Can Your Selling Match The BBC Drive To Be Distinctive

Eddie Mair. A newsreader reportedly earning an annual salary of £425,000. How could any of us aware of his talents begrudge him such whopping pay packet?

Our ire rather aimed at execs who restrict his appearances across the BBC airwaves. Anyone who watched the quite brilliant handling of the Newsnight Savile post-mortem will know what I’m talking about.

I mention the irrepressible Eddie because his is one of the most distinctive voices in media. Different Class. Just ask that woefully inept co-host of the painful One Show whom he sat beside for sadly a solitary week last year.

So when this decade’s BBC Charter renewal White Paper was published, his “PM” radio vehicle labelled each segment with one specific word; “distinctive”.

Classic Eddie.

For distinctive is the word the Government use to suggest what the BBC must strive to be.

In a crowded ocean of listings, ratings are deemed secondary to this new messianic buzzword.

Many commentators dismissively channeled the fictional position of “Head of Better” from the satirical show inside the Beeb, W1A. Understandable given the existence of such slippery politician-managers as their actual head of news. A man so keen to both avoid talking common sense and think he can incorrectly rewrite historical facts he would surely not possibly survive in the real world.

Yet a serious point underpins the jibes.

We in solution sales are not necessarily chasing blind ratings either. By definition we cannot – nor should we expect to – sell to every single firm we encounter.

In fact, less is usually way more. The twin disciplines of qualification and pain identification vital pillars strangely outweighed by supposedly sexier tactics by those erroneously seeking shortcuts.

So to prevail we too must often (always?) offer the most distinctive proposal.

But what does this actually mean?

Well. Certainly not leading on price.

Another strand in common with solution selling.

In the broadcaster’s terms, you hear phrases like; ‘what no-one else offers’, ‘not copying rivals’, ‘separately distinguishable’, ‘think under-served niche’, ‘sufficiently innovative and high-quality’, ’embrace risk’.

That’s quite the formula among these.

You’re in complex selling situations. Where you must be distinctive. How do you measure up? More importantly, how do your prospects think you’re measuring..?

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