Selling Ideas in Seconds

When we talk about selling within the music industry, we always think of the relationship between the artist and their fans or community. There is, of course, another level - the B2B connection with the various partners that artists must work with: from PR to distribution, other musicians, venues, bookers, etc. Often both sides must pitch to each other to establish the relationship. Its an important sales job, and often a complete disaster.

Check out this clip from Mad Men. Besides being one of the best moments in television that I have seen in a very long time, Don Draper's pitch to Kodak is a lesson in how to deliver a concept in under two minutes. His approach is grounded in what the product is, but at the heart sits the real reason to believe; the emotional hook that draws you in, puts you at the centre of the story, and makes it impossible for you to not want what is being sold.

I once sat through a long meeting with a PR team who were pitching for business with Gaymonkey. They spent the majority of their time talking about themselves, who they were and what they have achieved. After 90 minutes I was no clearer on why they did what they did, what they were offering me, or why they wanted to work with us at all. It was all about them - unremarkable, ineffective, and a waste of time.

A simple rule: the best ideas are sold within seconds, not hour-long presentations.