I am amazed how people miss this game-theoretic point. You would stand a better chance of winning if you shat on the stage than if you produced a very good song similar to two or more other songs. This is why entrants should never be chosen by committees of experts. https://t.co/opBxFiqxc2
— Rory Sutherland (@rorysutherland) May 23, 2021
Oh dear. The dreaded nul points. The UK’s alleged “banger” failed to garner a single point from around the vast Eurovision Song Contest audience. For those unfamiliar with this ignominy of national embarrassment, it is pronounced by us Brits as nill pwah.
You surely know the drill. A glitzfest of thirty 3-minute morsels. Ranging from the trends of two years prior mystifyingly rehashed, through cultural anchors like dancing granny-elves to unknown instruments being played by what appears to be medieval throwbacks and always featuring some heartfelt ballad belted out by someone in perma-tears.
It can actually be a thoroughly entertaining show. Usually when fuelled in large company.
This year I quite liked Lithuania‘s tune.
Still, the steer above from our Nudger-in-Chief is a cracker to bear in mind when we’re in the sales furnace.
I once had a scarily senior seller atop the corporate greasy pole tell me in my youth that to get ahead you had to do something to be remembered by your prospect. Even if it meant breaking the chair you sat on in their office.
What do you do if every pitch is from the same looking slidedeck, with the same type of ordering, delivered by a fraternity of bobbing heads, wearing the same style ‘uniforms’, using the same lingo, and dare I say it, even telling the same kinds of ‘joke’?
In my early cubrep days I sussed exactly this problem. A parade of identikit suits lined up, with the same carousel projector imagery, similar listings of ‘blue-chip’ clientele on which to reference, the matching rock-solid Financials behind them, and the self-same ‘uniques’ of back-room techies/service/install wizards.
It’s a wonder anyone sold anything.
The constant quest for something genuinely different was on. That which would allow you to truly “stand out”. As opposed to be the mere sibling of something else, also professionally produced.
The performance of UK 1981 winners Bucks Fizz saw long skirts ripped away to reveal minis halfway through; “… if you wanna see some more”.
American Noughties pop maestro Timbaland wrote a 2008 winner for Russia with an ice skater dancing centre-stage.
Sweden’s 2015 champ Måns Zelmerlöw sang inside a next-level digitally projected visual effect.
It is rarely advisable to be distracted by focus too much on competing vendors.
Yet perhaps one permitted exception is in how they present themselves to your shared prospects.
Whatever the manner they deploy, your prime task is to not do so yourself merely ‘better’, but as distinctively and acknowledgedly different as you can. Whilst still scoring high for both technical and artistic merit.
Imagine the pain felt by prospects that see a succession of, albeit slick and serviceable, presentations, to be faced with the trauma of trying to separate out one from a string that blend into a single mash.
What gives your product, service, delivery its DNA?
Can you riff on it?
What is the core quality driving through it?
Surely this has to be your own alone. So how can your prospect see such seep through everything you do pre-sale?
Leaving the extreme of public defecation aside, there are a wealth of less lavatorial options open. Use them.