Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking is the number one fear in America. Public speaking is more feared than death and taxes. So how good are the people at your agency at public speaking? How good are the art directors and copywriters that speak for your brand? How good are you? Could you stand in the front of a Home Depot store for a day and hand out flyers saying, "Welcome to Home Depot. Can I help you find something in the store today?" Or would it be beneath you? Uncomfortable? Boring? If rejection didn't get you, your inability to maintain a great attitude would. So if agency people can't speak to people one-on-one, face-to-face, how could they possibly be good at connecting and relating to millions? They can't read faces. They can't mirror emotions. They have no experience. So when it comes time to write an ad, they can't look inside themselves and say, "Ah ha! I've seen that person before." Utilizing interpretations of markets and segments from studies and customer satisfaction surveys become a joke.

The nation's top breakfast cereal brand is probably Kellogg's Corn Flakes. I believe market share is around 6%. I believe the market share has always hovered around that number. Can you imagine how high market share might rise if Kellogg Corn Flake's Marketing Director went door-to-door, introducing the product to consumers again for the very first time? Oh, wait, that campaign was for Frosted Flakes. I digress. The campaign was a poor substitute anyway.

I can guarantee that if the staff of your agency, or Kellogg's Marketing Diretor took your product door-to-door every weekend, knocking on doors and developing the ability to actually TALK to consumers about your products your sales would soar. Now, the executives would reject the notion at first. Imagine dropping 10 or 12 of them off in some neighboorhood and expecting every one of them to speak with 150 to 200 people that hot summer day. Certainly they had something better to do that day that work at making themselves more empathic and better communicators. That's something they didn't learn when going to school. It takes life experience. And you can't gain that behind a desk or focus group mirror. If that were the job description 98% of them would quit. They'd be too embarrassed. It would be beneath them. The few that remained would persevere, getting better week by week. And after 6 months you'd have a crack team of people able to spontaneously connect and relate with just about anyone. What a great agency training program!
In addition to Martin's accomplishments in product positioning strategy and new product development, Martin Calle trains outsourced sales forces for Fortune 500 companies. Clients include Staples, Starbucks, UPS, AT&T, Verizon FIOS, Coca-Cola's Groupe Danone and more whose sales and market share have soared as a result of his training system. Contact Martin for Speaking Engagements and amazing stories from the street.

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