Lessons from My Favorite Sales Ads
United Airlines once ran a series of ads targeted at the traveling businessman. In a previous blog, I covered the one where the boss comes in to a crowded conference room with the announcement that every customer will receive a personal visit. “They’ve forgotten who we are because we’ve stopped visiting them in person,” the boss explains.
Love that one.
Another great United Airlines ad featured a salesman going from city to city, schlepping his wares with no luck whatsoever.
“If only you’d come yesterday,” one potential customer said.
“We see Salespeople on Mondays. Today is Tuesday,” said another.
“Uh-uh,” remarked a third, looking over the top of his glasses.
On his flight home, the flight attendant leans in to ask the weary salesman, “Do you have any extra batteries for the gentleman in 5B? His calculator has died.”
“Why not?” replied the defeated rep as he hands her his calculator, “There’s nothing to add up anyway.” “What business are you in?” asks “5B.” “Well...” the sales rep starts.
After a quick flash of the United Airlines logo and a reminder that their planes fly a bunch of places, the two men are seen sitting next to each other as “5B” says to the bewildered salesman, “Now, you’re sure you can get me 3 million by the 20th?”
As the still-in-shock sales rep—savoring his extraordinary luck—departs the plane, the flight attendant asks, “Good trip?” to which the man replies flatly, “Not bad.”
“Extraordinary luck?” Actually, no. Luck favors the hard working salesperson. This guy was lucky, to be sure. However, he created his lucky opportunity by putting in the hours. Sure, it’s fiction and it’s Hollywood (well, Madison Avenue, anyway) but the lesson is still there: The luckiest reps are the hardest working reps.
Create your extraordinary luck. Put in extraordinary effort.
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