Monday, 29 June 2015

5 Sponsorship advantages of Wimbledon 2015

It’s that time again when Tennis fever takes over the country for Wimbledon Fortnight.

Like most professional sports today the star players have to learn good salesmanship.

There is much we can learn in selling from how the professional selling stars approach their game.

There come onto court not with one racquet but a bag full.

Babolat, Dunlop, Wilson, Head, Prince, Slazenger, Mantis, Tecnifibre Pro Kennex are emblazoned on the bags to be picked up on the television, press and sports photography.
Jaguar and Land Rover will supply 170 luxury and
 high performance vehicles to support tournament operations. 
The new Jaguar XE and XF, as well as successful
XF Sportbrake and XJ models 
will be seen in London at this year’s Championships.

The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis".

Sponsorship  at Wimbledon can be an effective way to raise brand awareness and increase sales. However, it is not without its pitfalls   The recent  comments made by coach Boris Becker have led to an on court coaching controversy. When the point was put to him yesterday, Djokovic argued that this is a judgement call, and that some interaction between a player and his support staff was natural and acceptable, so long as it did not become “regular”. 

 The advantages of sponsorship in one’s marketing communication in an event like Wimbledon include
1.       Brand enhancement – tying up with another individual, event, or organisation that has a strong reputation can enhance your company’s reputation simply by association

2.       Awareness raising – your brand name will gain visibility and be included in media coverage e.g.  English wine we are told is to be served at Wimbledon this year for the first time in the tennis tournament’s 138-year history. Pinot Gris 2014, from the Bolney Wine Estate in East Sussex, will be offered to tennis fans throughout the 2015 tournament.

3.       Access to niche markets – sponsorship can enable entry into a niche market if you link up a brand that already has a reputation in that market

4.       Generate or increase sales – this could be directly e.g. selling your product at the event you have sponsored, or indirectly – a positive change in audience attitude or awareness leads to purchase

5.       Cost effective – sponsorship can be more cost effective than mainstream advertising

There are also risks of sponsorship to consider

Negative image association – as highlighted in the examples above, a sponsorship deal can give out negative messages e.g. if the sports individual you are sponsoring is caught cheating or there is crowd trouble though it is doubtful that the mob on Murray Mount would turn nasty but...

Lack of control – many of the variables for example weather rain in the first week of Wimbledon can cause havoc with the scheduling effecting media coverage, attendances etc. The forecast this are for extreme heat for a change !

Sponsorship confusion – an overload of sponsors, normally at high-profile events such as  Wimbledon, can turn off the target audience and ensure that no one sponsor stands out

Ambush marketing – ‘the practice whereby another company, often a competitor, attempts to deflect some of the audience to itself and away from the sponsor’

The key to maximising sponsorship success is to have a clear and  focused objective at the outset and ensure that the sponsorship deal you select has the best possible fit to match your objective.

One of this year's key sponsors Jaguar has been building luxury cars in 

Jaguar was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing passenger cars. The name was changed to "Jaguar" after World War II to avoid the unfavourable connotations of the SS initials
 he Swallow Sidecar company (SSC) was originally located in Blackpool but moved to Holbrook Lane, Coventry in 1928 when demand for the Austin Swallow became too great for the factory's capacity.[51] In 1951, having outgrown the original Coventry site they moved to Browns Lane, which had been a wartime "shadow factory" run by The Daimler Company. Today, Jaguars are assembled at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham.
The rules of tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tie-break in the 1970s.

 A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point.

Laura Schwab, UK Marketing Director at Jaguar Land Rover,
 said: “Wimbledon is a British icon, which is recognised globally 
as the pinnacle of international sport. There’s no other event like it.
The four Grand Slam tournaments are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard Plexicushion  courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on  Decoturf hard courts.

“The tournament captures our imagination in different ways. For some it’s the feeling of summer, but for others it’s British sport at its best. We’re very excited to be working with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to establish our new partnership and celebrate what makes Wimbledon so special.”

Window display in Farnham Surrey for an opticians
with simple associations of Wimbledon fortnight
 with tennis balls and strawberries - the gentlest of

association marketing

Thursday, 25 June 2015

3 Salespeople from the world of Painting a Tailor, Sweet Nellie and the original 'Shrimp' in Flesh and Blood

Q:How are salespeople usually depicted in the  Arts ? 

A: Usually as stereotypical con men or the pressurised anti-heroes of  playwrights e.g. Arthur Miller's 'Death of a salesman ' or David Mamet  screen play for the film " Glengarry Glenross".

 These are great works of art in their own way, but not perhaps particularly positive or joyous.

So here are three rather happier salespeople portrayed by the world of visual arts - classical painting- whose stories and portraits will uplift you.

The Poster Boy for the Royal Academy  early 2015  Show
Painting "The Tailor " ( Il Tagliapanni)

by Giovanni Battista Moroni 1520/4-1579 

No 1  Il Tagliapanni

This man has been described as a tailor since the mid 17th century.

 Dressed in doublet and hose, he holds a pair of shears. The black cloth, marked in white for cutting, resembles that worn by Moroni's more numerous noble sitters. Portraits of artisans using the same conventions as for those of high-status individuals are rare in Western painting ( Oil on Canvass 1565-70)

The most famous of Moroni's portraits; it was already celebrated in the 17th century, when it was in the Grimani collection in Venice.

The colourful costume of the tailor is contrasted with the black material marked with chalk lines that he prepares to cut. Most of the sitters in Moroni's later portraits are dressed in black in the Spanish fashion that persisted into the following century. The tailor's head, lit from above to the left, dominates the painting, the eyes, as in the majority of Moroni's portraits, looking directly at the spectator with shrewd appraisal.

Postcards of  other Portraits by Moroni -
 Prospero Allesandri  (left)
and Gian Geralamo Grumelli (the man in Pink) right
To some specialists of arts apparently, it seems odd that a tailor should be so very expensively dressed. They propose he is therefore too rich to be a tailor in those days.
The painting is called the Tailor because he has a pair of pinking shears to hand.
Maybe he is a merchant tailor, modelling his trade.

My observation of the painting is that,  the shrewd look of   'Il Tagliapanni' is actually one of a salesperson’s discernment.

 This is pure conjecture but it might explain his expensive clothes. They are not the daily working clothes of a tailor of those times.

His direct look  towards we viewers is perhaps to prospective customers.

Perhaps he is sizing up his prospect. 

Does the prospect 'know their threads'?

What ranges of cloths  might best suit their pocket?

Can they afford it? 

What’s their credit rating?

Moroni's tailor back in its home at the National Gallery.
Well worth a visit if you are in London
Why not fix your eyes on Il 
and try to read what is going on
 in his head as he looks back at you.

The sketch on tiled wall of the subway (underground walkway)
Trafalgar Square to Charing Cross tube station

No 2  Sweet Nellie

One of my heroines has to be Nell Gwynne. 

Her story is a great one of rags to riches and we know she had great selling skills.

  The Actress and long time mistress of  King Charles II (1630- 1685) is known early in her life to have  worked  with her sister Rose for  a certain Mary Meggs aka "Orange Moll" .

 Orange Moll had been granted the licence to

"vend, utter and sell oranges, lemons, fruit, sweetmeats and all manner of fruiterers and confectioners wares," within the King’s Theatre.

Nell and her older sister were engaged as  "orange-girls", selling the small, sweet "china" oranges to the audience inside the theatre for a sixpence each

Nell Gwynne
Portrait by Simon Verelst 1644-1710
"Pretty witty Nell " as the diarist Samuel Pepys called her. She became one of the leading comic actresses of her day and mistress to Charles II. 

 The playwright John Dryden supplies with several saucy and bustling parts ideally suited to her talents. 

She had two sons by the King. The elder was created Duke of St Albans.

 She is said to have been remembered by the King on his deathbed with the words " Let not poor Nelly starve".

This unusually revealing pose suggests that this portrait  was for a private location and was commissioned by one of Nell's lovers perhaps even the King.

No 3 The Shrimp Girl

Jean  Shrimpton (born  1942)  was an icon of Swinging London and is considered to be one of the world's first supermodels. In her time the highest paid model and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential fashion icons of all time.

Breaking the popular mould of voluptuous figures with her long legs and slim figure, she was nicknamed "The Shrimp”

 but before the “ It Girl” there was another  beautiful Shrimp girl,one who caught the eye of  William Hogarth 1697- 1764

The Shrimp Girl 1704/5

The subject is a vendor who carries shellfish for sale in a basket balanced on her head. The basket also holds a half pint measure. The picture may have been sketched from sight and never intended to have the detailed finish of his more formal works.

The painting is a relatively late work by Hogarth, and one of several in which he experimented with a loose, almost impressionistic style. 

In its subject matter, it resembles the prints of other salespeople such as the hawkers and traders popular in Hogarth's day.

The painting depicts a woman selling shellfish on the streets of London, typically a job for the wives and daughters of fishmongers who owned stalls in markets such as Billingsgate.

It  was still in Hogarth's estate after his death. His widow Jane was said to have told visitors on showing the picture to them:

 "They say he could not paint flesh. There is flesh and blood for you."

It was only sold after his wife's death in 1789, and first received its title The Shrimp Girl in a Christie's sale catalogue.

The three portraits  above tell us a lot about these salespeople of the past.

"The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions." 
                                                                    Marcus Tullius Cicero

Monday, 22 June 2015

We don’t ask U 4 free I-phones Taylor Swift’s lesson in Sales Persuasion

The Apple versus Taylor Swift battle was less David versus Goliath and more the Emperor Napoleon versus the Duke of  Wellington ( plus dutiful thanks to Field Marshall Blucher).

Leveraging power is part of a Buyer’s armoury yet such power can meet its match even its "Waterloo" from a supplier.  

Buyer power seems high when it has many alternatives. 

So Apple Music may consider they have many alternatives in the form of artists, writers and producers. The bargaining power of buyers to put the suppliers under pressure is well known.

Yet  strong established suppliers like Taylor Swift can take measures to reduce such buyer power, through  implementing a loyalty program – e.g. her fan following.  She can sell to Apple’s competition namely live venues and the concert circuit and festivals.

Apple Music can exploit their power if suppliers are dependent upon existing channels of distribution such as a streaming service

Buyers are in a strong if not unassailable position if the availability of existing substitute artist, writers and producers

Comedian David Sneider tweeted over the Taylor vs Apple Music free streaming period business over a photo of Mrs. Merton the question

“So Apple, what first attracted you to multi-million selling Taylor Swift’s argument?”
. Both the Apple Corporation and Taylor Swift are both powerful commercial entities.

Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple is of someone speaking up for the’ little’ guys yet she astutely avoids demon-ising Apple as ‘Bully Boys’ and has strengthened her own brand image considerably.

From a selling skills point of view it is worth studying Taylor Swift's letter as a powerfully persuasive example of how to use both eloquence and rationality with a powerful buyer.

Not all Supplier  have public media presence to write an open letter to Buyers  as Taylor Swift has as a supplier of saleable music but her skill in appreciating the Buyer's point of view yet defending the cause of fellow suppliers / even her own competitors is most skillful. I have highlighted how she use the appreciation technique - empathising with Apple's point of view.

To Apple, Love Taylor

I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. 

 I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.

I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months.

I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.  

This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows.

( Taylor now  reminds Apple of the competition – namely live music)
 ( Note also the skillful use of the pattern and power of threes that Taylor uses to paint the narrative of her argument for artists, songwriters and producers I have highlight the rhetoric of this is about in green )

This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.

I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.

Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.

But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.


This has not been Apple's Waterloo . Suing for peace is usually initiated by the losing party in an attempt to stave off an unconditional surrender may be costly.

Pressing for peace  sometimes, however, be started by the winning faction as a means to end the war for several reasons, such as where additional conflict would not be in the perceived best interest of the winning party.

 I wonder if this is how we should consider Taylor Swift’s appeal and Apple's Climb down -   a "white peace," or Status quo ante bellum ?

Still the idea of Taylor Swift as an Iron Duchess somehow appeals. Good selling Taylor !

Selling words What's Gove got to do with it ? Mind your language

The *research published by the social mobility and child poverty commission recently found that old-fashioned snobbery about accents and mannerisms was being used by the top 13 elite law, accountancy and financial companies who between them appoint 45,000 of the best jobs in the country to filter out working-class candidates and favour the privileged.

 It found that 70% of jobs offered by those firms in 2014 went to applicants from private or selective schools, even though such schools only educate around 11% of the population.

Salespeople have to be pragmatic -to deal with and  deal in the world as it is.

 What we know as salespeople, is everyday we can be "filtered out" in the early stages of our in our bids to be appointed as a supplier:-

  •  by the way we look ,
  •  the way we sound
  •  and the way we express ourselves.

How we care to communicate and how a customer wishes us to communicate are seldom  aligned.

We know first impressions count. This is not restricted to face time.

Often in Selling it is in the written copy of an ad, a letter or an email we can be filtered out by  the buyer. 

The new Lord Chancellor –Michael Gove was asked recently by his civil servants his preferences in communication. 

He then sent out a reply ( directive)  which has not been overwhelmingly well received

“It’s slightly patronising,” said a one Whitehall source. “It does feel like the sort of thing someone would do when they have too much time on their hands.” 

This source clearly did not appreciate the feedback from his boss. Be that as it may , we must work in the world as it is set by the buyer.

English  is constantly changing and developing but there are rules and some folk like Mr Gove are sticklers for well written English.

 He was a journalist and sometime editor of the London Times. At Lady Margaret Hall College he read ( studied) English.  He held the position of Minister for Education and now heads up the Ministry for Justice.

Well what are his requirements for written communication ?

 If you had to sell to  Michael Gove or his ilk , what do they look for ?  Here are his requirements:-

The Lord Chancellor has also told officials that they must not start a sentence with “However”

The phrases best-placed and high-quality are joined with a dash, very few others are.

“Unnecessary” capitalisations and the word “ensure”, which his civil servants must always replace with “make sure”.

“If in doubt, cut it out”

“In letters, adjectives add little, adverbs even less”;

Gove's golden rules

In correspondence, civil servants must make sure they have:

1.     Don’t write  “I am sorry to hear”, but “I am sorry to read” instead.

2.     Not written “however” at the beginning of a sentence (or any words such as “therefore”, “yet”, “also”, “although”), but put it after the verb: “There are, however, many options”.

3.     Don’t use  “doesn’t”, “don’t”, “aren’t”, and so on, but spelt out both words.

4.     Taken a warm tone and been very gracious in thanking people for their letters.

5.     Used the active voice and the present tense as much as possible: e.g., “We are doing this”; “My department provides guidance”; “The evidence shows that…”.

6.     Even if the view is an opposing one, acknowledged the arguments while not yielding on the substance.

7.     Avoided “this” and “it” on their own, trying to write exactly what they are referring to in correspondence.

8.     Avoid being repetitive.

9.     Not used anything too pompous.

10.   Not written that they “met with” someone (just “met”)

Good selling to those who have to sell to the Grammar Sticklers. I hope the  tips above help you from being filtered out !

Good selling

Related Links:-

Friday, 19 June 2015

10 key questions to qualify and progress your Sales Prospect Pipeline

Qualifying Sales – The Prospect

As the commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo comes to its climax I came across the quote of the Iron Duke

All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don't know by what you do; that's what I called "guessing what was at the other side of the hill."
Sales Forecasting is an art even with help of et al. You are often asked to commit to sales management your pipeline figures that focus on deadlines. 

Probables and Possibles
These are important but assessing which are "probables which possibles", or "who should make up your "best bets list" can still lead you to guesstimate".

The following ten qualifying questions are useful in helping you predict when new business will likely to come in.

  1. What’s the business priority – the reason the buyer will spend the money? What benefit is (s)he going to get out of it? and does it justify the price? 
  2. Who will make the final decision to buy, and who from? Beware, almost every buyer claims to be the decision maker, but is this really true. In our house typically I’ll decide whether we buy something, but my wife decides what we buy.
  3. How will the decision to buy be made – the decision process. Buyers rarely have only one option. How will they choose between the alternatives available?
  4. Have you agreed with your customer the buy/sell process – the way you’ll work together to make sure you both get the best deal? 
  5. Who’re you competing with, and how to win against them? Can you repeat it? 
  6. Do you have a “champion” – somebody on the inside who wants your offer, and will help persuade the other decision makers and tell you how to get the deal? .
  7. Has your prospect confirmed you’re the preferred vendor, provided you can get the financial submissions right. 
  8. Has your prospect agreed a delivery or start date and committed internal resources? 
  9. Has your prospect agreed the contract terms and conditions

  10. Has your prospect signed the contract?  

Wishing you all good luck in guessing the business prospects behind your hills as the Iron Duke might have said.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Happy Magna Carta Day Selling's debt to 1215

At 12.15pm  today the toast is Magna Carta

Article 35 of the Great Charter said: “Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely 'the London quarter'.”

@beerdaybritain  #CheersBDB
Law Liberty Legacy exhibition
Definitely worth a visit if you are in the
 Kings Cross Area of London!
Happy 800th Birthday  Magna Carta 

                In today's sales age of data,
And commercial knitter natter
Remember our  freedom’s Alma Mater
Was inscribed in Magna Carta.

800 years from Runnymede
Let’s not forget our clients’ need
For merchants to travel free
To sell their wares and not impede

Monday the 15th of June
A day all sales folk should swoon
For 800 years ago received a boon
To travel free beneath sun or moon

Later copy in the Guildhall Museum, City of London

What Say the Reeds at Runnymede?
By Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break,
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.
At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:
'You mustn't sell, delay, deny,
A freeman's right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw 'em roused at Runnymede!

When through our ranks the Barons came,
With little thought of praise or blame,
But resolute to play the game,
They lumbered up to Runnymede;
And there they launched in solid line
The first attack on Right Divine,
The curt uncompromising "Sign!'
They settled John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Your rights were won at Runnymede!
No freeman shall be fined or bound,
Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
Except by lawful judgement found
And passed upon him by his peers.
Forget not, after all these years,
The Charter signed at Runnymede.'

And still when mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings

Their warning down from Runnymede!

                                                      To balance all this 'bashing" of Bad King John

'King John’s Christmas' by AA Milne

King John was not a good man —
He had his little ways.
And sometimes no one spoke to him
For days and days and days.
And men who came across him,
When walking in the town,
Gave him a supercilious stare,
Or passed with noses in the air —
And bad King John stood dumbly there,
Blushing beneath his crown.

King John was not a good man,
And no good friends had he.
He stayed in every afternoon…
But no one came to tea.
And, round about December,
The cards upon his shelf
Which wished him lots of Christmas cheer,
And fortune in the coming year,
Were never from his near and dear,
But only from himself.

King John was not a good man,
Yet had his hopes and fears.
They’d given him no present now
For years and years and years.
But every year at Christmas,
While minstrels stood about,
Collecting tribute from the young
For all the songs they might have sung,
He stole away upstairs and hung
A hopeful stocking out.

King John was not a good man,
He lived his live aloof;
Alone he thought a message out
While climbing up the roof.
He wrote it down and propped it
Against the chimney stack:
F. Christmas in particular.”
And signed it not “Johannes R.”
But very humbly, “Jack.”

“I want some crackers,
And I want some candy;
I think a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I don’t mind oranges,
I do like nuts!
And I SHOULD like a pocket-knife
That really cuts.
And, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

King John was not a good man —
He wrote this message out,
And gat him to this room again,
Descending by the spout.
And all that night he lay there,
A prey to hopes and fears.
“I think that’s him a-coming now!”
(Anxiety bedewed his brow.)
“He’ll bring one present, anyhow —
The first I had for years.”

“Forget about the crackers,
And forget the candy;
I’m sure a box of chocolates
Would never come in handy;
I don’t like oranges,
I don’t want nuts,
And I HAVE got a pocket-knife
That almost cuts.
But, oh! Father Christmas, if you love me at all,
Bring me a big, red, india-rubber ball!”

King John was not a good man,
Next morning when the sun
Rose up to tell a waiting world
That Christmas had begun,
And people seized their stockings,
And opened them with glee,
And crackers, toys and games appeared,
And lips with sticky sweets were smeared,
King John said grimly: “As I feared,
Nothing again for me!”

“I did want crackers,
And I did want candy;
I know a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I do love oranges,
I did want nuts!
And, oh! if Father Christmas, had loved me at all,
He would have brought a big, red,
india-rubber ball!”

King John stood by the window,
And frowned to see below
The happy bands of boys and girls
All playing in the snow.
A while he stood there watching,
And envying them all …
When through the window big and red
There hurtled by his royal head,
And bounced and fell upon the bed,
An india-rubber ball!


A. A. Milne
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