Be sure to sign up for our 3 FREE Book Tales
Cart 0

Marketing and Sales Stories

 The Brick and the Bum

Origin: From the book 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Lesson: Pique people’s curiosity in order to draw them to you

Character: PT Barnum

Synopsis: Barnum was the greatest showman on earth, but it was not merely his curiosities, which made him so famous. Most of these curiosities were absurdly fake, and he admitted as much when asked. What made him so rich and famous was his propensity to cultivate a crowd out of thin air.

 

Market to the Left of the Magic Bell

 

Origin: From the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Lesson: Market to the left side of the “law of diffusion” bell

Character: Mike Ramsey and Jim Burton

Synopsis: This is the story of how TiVo, once one of the hottest new products, was outsold by outhouses.

 

How to Engender a Cult Classic

 

Origin: From the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Lesson: Three critical elements to make a tip occur: An engaging salesman, a sticky message, and the power of social groups.

Character: Rebecca Wells

 Synopsis: Wells’ book was another flop. She had traveled and performed as many book readings as she could. She was determined to make her latest book, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a huge success. She failed. But then, months later, something magical happened. And her world exploded.

 

Make Your Message Sticky!

 

Origin: From the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Lesson: Come up with ways to make your customers an active agent in your marketing campaign, rather than a passive one.

Character: Lester Wunderman

Synopsis: In the 70s Les was the king of direct mail marketing. With the rise of television everyone in the business began chipping away at his clients. When the darling of Madison Avenue attempted to steal his largest client, he challenged them to a marketing duel.

 

The Psychology of the Well-Connected

 

Origin: From the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Lesson: The ability to become well connected is a learnable skill.

Character: Roger Horchow

Synopsis: You may not have heard of Roger Horchow, but he has made a tremendous success of his life. And he did it by learning the most valuable skill of all, becoming well connected.

 

Scarlett O’Hara vs. Carmax

 

Origin: From the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

Lesson: The old relationship between seller and buyer has died.

Character: Scarlett O’Hara and Steve Kemp

Synopsis: It may not seem as though Scarlett O’hara, the female protagonist of Gone with the Wind has much in common with Steve Kemp, a modern day used car salesman. But in fact, both are representative of an old model for the seller/buyer relationship. This was a model based on “Caveat Emptor,” buyer beware. Now, we live in the day of Caveat Venditor “let the seller beware!”

 

The Blind Beggar and the Advertising Executive

 

Origin: From the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

Lesson: Make your message, ad campaign, or idea clear in the minds of your audience by giving a proper contrast

Character: Rosser Reeves

Synopsis: When Reeves saw the blind beggar’s sign, he was inclined to take the man on as his client. And with 4 little words, Reeves was able to generate a flood of donations for beggar.

 

The Lonely Radiologist

 

Origin: From the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

Lesson: The power of adding a small personal touch

Character: Yehonaton Turner, an Israeli radiologist

Synopsis: When this radiologist did some experiments to find out how often he and others in his profession missed important readings, he was shocked. But the solution was as simple as a picture.

 

The World’s First Elevator Pitch

 

Origin: From the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

Lesson: Use drama to persuade the skeptical

Character: Elisha Otis

Synopsis: This is the story of the world’s first elevator pitch. Guess where the pitch was given?

 

Who Killed the Fuller Brush Man?

 

Origin: From the book To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink

 Lesson: The salesman is dead. Long live the salesman

Character: Norman Hall

 Synopsis: Besides the bow tie, the most peculiar thing about Norman Hall is that he is the last surviving Fuller Brush man. Once these individuals were as recognizable as the milkman. The fading of this icon is telling about buying behaviors in America.

 

Saling in the Cloud

 

Origin: From the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Lesson: The power of personal sales

Character: Salesman Blake

Synopsis: Box was an unknown company in 2008 that was attempting to sell “cloud services.” This, before the cloud was an acceptable business term. They did not grow much, until a single salesperson joined their team.