Last week my husband, Chris, showed up for his general sales meeting in a swimsuit and tie. His work attire is generally dress casual, but monthly sales meetings require a sport coat and tie. However, this month’s meeting was themed “Beach Party” so casual summer clothing was encouraged. With this in mind, my husband started working on his presentation and the best way to drive home his point to sales staff.
As brand manager my husband’s job is to develop and present unique marketing ideas to sell product. Although my husband has a marketing degree, it goes way beyond that. He also has the ability to think outside the box. If you are fortunate enough to encounter one of these gifted individuals’ run parallel with them. It’s a learning curve you will not forget.
As the meeting assembled, Chris, walked forward to address the group in standard business attire. He then turned his back to the audience and began undressing; trousers first, sport coat, then the button shirt. While disrobing and his back to his peers, he talked about his first week with the company and the many ways he could avoid wearing a tie. After several minutes, he slowly turned to face the group donned in a pair of swim shorts with a lone tie draped from his bare chest.
My husband’s opening line was, “Wow, it’s cold in here.” The immediate response from someone in the group was, “How can you be cold when you’re wearing a sweater like that (referring to his chest hair). “ It was the perfect ice-breaker. With the audience fully engaged Chris was able to drive home his point knowing it would be long remembered.
The point being made in that sales meeting is not important to us. It’s the way the audience [customer, employee] became engaged and drawn into listening to the topic presented. It’s about stepping outside the norm and doing something a little risky. There is no doubt that my husband had concerns about what his immediate boss and CEO might think. He also knew that he could make a pivotal point to his sales staff and it worked. He was applauded by his CEO for thinking outside the box and thereby generating an influx of new sales and company growth.
Are you thinking outside the box? If you are selling a product or service you need to understand the competition. There are thousands doing the same thing as you. What makes you or your company stand out? How are you driving home your point?