Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Grant Leboff's Sales Therapy at NRG Swindon

Morgan PR was at NRG in Swindon early today, not least to hear Grant Leboff talk during the seminar before lunch; a successful businessman and author of Sales Therapy he has a good reputation and featured on this blog once before.

Without doubt an accomplished speaker and acutely aware of the way sales has evolved in the face of Google and the choice the internet brings he spoke about how this should change our approach to selling, focusing more on the relationship rather than the transaction.

This was very similar to what Seth Godin has been talking about on his popular blog for some time now and indeed published in the book Permission Marketing - in other words getting people to put their hands up to say they are interested rather than trying to interrupt them and hope they will buy. There was also elements of points made by another author I would recommend, namely David Meerman Scott in his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

I think it was the late American journalist and author Barbra Grizzuti Harrison who said 'There are no original ideas, only original people.' and on that count Grant was certainly an original and thought provoking speaker that has prompted us to check we are doing the right things.

After the lunch we heard from Grant Leboff again when prompted he revealed how he had gotten ahead when he started a telephone marketing company with no clients to speak of. He then called various trade magazines - he quoted Accountancy Age - and said he had quotes from people 'like' and then reeled off names of CEOs and such like. Would they like an article?

Of course they said yes and then he phoned the people and eventually got interviews as he was writing a piece for Accountancy Age...

He followed up by laminating cuttings of the obviously favourable articles and sent these to the CEOs as a precursor to meeting and subsequently signed up some as clients.

Clever? Undoubtedly. However, I was left feeling a little uncomfortable with the tale of bravado which was ultimately based on an untruth. That is probably the professionally qualified journalist in me objecting to a tactic which anyone using it should know will taint your brand if you get caught using it!

Of course, if you had access to a leading PR agency in the Thames Valley headed by a journalist who can legitimately secure that kind of commission and subsequent publicity... well that would be different!

So, yet another good networking session with NRG and we are planning on heading along to the one in Reading later in the month. Perhaps we will see you there.

Finally, Grant Leboff's book is available on Amazon for £8.44 if you would like to know more.

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