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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Welcome to Hogwarts!

People look for what to expect before they try something new. They want us to signal a level of excitement, clues to what is good, something they can believe in.

When was the last time you met a car salesman as exciting as a car commercial?

“But I was taught to listen to the customer...” So was the door at Macy’s, but at least it opens as I walk up to it. Show some action, some optimism!

The bad news is not all offerings are leaders in every way. The good news is no buyer has time to listen to everything. They are looking for someone to give them the buyer’s summary. What you choose to communicate is important.

The losers call it “spin,” but I’d rather have spin than a depressed definition. If you talk about false things, you’ll be discovered, but I can define a belief structure that differs markedly from what the doubters think, that customers will use to defend their choice forever. Optimism becomes the reality for those taking action.

The crime is when internal representatives are too tired or too “professional” to extoll the good. Why show up for work, when you could just fax it in?

I have been accused of only representing exciting offers. Here’s a secret, they weren’t exciting before I got there, and that excitement became a key part of each buyer’s beliefs.

I was part of the name tag table for a user group, and the people from the sponsoring company were just bored, tired, worn out.

Did I understand their best whatisit? I’m an English major! Would you like fries with that?

But as we got each person registered, tagged and goody bagged, as they walked into the main show I kept saying, “Welcome to Hogwarts!”

Smiles, straightening up, looking forward.

Setting Expectations. The neighborly thing to do.


  1. Love this idea, setting expectations with enthusiasm. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Back in school students would read the 'pony' instead of the novel - getting someone else's viewpoint. Listening to the news commentator instead of reading the full text - you have someone else's viewpoint on the issue. What about the folks who only read the headlines after the election: 'Dewey Beats Truman'.

    There's no substitute for doing the work - the reward is acquiring the knowledge and the feeling of accomplishment. Value exceeds the effort.

    Compare a bored actor repeating the lines of a play and an orator presenting thoughts and ideas - this is the difference between the tired, disengaged sales person Dick mentions and an engaged sales person who matches needs and benefits for the buyer to help them decide.

    Thanks for sharing the observation in a post.