BECAUSE YOU’RE SPECIAL – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #93

101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 93:


There is saying that a little flattery goes a long way, meaning that flattery can oil the wheels of relationships, and carry people with you. Of course, this is something to use carefully. If flattery is used like a blunt instrument, or in the wrong context, it will simply rub people up the wrong way. Besides, many people think they are not susceptible to flattery, and perhaps the more sophisticated are not. If you have just said to yourself, “Quite right, I can spot flattery coming at ten paces and it doesn’t fool me”, then you have just proved the point that it does work.


From an international conference organizer …

I was recently asked to be a keynote speaker at an international conference is to be held in Seoul. Although the organizer offered to cover the costs of travel and accommodation, the fee was small, and I needed to be there for the three days the event lasted. So allowing for my travel time, I wasn’t going to make much money for the time it would take me. The organizer used two major tactics to persuade me to participate. First, the event would attract interesting people, and be a notable networking event at which I might forge new contacts and profitable alliances. This was certainly a consideration: I thought it might well be useful, especially since I work regularly in South East Asia, and delegates would attend from around the region.

Second, the organizer used a considerable amount of flattery. She praised to the skies my expertise, my knowledge of the topic – and my book on the subject. She made it clear that without my presence the conference would only be pale shadow of what it might have been if I were to be involved. Now logically I know that it would (sadly) run perfectly well without m, but it is difficult not to respond to this kind of thing. If they really think this, I could see perfectly well what was being done here (flattery costs less than paying a higher fee!), but it certainly had an effect.

In practice

  • Flattery works in many situations, It does not guarantee a sales, of course, (what does?), but it can put just a little more weight on the positive side of the balance.
  • Regard flattery as a useful tool in your armory, but you do need to use it carefully. I’m sure you already know that, so of course you will.

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