I'm addicted to the series Penn & Teller: Fool Us, a reality TV competition , where magicians perform magic tricks in front of the legendary magician-comedian duo Penn and Teller, and see if they can fool them. These guys have been doing magic for almost 50 years and know almost all of the techniques in the book.
After each candidate performs their magical act, Penn and Teller assess their performance and tell them whether or not they have been deceived – and if they are not deceived, they say certain things about the trick or the technique that does it Candidates appear to magicians they have recognized it.
I am the type who always wants to know how something works. When we see a wizard perform, we know it's not real magic – it's just a trick. But how was it done?
It is difficult for me to take off my hat for "Sales and Marketing" and I see this show as a kind of sales presentation in which Penn and Teller are the "decision-makers" and the magicians are the "sellers" trying to get the audience to do so to get involved in the trick. Every time you want to make a deal, you have to impress the decision makers. After all, they are essentially the "judges" of the sales pitch.
Here are three strategies that the most successful magicians "sell" their deeds and what other sellers can learn:
It's the same punch line for this category, but a new or unusual technique is used to get there. The intrepid magicians may do a trick that Penn and Teller are familiar with, but they will do it in a different way than Penn and Teller are used to seeing.
In sales, for example, you can show how your solution, methodology or approach offers something different from what your customers are currently using in their company. Here the value really comes into the equation. You offer a solution, but you do it in a new way that distinguishes your company and gives your customers a competitive advantage.
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Penn and Teller often know the trick that is being tried and know exactly what to look for when the wizard does it. However, some wizards are so quick and skilled that Penn and Teller "miss" it. Penn and Teller know what to look for, but the trick is still working successfully – and completely undetected by them.
It's usually a cliché to say "be better than your competition", but it's true! Sometimes you can just do something better, more efficient, or cheaper than everyone else. Customers may not want to reinvent the wheel with their business strategy, but are open to new ways to improve practices in their organization. If you can establish yourself as a superior supplier of a product or service, this could be enough to turn the tide in your favor.