After You Get Your Foot In The Door

The hardest part of being a salesman is getting your foot in the door. The same goes for your brand. The hardest part is getting your customer's attention.

Sometimes you have to tell a story to get your foot in the door. Other times a potential customer will just welcome you into their world. It may be because they're nice, or perhaps you're good looking, or maybe they know your mom. Either way, you've made it pass the threshold. You got their attention.

Now, you might think the second scenario is easier because you're already inside and it required the least amount of effort. However, you're wrong. With the second scenario the pressure is on. They've already showed enough trust to hear what you've got to say. And if you say the wrong thing, you'll get kicked out. Straight back to the curb.

I was recently flying AirTran. Come snack time I was handed a little blue pack of pretzels. Cool. The front read: "How To Eat Gourmet Pretzels on A Low Fare Flight. Directions on The Other Side." The typography was attractive, the packet was well designed, and the copy made me want to read the other side. Their foot was in the door. They had my attention. All they had to do was tell a good story. I was ready to be entertained. But, instead of a story, all I got was boring, branded, repetitious copy. 

Airtran pretzel package


If I let you into my world, I expect you to be a human first and a salesman second. If you pass the first test I'll listen to what you have to say. But a sure fire way to get kicked out is to walk in and start talking a mile a minute about the dirt cheap air fares you offer. No story, no cash. Bye. 

Moral of the story: even if you're on a plane, act like you're in their house.

Written by Chris Allison on June 5, 2009


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Written by
Chris Allison