They were discovered in Michael Palin’s archives and include story lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail left on the cutting room floor:
An amorous Pink Knight and bizarrely a Wild West bookshop scene.
Not sure how they were going to shoehorn that one in…
The Pythons made a bunch of great movies back in the day.
The last one, 1983’s The Meaning of Life, is the one that sticks in my mind.
Yup, the one with Mr. Creosote.
One more wafer thin mint?
OMG, here it comes…
But, projectile vomit aside.
The film also contains a wonderful marketing parable.
That brands need to pay attention if they’re going to succeed.
And his wife joins him for a demonstration.
Stripping off he asks young charges how they think he should proceed.
And in their youthful ignorance, they forget about foreplay entirely.
“What’s wrong with a kiss, boy, hmm?
Why not start her off with a nice kiss?
You don’t have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at the gate.
Give her a kiss, boy!”
Which is how an awful lot of companies market their products.
GET ME IN THE MOOD FIRST.
Instead of just bashing me over the head with product-led advertising.
You see a sale is kind of like a date.
But, all too often, when a brand should be buying you a drink and getting to know you.
They’re like that bull at the gate, moving in to try and seal the deal.
Today, there are more commercial messages competing for our attention than ever before.
Thousands and thousands every single day.
That’s a lot of brands waving their arms around.
Which means the temptation (and trap) is to shout even louder.
But, the first hint of a pitch and you’re naturally turned off.
Example – think about the last networking event you went to.
There’s always that one person there.
Bam, straight into sales mode.
And you just tune it out before shuffling away…
Or those brands on social media, using it as just another platform for ads.
Buy our product, selling fast, buy now.
Click through and you’re directed to a product page with more of the same.
Those bounce rates must be horrible…
Here’s the thing.
To be successful today, brands need to master the art of indirect selling framed in the form of a story.
If this was a naked pitch for a marketing training course, it would never have gotten my attention.
Instead it takes a gentler and smarter approach.
The author uses a story to set the mood – establishing himself as a likeable and credible person.
The article piques your interest and gets you thinking about the benefits of qualifications.
Yes, you still need to ask for the order, but when the pitch comes at the end, it feels entirely natural.
Not an inappropriate lunge at your bits.
So, there you have it.
Slow down, take your time, warm your prospects up.
And storytelling is the way to go.