Pinpoint Bid Message Cut-Through To Win Against The Odds

Or… Warning: No Cut-Through No Win.

May I introduce a new addition to our selling lexicon;


Example; “we won because we saw cut-through”.

If your proposal does not possess this quality, then you have no message.

I caught frequent use of this term by the chatterati surrounding the 2015 UK General Election.

At first, I merely dismissed it as anorak Westminster Bubble bias nonsense.

Surely it was merely a politico synonym for a pitch that “sticks” in the audience’s mind.

After all, would anyone buy the fabled Heath Brothers book had it been rather titled, “Made To Cut-Through“?

Then I noticed a nuance.

Cut-through appears a specific type of ‘sticky’.

It is one where several separate mantras vie for that which resonates greatest.

A cut-through mantra is one first among equals.

It is the sole, primary message that is recalled both above all others and quicker than the rest you put out there, where there are many competing for attention.

You could therefore argue that a pitch “made to stick” only emerges once cut-through for that crowning message is established.

So to stick, you need to nail cut-through.

In which case, what can our Sales learn from the successful politicians, their spads (special advisers) and spin doctors in this regard?

Well, how about a quick C-U-T of your cut-through;

Crisp – Universal – Terrifying


Or even, catchy, concise, curt. Short and sweet and simple. This does almost go without saying.

In past elections, the battleground has been framed in socio-economic terms. White van man. Mondeo man. Worcester woman.

Yet each could probably have relayed their compulsion for their choice in one word. (Sleaze. Education. Aspiration.)

This time around, I read that those running English focus groups suspected something might be up when so many participants immediately raised what they considered a side issue, unprompted.

When your message makes the top of the agenda, you know you’re ahead.


You’re looking for broad appeal. Each individual prospect must appreciate it.

I realise this is partly contrary to the tailored message focus for each buying person(ality) we’re traditionally encouraged to unearth,

Yet this could have a major benefit. If there is a singular idea that as an overview can get accepted by all (as well as seeing something for themselves more unique) you really should be onto a winner.

Have a meaning for all and you get heard despite the surrounding deafening noise.

You make cut-through when your idea leaves niche and goes mainstream.


In a sense this feels to me like all those interminable ‘internet marketing’ preachings that state blog and newsfarm pieces must begin, “Warning:“.

You need to unnerve the audience. Make them believe carnage will ensue without you.

I see a dollop of classic FUD, with a bit of saucy Prospect Theory loss-aversion drizzled atop.

I particularly see the deployment of this when you undermine the status quo (without open slating of competitors, naturally).

Supposedly the largest cut-through went to the eventual poll winners and their message that a coalition of the ‘losers’ would create chaos and incompetence. This tactic helped them defy odds of a remarkable 9 to 1 against to win.


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