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The title of my post is a play on one of the most famous advertising headlines of all time. John Caples, was a fledgling copywriter in 1926 when he wrote a headline for Ruthrauff & Ryana on behalf of  the U.S. School of Music. Caples ad, “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano” became known as the 20th century’s most successful,  mail-order copy because of it’s stunning results.

they-laughed-ad-copyThe goal of the ad was to capture interest and gain attention so that the entire sales copy would be read and then acted upon. Interest and Attention are pre-requisites of any sale of course. That’s easy to understand. The hard part to understand–especially back then–is that the only way to capture interest and attention is TO BE INTERESTING!

Tell a story

So why was Mr. Caples copy so interesting?  Instead of focusing on features and benefits, Caples introduced us to Jack, a budding pianist who was taunted by a fellow pianist then booed by the crowd before he eventually silenced everyone with his masterful music.

Caples told a story we could all relate to. When we read that Jack silenced his skeptical audience with his skillfully played “Moonlight Sonata,” we applauded. Stories are powerful. They help us to understand, relate, remember and believe.

The ad didn’t talk about the U.S. School of Music, neither did it proclaim the superiority of the music correspondence course it offered. It told the story of Jack who gleefully shouted, “Before I knew it, I was playing all the pieces I liked best. Nothing stopped me. I could play ballads or classical numbers or jazz, all with equal ease! And I never did have any special talent for music!” Even though Jack is a fictional character, we could see ourselves in him and believed we could accomplish the same thing.

Although a lot has changed in the world of sales and marketing since 1926, much has remained constant (if not all too often over-looked). Stories have the power to move people to action. Today, story telling is but one tried-and-true technique that sellers and marketers can use to be interesting and induce action.

Be More Interesting, Get More Sales!

Be more interesting and get more sales is the title of an upcoming webinar that I’m moderating on April 24th, and you’re invited!

I’ll be joined by three of the most interesting women in sales for an hour-long, highly interactive webinar; Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group, Inc., Lori Richardson of Score More Sales, and Barb Giamanco of Social Centered Selling. We’ll tell stories about the technique that got one seller a meeting with Ken Chenault, the CEO of American Express. Perhaps you’ll also be interested in how one sales leader discovered that her prospect liked the same music she did and what she did to capture his attention.

The key to being interesting is to find interesting approaches. We’ll share an example of how a sales leader connected her prospect to a speaking opportunity and what happened as a result, and how one of us grew her business through the roof by messaging CEOs about what she learned about them on social channels.

You can break through the noise and engage with prospects previously unavailable to you. You just need to know a few secret techniques and come up with your own unique approaches.

Shock your boss, your colleagues, loved-ones, and the world! Get those impossible-to-get appointments and close deals you never thought possible.  Register now for the free webinar.

About the author

Nancy Nardin

Nancy Nardin is a recognized thought leader on sales technologies and building a sales stack. Smart Selling Tools reviews the latest sales and marketing software across multiple categories, including Inside Sales, Sales Intelligence, Sales Acceleration, Pipeline Management & Deal Flow, and Predictive Sales Analytics. It's been named a Top Sales Blog by HubSpot, and Nancy Nardin has been named alongside Forbes’ top 30 social sales influencers in the world. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools