magazine advertising

The salesman who couldn't speak

The year was 2002 and I was about to make the worst investment of my business career.

I was running a growing business and we were looking to make ourselves a household name within the land development industry. So on a Thursday morning I'm sitting in the lobby of an ad agency in Ft. Lauderdale.

Within 90 minutes I will have heard the "pitch" that would cost me $50,000.

And I bought it hook, line and "stinker"!

Our ad agency had convinced me to run 13 full page ads in the biggest business magazine in Florida.

The ads were a thing of beauty. Seriously. They looked good.

They used an impressive picture of Florida from space, our brand spanking new logo looked smashing in the lower right corner.

And you could't miss our tag line. Right there front and center.

Our phone number proceeded by the most frequently used words in advertising--"Call us"--near the bottom.

It really was something to behold…the culmination of our corporate transformation from a small time "mom & pop" shop to an industry leader.

So the first ad ran and we waited for the phone to ring.

…and waited

…and waited

And after the 13th ad came and went, we still waited.

I had just hired a $50,000 salesman who couldn't speak.

That's exactly what an ad, a website, a brochure without copy is…a salesman who can't speak.

I learned one of the most profitable lessons of my career in the 90 minutes I spent in that ad agency "pitch"…

Pictures don't sell. WORDS DO!

The irony is that I sat through a 90-minute pitch that was nothing but words and facts designed to get me to act. Funny, the ad agency used thousands of words to sell an ad that contained less than 20 words TOTAL.

Do you have any salesmen who can't talk?

I can help you fix that problem.

Steve Gordon

P.S. You have the opportunity to benefit from all the high tuition I've paid to the "School of Hard Knocks" but you have to apply.