The Industry Lost A Giant
On July 6, Phil Fisher passed away in his late 90s. The industry lost a giant. Phil was one of the founders of the MidWest Family Broadcast Group, a company still thriving and independent today. Phil was responsible for launching and/or mentoring thousands of successful sales careers, including mine.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
Phil developed a product called the National Video Marketing System. In true branding fashion, this was simply a video that sellers used to get appointments with clients for C.N.A. appointments. For me, it worked like this:
“Mr. Hausauer, my name is Jeff Schmidt, I have an eight-minute video that I would like to share with you about marketing. This video has the latest research on how effective marketing works and how the national companies are doing it. Once I share the video, I’ll ask you some questions that will help you make your current marketing even better. I’m available to share it with you next Tuesday at 2:15 or Thursday at 8:15. Which would work better for you?"
Using that approach, I enjoyed an 80% closing ratio on getting appointments. The video that Phil created was in a self-contained 30-pound video playback unit that had a seven-inch screen.
Reading of Phil’s passing caused me to reminisce about those times and whether something like that would work today. The ugly video player, no, but Phil was onto something that is even more important today than ever. When you ask for a meeting with a client, you must provide something of value – something that makes it worth their time. Calling to “learn about their business” lost effectiveness in the early ‘90s because everyone was doing it. These days, clients are hungry for new knowledge and new information to help them navigate the complexities of doing business. You can be the person who provides that assistance. We’re not suggesting you make a video like Phil did, but here are two things you can do to be a resource:
1. Read your client’s industry trade publications/websites and subscribe to email newsletters
2. Spend time each week looking at all the research available on RAB.com.
My favorite Phil Fisher quote was when a seller told him he was having trouble getting a meeting and Phil, with no sympathy said, “That’s your problem.” Then he followed it up with, “What’s their problem?”
Focus on the solving the customer’s problems and yours will go away and you will be a resource. Two valuable lessons that started me on the path to success that I learned from Phil Fisher – may he rest in peace.