I saw the boss of a WPP-owned “communication channel agency” (basically PR person Ryan Williams, Group MD, Nota Bene) on telly, and was pleased to see him come across rather well.
He was asked how firms could make the most of a huge event (like the World Cup). The issue of legacy was uppermost in his response.
He suggested that legacy could be measured in three ways; community, brand & revenues.
What intrigued me about this was that, although unashamedly a marketing slant (leave aside the pavlovian response salespeople have to marketing ideas just for now please) there are clear parallels to this and lengthy solution sales campaigns.
What this suggests is therefore a framework for ensuring you allow for your ambitions to be sustained beyond the signatures.
The first legacy area is interesting because it refers to what you do to improve the lot of the community that feed into your target market. For global brands identifying the socially needy nowadays seems an omnipresent part of corporate responsibility policies, yet I wonder whether an adaption of this thinking can similarly apply to a sale? If you take the ‘community’ to extend to those outside the borders of direct impact from your proposal, then ideas could well be forthcoming from hitherto un-considered arenas.
Brand also throws up new lines of thought. The examples cited discussed how a phrase from an ad campaign slips into everyday language. It’s easy to hear in your mind’s ear how certain syntax peculiar to you can be pushed which helps cement your agenda as the ‘chosen’ one.
Then the obvious revenues legacy suggests that you not only need to secure cash as a once-off, but work to ensure there’s a lifetime of commitment from your customers. This of course is something many solution proposals fail to tackle, despite worldwide acknowledgment of the difference between day-one and on-costs, capex and opex, maintenance and returns.
Having a plan in place to create an environment conducive to all these three during a sales campaign I am sure would prove a winner of an idea.