Canvassing Like Getting On Oprah

I guess we all reach that stage in life when you find that all the telly you watch is only late at night. I once saw the founder of Mumsnet say her busiest activity is between nine and ten o’clock at night. It was about this time that I tuned into what is rapidly becoming a favourite channel, CNBC.

It included an interview with Susan Harrow. She was talking about her book, The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah. Her slot was preceded by stories of how businesses had ballooned in size after being featured on the show in question. With her charges disclosed as $500 an hour for a 4-hour session, I was all ears.

It was startling how her three-part approach was so instructive for business-to-business solution prospecting.

1. Background and philosophy

Know it intimately, truly understand what makes her (aka ‘your target prospect’) tick.

2. Talk in soundbites

This is apparently not a natural skill for most people to grasp, being totally different to our normal speech patterns. when practising, start off slow, very slow, on these and build up gradually to the levels required by tv, which is very fast chat. (For more on these you can see some 60sec vids Susan posted, click on the text next to each).

3. Hone the pitch

Simply “here’s what I can talk about and here’s my idea for the show”. You must be able to get these across in only 10-20 seconds of talk-time, or one single paragraph if emailed.

A pair of tips given to help frame that pitch were:

How are you a solution to a problem that exists? In this case, think carefully about the core audience of the show and the hostess herself to examine what kind of thing really does apply.

And understand that the show is all about beauty. So where and how does your product exude or demonstrate this, both inside and out?

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