banana Day

380 years before UK  banana endorser, One Direction's Harry Styles gave "Baby Nanas and Fyffes bananas " a plug on his famous  Instagram post of 2013  , bananas made their London Début on 10 April 1633 in a shop window.

It was the shop window of shopkeeper Thomas Johnson, who had a herbalist shop on Snow Hill in the neighbourhood still called Holburn (Holborn) 

G Hone and Sons in Farnham, Surrey UK'
Shop Window 10th April 2015
He hung up the Bananas, which were from Bermuda, both to ripen them and to display them. 

It was thought this was the first time Bananas were seen in London. Thomas Johnson was  also the editor for Gerard's Herball.

Archaeologists, though, are now disputing that this was indeed the first time bananas came to London.

In June 1999, archaeologists working on the south bank of the Thames near Southwark  were excavating a soggy rubbish heap dating back to Tudor times  and found a banana skin, black and shrivelled, that dated back to about 1560. ( Only a few years after Wolf Hall era)

The area had been used for fish tanks lined with lumber that had been used for raising fish. 

They were abandoned, likely as the waters of the Thames grew too unwholesome to raise fish in. 

The tanks filled up with soil, rubbish and sewage, and were eventually built over, but the soil underneath remained waterlogged, helping to preserve everything in the pit.

Despite both these early starts, Bananas weren't regularly available until the 1800s, when they came from Madeira, and even then they were still a great novelty and luxury

G Hone and Sons in Farnham, Surrey UK'
Shop Window 10th April 2015
Related links: