Maybe Your Prospect Is A Neophyte

John McEnroe get his neos mixed up.

I made the mistake of watching a live match from the London leg of the tennis Grand Slams.

The one-time superbrat was on the mic and passed comment on when the authorities (thankfully, belatedly) reacted to the step-change increased athletic and technological power of the late-80s, early-90s by down-specing the balls.

When testing them once with his doubles partner compared to a previous year’s batch he appeared convinced that the unwelcome fresh crop were definitely heavier.

He self-described the pair of them as neophytes.

When what he meant, I suspect, was not that they were newbies, but neophobes.

As opposed to neophiles. They were established veterans that were quite happy with the ways things were. They feared, rather than embraced, the new.

This injection of humour from the broadcasting New Yorker reminded me of many new product selling conversations.

From the statistical belief that roughly one-in-six [insert your own preferred measure too] you pitch will be receptive to all labelled as ‘new’, through to cunning ways of shortening such odds by weeding out those that will never countenance anything remotely near said “new”.

I realised there’s other words beginning with neo- that a seller of the latest update, upgrade or wholly quantum-leaped invention ought have up their sleeve. Here’s a trio;

neoblastic – new growth

neolatry – new or novelty put on pedestal

neoteric – new ideas advocate

Originally coined for uses far away from Sales, for sure. Yet can help add a winning nuance to what you’re hoping to cultivate in the fields of newness.

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