Using the right words, written AND verbal, is critical to the success of any Sales Rep or Sales Leader. Words can build credibility, build relationships, overcome obstacles and mean the difference between a sale of $100 or a sale of $100,000. Words are powerful. For these reasons, I highly recommend the book, “POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything” by Sam Horn. It’s one of the best $10 investments you will make!
How I Shopped For Pop!
I recently went on a quest to buy some new, high value business books. Instead of guess shopping online, I drove over to my local Barnes and Noble and began perusing the business and marketing section. I pulled a bunch of books with interesting titles off the shelf and plopped down in a chair to start reviewing them.
If I start browsing through a book and I hear myself uttering “blah blah blah” in my head then I am pretty confident that the book will not hold my attention very long. So, I was very excited when I discovered POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything” by Sam Horn. I bought the book and read it in just a few days.
I have read a good number of books, articles and blog posts about effective sales and marketing messaging. But, this was THE most effective resource I have ever read on the topic. Her ideas and processes are very original, even fun, and the book provides very easy to use instructions, so you can repeat her techniques at home or in the office.
Here are a few highlights from the book….
The Valley Girl Technique
As you may remember, back in the 80’s, Valley Girls were known for saying the word “like”. “Like, that dress is really cool.” With the Valley Girl Technique. she asks you to think about what your product or service is like, with a twist. By comparing yourself with something people know, like and are familiar with, your audience (customers, prospects) will be more likely to understand your “pitch” and relate to you.
The State Farm insurance company uses this technique with their tagline “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”. There are no real rules…You could use comparisons to a famous person, an event or even a TV show.
Here’s an example of how I use the technique. When I am not writing this blog, I provide some consulting to an Internet Television startup company; Greenlight360.
Instead of saying: “Greenlight360 is an online television network with original programming and emerging talent.”
I often say, “Do you watch a lot of the hit shows on HBO or Showtime – like True Blood? (“Yes”) We aspire to be the next HBO or Showtime- but online.”
How can you leverage this technique when selling your product or service? It should have many applications for Sales Reps selling more complex, technical offerings.
The Perfect Tagline
There are a variety of chapters in the book about creating compelling business, product or service taglines, designed to help you break out not blend in. These include approaches such as the “rearrange cliché”, the “laughline”, the “AFLAC” and the “half and half” technique.
For example, in the rearrange cliché’ technique, you are encouraged to review cliché’s that your audience is likely familiar with and tie to your product and service. By playing with an old cliché, adding or replacing a few words, you can make it new again and something that will resonate with your buying audience. Try ClicheSite or Westegg.com for some inspiration.
All of these techniques and tools can be used by Sales professionals who want to share more powerful elevator pitches at networking events, make demos more likely to turn into sales, get more responses from emails & voicemails and, of course, improve the effectiveness of their sales presentations.
I personally used these techniques recently for naming an e-book, naming a new, small business and naming a service offering. If you invest the time, leveraging her tools and techniques, I guarantee you will come up some new fresh ideas.
More About Sam Horn, The Author
POP is available at most chain bookstores and on Amazon.com.
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