BY Matt Wardrop

DATE: 09 FEB 2023



Unless you have a widget nobody else does, you need to compel when you sell: nothing sells itself. Humans are driven by emotion as much as logic and storytelling is as old as we are.

The story you tell to sell your stuff today is no different to the one your ancestor told in a cave (no slides) that persuaded half a dozen pals to pick up spears and snag a stegosaurus supper.




Blue sky thinking is all very well, but keep one eye on your destination. Be focussed on the end goal- you might call that your mission or vision or sales strategy- and become obsessive in moving towards it.

Seneca said, “If you don’t know where you are going, no wind is favourable” and he wasn’t wrong. You’re going to spend a lot of time and effort on this, so set it off in the right direction.


the c zone


Creativity does not come naturally to most of us. It’s difficult, but you can learn to get into the C zone at least to the extent the answer to everything is not “we need a deck”. Call it whatever you like- brainstorming, divergent thinking or unwrapping KitKats while staring at the wall- but find your version of the C zone. 

Specifically, especially if you’re analytic by nature, suspend your need to move towards a singularity. Visit an art gallery or three, read something different, be more eclectic. Find what works for you and maybe your team, because it’s terrific done with others... and can be fun.


idea generation


Run a bath, pour some wine, light some candles... and think. Take an old fashioned notebook, not your PC, into the bathroom (this is best done at home, obviously).

Throw every idea onto the page and keep going until you’ve had enough. Then do it some more. Don’t be tempted to edit, keep the Sharpie in hand and leave your mouse alone.


polish and refine


This is the hard bit, but nothing worth anything ever came easy.

Think about it: It’s that life changing pitch; you have an hour in the room; it’s the 3pm slot; they’ve have heard it all today; three times.

You will do 17 iterations and distil to three themes. If you have five, fair enough, but go for a lie down and try for three.

Use Post-Its, electronic whiteboards, Google share or whatever but find the key strategic themes that makes your offering unique.

Then it’s back to the bath, to scrub it until it sparkles.

(oh... and this bit is best done in a real room, with coffee and KitKats.)


stand and deliver


Whether you have 30 seconds while networking, three minutes on Zoom (no screen sharing), or 30 minutes at a conference you need to deliver. Can you say it in six different ways? Because no two audiences are the same. 

Adam Ant was the dandiest of highwaymen with cheekbones to die for. Even if you have such luck, work on being articulate and compelling. This never happens by accident, so start now. Create, distil, practise and polish your value proposition. 

Then get it out there, everywhere. As William Wrigley said: find a great product, then tell the world.

How do you learn to get good at creatively selling? As with everything, be average first.

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