MAKE DESCRIPTION RING A BELL – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #50

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 50:


There can be a problem in describing even the best product in terms that make sense to the customer. This problem is worsened if the product is new and unknown. The advice to sales people is always to be truly descriptive, but in these circumstances it’s easy to become vague and include the words “sort of” early on. Customers tend to be defeated by this. The trick is to find right way to explain what the product is like, and that starts with the customer.


From the out-of-this world world of Star Trek

The television series Star Trek is now a legend across the globe. The original may started slowly, but it gained cult status, spawned several spin-offs across many years and led to a series of successful films. Financially it became one of the most successful such a franchise ever, so perhaps it is difficult now to remember how different it was at its inception from other programs being broadcasts at the time. Creator Gene Roddenberry had to find a way of pitching his program idea to the networks. He thought he had a truly novel idea, yet he knew that those he sought to persuade were close to something already existing – the classic know quantity.

One of the most successful series at the time was Wagon Train. That was set in the American west, but the plot and the characters were essentially similar to Roddenberry’s idea for a space odyssey. Each episode involved the same tight-knit group moving on to pastures new, and dealt with what happened to them in the new location, and the people they meet there. Roddenberry sold Star Trek by describing it as Wagon Train in space. At the time this was a well-chosen analogy. The programmers understood it, and despite the risk of something so new and different, he got agreement to make the program. The rest, as they say, is history.

In practice

  • Just one idea and one key description can create the distinction that is required for sales success.
  • Often this is best done not by thinking of how you think your product or service is special, but by finding a good comparison that makes sense to the customer. So boldly go….

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