A few years ago I was on a BA flight to Cape Town, in the good old days when they at least had a decent radio channel on pop-business stuff and stewards without attitude, and I think it was some bloke called Bill McFarlan talking about the need to avoid Pink Elephants. It was essentially avoiding using ‘nots’, negative scenarios or associating yourself alongside anything bad, even by saying you’re not like that horrid wotnot. It was quite entertaining, and it actually helped me alter one of my business’ key pillars from a negative, to a positive perspective.
Anyhow, one of my winning Boiler Roomers in London, Nathalie is impressing me by doing a load of cold calling at the desk next to me. She tried to call a prospect for a meeting (Vincent) who has a brother-in-law (Phil) that has met us already.
Her opening line was a shocker (relax, she knew it was!) along the lines of “Phil’s decided to rather go with telemarketing at this stage, so now I want to come and meet you instead”. Oooops. That’s a big-time Pink Elephant, and possibly more beyond.
The real situation is simply “Phil’s looking forward to maximising his current telemarketing initiative and in just a few short weeks we’re straight on the agenda as the next important item”. You get the picture.