I do enjoy Eurovision. I have no problem saying that. It’s always been worth a watch. And not just for the house party or drinking game opportunities. Although I fear I may not see tonight’s annual extravaganza, Austrian bearded lady and all.
I also love a boffin invading pop-culture with a formula for success at something.
So thank you very much the London College of Music. They apparently nail what it takes for a song to win Eurovision;
(3m + 3NCh) + SF + CC = W
Which they luckily explain as;
(3 minutes long or less + 3 Note Chorus) + Sounds Familiar + Cheeky Charm = Win
Indeed, their elaboration states;
“…past winners share a cunning secret for success – they keep it simple.
A song which is less than three minutes long combined with a three note hook in the chorus is their first step.
The next is to engage potential voters with a sense of familiarity by serving up a dynamic chorus.
All of this then sits above that all-important factor, cheeky charm.”
The dazzling simplicity of this is hidden inside the cruel tendency for equations to look complicated at first sight.
There are only four elements here.
Length, chorus, familiarity, charm.
I think they’ve missed a couple of tricks though.
Firstly, as all songs can only be three minutes long anyway that part is redundant.
They also leave out at least two vital components surely.
One they allude to in the various PR. Tactical Voting. Arrrrgh!
Since enlargement, the multitude of ‘blocs’ has been almost crippling. And were not just talking about Cyprus always giving Greece top marks without a hint of shame.
Those to the East of the continent have created carnage with neighbourly blinkers. Politics surely plays its part….
In other words, the threat of tactical voting (‘TV’ perhaps?!) should be included as a component. It could be introduced in many ways. You could turn what’s there already into a sub-expression and multiply it all by a TV figure of between 1 and 0. The lower the number the deadlier the threat. Or you could deduce that cheeky charm could help counter this, in which case divide CC by it. Or I suppose simply add it as a normal component.
Then I’m not sure ‘sounds familiar’ and the ‘3 note chorus’ elements are distinctive enough. What about the quality of said ‘hook’? Is it really an earworm? Can first time listeners happily whistle it afterwards? Also, such a phrase isn’t necessarily from the chorus either. It can come from any riff or passage. So you could possibly add an H for hook to make this explicit.
That’d make maybe five components. At the simplest level, amended as;
3NCh + SF + H + CC + TV = W
So where does this leave our Solution Sales endeavours?
Well as usual it strikes me that as every selling effort should also know its non-linear process, you could easily calculate something similar to focus your work.
The more technical environment you sold in by the way, the more delicious this technique becomes. Anyone beginning their career as a Sales Engineer ought lap this up for instance.
Just picture what half-dozen elements must feature for you to prevail.
I appreciate that’s not as easy to construct as it sounds. There are some famous sales process mnemonics you can adapt. Words like ‘champion’ and ‘solution’ and ‘urgency’ crop up. But way better to create your own.
Being self-aware should lead you to what must happen or you must know in order to succeed. And there’s likely to be only a handful of these key measures.
When you’ve best sold yesterday is likely to be a decent pointer into where you’ll best sell tomorrow. So better to try formulise it. And repeat it.