S03E04 – A Perfect Day With Barbie And A Green Carnation

Talking About Marketing Podcast by Steve Davis and David Olney

We return to lighter topics this episode, with Barbie's saturation in perfection and Oscar Wilde's clever marketing ploy; with a dash of David Sandler pain.

In this fourth episode of the third series of Talking About Marketing, we start with some glittering insights from the world of Barbie.

Yes, Barbie is a toy but some of the principles raised in the blockbuster movie give pause for thought.

In the Principles segment, Oscar Wilde returns with the mystery of a Green Carnation in his lapel. Yes, this links to our wish to create marketing worth talking about today.

Dear client, Belle Baker, surprises Steve and David with a photo taken from a hotel toilet.

And in the Perspicacity segment, we continue our focus on David Sandler's Sales Submarine, this time the third compartment of Pain.

Get ready to take notes!

Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes

01:50  Person  This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.

Everything's Perfect, Right?

The record-breaking movie, Barbie, opens with a bright pink scene, saturated in optimism, in which Barbie is overwhelmed by how perfect everything is, again.

Just like her toy namesake, though, there's a sense of "plastic" about this state of affairs and we are alerted to the fact that the happy bubble is about to burst.

There is much to explore with this topic of perfectionism, so click play to see what David and Steve are going to serve up just like Ken in his tennis whites!

13:18  Principles  This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.

What's With The Green Carnations?

Oscar Wilde went viral in late 19th Century London, through a little prank that had florists struggling to keep up with demand.

Ahead of opening night of his play, Lady Windamere's Fan, Oscar is struck by a cheeky idea; he and his party will all wear green carnations in their button holes, just as the lead character does.

What was the significance of this?

Absolutely nothing, with a side order of annoying the general public because that's how the general public likes to be.

David and Steve discuss the psychology and mechanics of germinating viral content, inspired once again by Matthew Sturgis' brilliant and exhaustive biography of Oscar Wilde, entitled, Oscar, read artfully by Jot Davies.

If you're contemplating getting "talked about", maybe you should ask, what would Oscar do? Although, do so with plenty of nuance because society today is not an apples to apples comparison with London of that era.

25:16  Problems  This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.

Who Ordered The Fish In Cubicle 2?

When one of our wonderful clients, Belle Baker, went to "powder her nose" in the Ladies at the Parkside Hotel recently, she had to send Steve a photograph.

That's because the advertising on the back of the cubicle door was delishly cheeky.

Steve and David flush out the insights of the Place in which advertising is seen.

28:43  Perspicacity  This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case study from the past.

Sandler Sales Submarine Part Three: Pain

Each Perspicacity segment this series, will focus on one part of the Sandler Selling System, this time it's Pain.

David Sandler argues understanding the pain your potential customer or client is feeling, and communicating that knowledge back to them, is crucial for ensuring a sale can ever take place.

No pain, no sale. It's as simple as that.

Or is it?

David shares his extra twise on this advice.

Our conversation is being guided by David Sandler's excellent book, You Can't Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar, Second Edition.

Automated Transcription

The transcript below has not been checked by humans; it has been generated automatically and is published here as a convenience option for reference.

Caitlin Davis: [00:00:00] Talking About Marketing is a podcast for business owners and leaders, produced by my dad, Steve Davis, and his colleague at Talked About Marketing, David Olney, in which they explore marketing through the lens of their own four Ps. Person, Principles, Problems, and Perspicacity. Yes, you heard that correctly.

Apart from their love of words, they really love helping people. So they hope this podcast will become a trusted companion on your journey in business.

Steve Davis: David, do you know one of the things that makes a day a perfect day for me?

David Olney: I'm sure you're going to tell me. I think it may involve coffee.

Steve Davis: Well, it can involve copy, but it's primarily recording podcasts, and in particular, talking about marketing, which we're doing now. And would you believe it, but the perfect day is [00:01:00] one of the topics we're going to launch into.

Does this help your day be perfect too?

David Olney: My day was pretty perfect already. I went for a nice walk, and had a nice breakfast, and now I'm talking to a nice person.

Steve Davis: It's all good. I wondered if you were gonna say, my day started perfectly and now it's gone downhill a little bit.

David Olney: No. I promised to be kind in the last episode, in the upfront contract.

Steve Davis: Well you did. Okay, well I'll hold you to that contract as we get ready for the first segment about the person.

Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number one, person. The aim of life is self development. To realise one's nature perfectly. That is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde.

The Barbie Movie: It's the best day ever. It is the best day ever, and so is yesterday, and so is tomorrow, and every [00:02:00] day from now until forever! Do you guys ever think about dying?

Steve Davis: In looking at some insights to help us as people, who are running businesses, or leading businesses, or organisations,

We're turning to... A person who isn't necessarily connected to the realm that you would typically think of as a motivational speaker, as a great business savant. I talk, of course, about Barbie. Yes, the plastic doll that has been with us for many, many years and currently having an amazing renaissance of popularity through the movie.

 Barbie, with Marco Robbie. I've been to see the movie, I went with my family. In fact, to be fair, they didn't so much drag me along to it, they said, we're going, do you want to come as well? [00:03:00] And I said yes, because there's been so much hubbub about it, I wanted to keep abreast of what's happening out there in the realm of popular culture.

David, have you been subjected to the wherewithal of Barbie?

David Olney: Me too, I didn't sort of think it would be very interesting, but, you know, Karen wanted to go, my wife wanted to go and see the movie, and I really enjoyed it. It was great storytelling that could be enjoyed on multiple levels. I'm astounded that the cast didn't burst into laughter every 30 seconds with some of the very clever dark comedy in it.

All in all, I think a triumph of independent filmmaking.

Steve Davis: Well, independent also, you know, supported by Mattel.

David Olney: Oh, yeah, well, I'm trying to avoid the fact that the Evil Empire got involved, but what the heck.

Steve Davis: Well, what struck me, this is not a movie program, but I will just say, one, what struck me is even though Mattel, big corporation, was funding to make sure, you know, co funding to make sure this actually happened.

They [00:04:00] allowed, in the script, some really barbed, so to speak, dark humour. Hats off to a corporation that could actually do that without whitewashing things through 17 layers of lawyers. It is quite remarkable. So we thought we would try to unbox our inner Barbies today because the opening scenes in particular I touched a nerve for both of us.

Barbie wakes up nice and bright and early and says, Oh, this is a perfect day. Isn't this a perfect day? What a perfect day. And then she hops down. She actually walks as if she's got high heels on, even when she takes her shoes off to go into the shower. A little slippery dip takes her to the bottom. She sits in her car and everyone's smiling and waving.

And it's done. And done, and pushed, and pushed, until you get past that first [00:05:00] brush of, wow, I am actually envious of you, this is pretty good, to the point where you go, wow, this is so plastic. Did that come through for you in the experience as well, David?

David Olney: Yeah, the fact it almost came across. To me at the start, a bit like, you know, the song and dance scene in a Bollywood movie.

Doesn't matter what the story is, it's now time for plastic and cheese. And it's gonna be that this is meant to be happy, this is meant to be joyous, but it ends up being so contrived that it actually feels quite awkward. uncomfortable by the end of it. And to capture that so well, again, is very good filmmaking.

Steve Davis: It is, but it does pose the question, what the heck is a perfect day? Especially for those of us running or leading businesses or organizations, what the heck does make a day perfect? Do you have a working definition?

David Olney: I suppose the closest I've ever got to knowing what a perfect day is, is I got to do something interesting, I [00:06:00] got to help someone else do something that made day to day better, and I learned something new.

Really, if I can achieve those three things, I'm pretty content from that point onwards.

Steve Davis: How often, though, are you, or me, or our dear listener, in the mindset of actually thinking back and saying, you know what, that was a perfect day, or in the moment saying, this is a perfect day. That is not a common state of mind that I'm in.

David Olney: No, and for good reason, I think, because if it's a perfect day, then you have to aim to try and get there again and could two perfect days be the same? Because that's the really intriguing thing with the Barbie movie, is that all the perfect days are basically the same. So it's Groundhog Day. It's a really shiny, everyone looks perfect version of Groundhog Day.

And, you know, eventually that becomes quite mind numbing. So one, is perfection really enjoyable if it just happens time and time again? Two, can you [00:07:00] stand the pressure of having to be perfect for one day, let alone every day? And three, how does anything evolve? If you think you know what you want to achieve, and you're not flexible, the next day you want to achieve the same thing again.

Steve Davis: Yeah, perfect almost sounds like it comes from the realm of the abstract. It's an elusive concept that's out there that might be rarely actually realized or lived, but is something to strive for always. Maybe the perfect, perfect day is one that's just out of reach.

David Olney: Yeah, I just finished listening to Gregory Smith's book, Better Than Happiness, where his argument is that it's contentment that is the thing we should look for, and the best way to get there is present moment awareness.

Because if you can enjoy what you're doing in the moment, you can enjoy looking at a flower, you can enjoy, you know, the sound of the song that's on the radio, you can enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin, and you just keep enjoying little things. Lots of [00:08:00] days can be really nice. And even if you have to do difficult things, or you're stressed or tired, a single little thing can help put the world back on track.

And that comes from looking for contentment, not looking for perfect. Because perfect means you ignore too many things along the way.

Steve Davis: Perfect almost has to be made out of plastic, to some degree, and put in a nice box.

David Olney: Yeah, it's perfect for a Barbie movie.

Steve Davis: Yeah, interestingly though, and this is what surprised me and I enjoyed so much about the Barbie movie, is it got under the skin and it pricked with these questions and in reflecting on perfection, it reminded me of a website that I came across a number of years ago.

Now I think I heard the person behind it, Dr. Laney Watson, it's called Philosophy of Questions. And that's her field, you know, what is a question, why do we ask questions, etc. And one of the things that she has proposed is a whole [00:09:00] process of questions you can ask to break the ice with people, to create intimacy and connection quicker than usual.

And I'm going to get these a little bit wrong, I'm paraphrasing them, but there is a sense, there are three questions that she thinks are the highest gain questions you can ask. So if you want to really bond with someone, ask them, who is... The most significant person in your life. That's one question.

Another one is, what would you look for in a friend? And the third one is, describe your perfect day. And I think that's where the power of this concept of the perfect day is. It would get us opening up to talk about the things that we... Allude to, strive for what do you think? They're pretty good questions.

David Olney: I like the middle one most of the three. Like the first one, a who, that could have a very short answer that the person then doesn't want [00:10:00] to elaborate on. And, you know, what is a perfect day, or your perfect day? You have to sort of add to the request, tell me in detail what would be the parts of your perfect day, so that people don't feel overwhelmed by going, oh wow, what is a perfect day?

They're good questions, but I guess it depends how you ask them. Do you ask them with a smile? Do you ask them with a little bit of rapport already having been established? Like to me, they're not first questions, they're fourth or fifth questions once you've already started talking to somebody.

Steve Davis: Yes, but the fact that the perfect day thing is there in the right context, it does make you stop and think and say, Oh,

David Olney: so who is this person?

What are they about? What would they strive to do today if they had the freedom to choose?

Steve Davis: And what are the factors? Does weather play a role in what is perfect? So if in that case, what sort of weather is perfect for you? Are you rested? Do you have to be outside? Where are you? How many people are involved?

Does there need to be a strong philosophy of questions in [00:11:00] your day? These are the things that seemingly innocuous in the context of the Barbie movie. That's actually quite profound because we want to strive for happiness. I believe most of us do. But as we've touched on in many of our episodes, there's nuance in all of this.

Some of us are skewed towards a sense of despair and negativity and worry. Others really seem to shine through with water just bouncing off them. This question about perfection, what is a perfect day, Probably does bear some further thinking and reflection on. How do we ground that finally in our daily life?

Is it really a good trigger to remind us to do that thing we've talked about before of taking stock, to be thankful for the little things that were either perfection or just really good through the day as a way to pep us up and keep us going.

David Olney: I think [00:12:00] probably two things are relevant to, to end with here, with this, and first is, for ourselves, try and be in the present moment and try and appreciate what you're experiencing now, but when it comes to customers for our products and services, if it's only a small thing, They're not going to be spending too much time doing research.

It's probably going to be a big thing that makes them do research and come to us and ask questions and respond to our marketing material. So I think it's probably important to remember that the context can be very different between us needing to appreciate the small things in our hectic and sometimes difficult days.

But then in a lot of cases, when we're interacting with potential clients, it might be the biggest thing for them today because they're going to spend their money and time, and we need to acknowledge the significance of the decision they're making to their sense of well being. Could we be contributing to their perfect day?

Steve Davis: Perfect, so to speak.[00:13:00]

Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number two. Principles. You can never be overdressed or over educated. Oscar Wilde.

Steve Davis: In the last episode we talked about... The, the book called Oscar, which is a biography of Oscar Wilde, and we're revisiting the book again today. It's a really profound book, especially if you're someone who likes Oscar Wilde, is intrigued by Oscar Wilde, and happens to be part of a marketing agency that's named after one of his sayings, and I'm particularly taken by something that has relevance, I think, to all of us in business, especially from a marketing perspective.

In his life, that lead up to the importance of being earnest, which is perhaps one of his crowning moments. Although I'd say that the portrait of Dorian Gray is also persistently and profoundly [00:14:00] loved by many, many people. But the importance of being earnest is the top of his game when it comes to clever interplay between characters poking fun at manners while also having a good rollicking story going through the whole thing.

Anyway, back when it was about to have opening night, he went there with his little bunch of dandies to go and have a lot of fun. He'd been in the the papers a bit at that point in time. There was a little worry of some things happening with the what's the Marquis of Queensbury. There was trouble on the horizon, but amid all that, He wanted to celebrate this moment, and draw it in, and reclaim a little bit of prestige and awareness.

And on a whim, he says to the people he was going to the theatre [00:15:00] with, Let us all. Pin green carnations to our coats.

Oscsar Wilde Biography by Matthew Stugis: He instructed him to go to a certain fashionable florist and order a green carnation buttonhole for the following night. The carnations were ingeniously colored by having their stems placed in a solution of blue green aniline dye. I want a good many men to wear them tomorrow, Wilde explained. It will annoy the public.

To Robertson's Query But why annoy the public, he replied. It likes to be annoyed. The actor playing the young dandy, Cecil Graham, would also be wearing the strangely tinted flower. People will stare at it and wonder. Then they will look round the house and see, every here and there, more and more little specks of [00:16:00] mystic green.

This must be some secret symbol, they will say. What on earth can it mean? And what does it mean? Robertson asked. Nothing whatever. Wilde said, but that is just what nobody will guess. The green carnation, following its appearance on the opening night, became the fashionable flower of the moment.

Steve Davis: And for, apropos of nothing, I don't think it was actually significant, signifying anything. other than being something they all had. He also made sure that one of the lead characters had a green carnation on his costume and as the play was going through and the character was there people put two and two together as they were Whooping and laughing and having a wonderful time and then seeing [00:17:00] that this character they've loved with the green carnation turning around seeing Oscar Wilde and his cohort all with them too.

It created this mystique and suddenly guess what? Green carnations were sought by everyone, everywhere. Everybody wanted a piece of this. And green carnations were getting very difficult to come by because florists could not keep up with it.

David Olney: Well, he actually had to pay the first florist to dye them all individually.

So, it was a case of, you know, other florists then having to go, hang on, what shade of green is that, and how do you get the dye in, and how do you get the dye to stay, and how do you get it to stay without discoloring, you know, or damaging the flower, so they still look good. So, it was really, it's not a natural thing, and that's why it kind of took off, and it really shows the power of a symbol.

And again, this is Oscar. He wouldn't have probably thought about how hard it was to dye a carnation. [00:18:00] He just went to his, you know, the florist, he looked and said... I want green carnations, can you do that? And they would have thought, aha, if we do this and it goes well, well, we'll be popular because we did it.

So everyone got on board with a symbol. So it shows the power of a symbol and a symbol in a time when there were less images, less way to spread images. You know, this is the first night of a play in London. Maybe 20 or 30 people were in the know about this thing of wearing a green carnation that came from one florist.

There was initially only the one batch. This is a pretty subtle, you know, nod to you're either in the know and you're the in group or you aren't.

Steve Davis: And one of the things that was pretty clear in this biography too is Oscar said to everyone, Don't talk about it. He wanted to... Yes, he wanted it to be an in joke to build the mystique and I think there's something there in the tension and the understanding of the dynamic of storytelling is that readers [00:19:00] or listeners want to have the joy of putting the dots together themselves and if you've done it all for them Then it's, well, there's not much to be taken from the movie, or the story, or whatever it is.

Here, a masterstroke of living as a piece of art, Wilde has created this mystique out of nothing.

David Olney: Yep, yeah, you gotta be the mystery, and let people in on the mystery, but without giving the mystery away.

Steve Davis: And when we were talking about this before, I was thinking it was very sort of P. T. Barnum like with this grandstanding to take something that might otherwise, well not so much be an ordinary, it was a great play, but you never know how a play is going to go, but creating a bit of showbiz, a bit of razzmatazz, I think this is in the same ilk, don't you?

David Olney: Absolutely, and it's an interesting thing for Oscar Wilde to do because, you know, as the son of a famous poet and a famous surgeon who was also a good [00:20:00] poet and a good social demographer, this is a guy that should have gone with status and gravitas. But he really lived as if his own life was the ultimate piece of art.

And the Green Carnation was an extension of, it's not just that people are coming to my play, they're coming to my play because I am deliberately interesting and a bit mysterious.

Steve Davis: Yes, this is where it's not so much the medium was the message, but it's the the facilitator is the message. Yeah. And yet...

I think a kinder aspect or cheekiness about what he did compared to Barnum because you, you were telling me Barnum was actually quite dark in some of the things he got up to in, you know, to fleece people out of hard earned money.

David Olney: Oh yeah, the example I remember, and I'm pretty sure it's Barnum, was there would be a sign on the wall saying this way to the egress.

And of course, egress is quite an unusual word for exit, and people would think, well, an egress [00:21:00] must be another attraction. They'd go out the door and find themselves in the alleyway, and have to pay to get back in.

Steve Davis: So what do we do from a, from a perspective here as marketers? There's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.

You made a very salient point. He was able to do this in a time where there wasn't a saturation of images and imagery. Plus he also had a very high profile. And so the slightest thing he did had more impact than most of us. Do you think there's some DNA strands here that we could tease apart for us to use from a marketing perspective to try and emulate?

A little bit of this mystique, and I'll put a footnote in there, maybe it might not be nationwide or society wide, but it might be within a clique or a certain segment of the population who are more important to you than others.

David Olney: Yeah, I think you [00:22:00] just really tapped into the key thing here, and that is, if you put an odd symbol out in the world, it's just an odd symbol, but if you put a symbol out there that the in group understand, and the out group know there's an in group, and some of the out group would like to be in the in group, or would at least like to look like they understand the joke, the story, or the mystery.

So don't try and be as clever as Oscar Wilde in using imagery unless there's an in group to share it with and the world is genuinely interested in going, well, what's this in group doing? They kind of look like an interesting bunch and I wouldn't mind at least understanding them, even if I'm not sure I want to be a part of it.

I am sure I want to understand it. So you need to get over your ego a little bit and actually assess. Do you have a group around you? Is this something they are going to enjoy? And is this something that will broadly be interesting to people going, hang on there's a group over there that look like they're having fun or achieving something.

What are they [00:23:00] doing? What does that symbol mean? You've got to provide the positive larger context. To make a symbol work, I think.

Steve Davis: The other thing that just came to my head, as you were saying, that resonated with me, was the fun aspect. Wild was tapping into here, and what we're talking about is, is there something that is just purely enjoyable?

To enjoy, and my daughters at the moment are quite excited because we did manage to get tickets to go and see Taylor Swift and what I didn't expect, didn't know anything about, but apparently it's a tradition within her community that you make little bracelets with little beads with letters and they have song titles in them, of your favorite songs.

You make a dozen or so and the, the community is when you go to the concert, you swap, you give away bracelets to other people, and all the Swifties share bracelets with each other. That [00:24:00] is Oscar Wilde and the Green Carnations, but leeching into community and participation. I mean, Swift doesn't make money out of that.

This is something of the camaraderie. Between Swifties.

David Olney: Yeah, it's a beautiful example to show how relevant it still is and how powerful it still is that years after you go to that concert, instead of just, you know, having the one you wore, you're gonna have nine or ten that you got from strangers but strangers with whom you share something really important.

You like the same music. You wanted desperately to go to this same concert. You'll have great memories of the concert, even if you didn't really know the people from whom you got these mementos of that night. It's a really powerful idea.

Steve Davis: I'll be making a couple of dozen and mine will all be from the one song, and the title is Hey Steven.

Caitlin Davis: Our four Ps. Number [00:25:00] three, Problems. I asked the question for the best reason possible. Simple curiosity. Oscar Wilde.

Steve Davis: Looking in the mailbag now for a problem to try and solve and work with. I have to take my hat off to a dear listener and client and friend, Belle Baker, because she sent me a photograph from a rather bizarre place just before recording, and she thought this is worthy of conversation on the podcast, and I agree.

David, the four P's of marketing, product, price, place, promotion, they're all pretty important. I got this rather strange photograph from Bill saying, I'm not sure they quite got place right. Would you like me to explain?

David Olney: I really would, and hopefully this is okay for a G rated podcast, because we know one [00:26:00] of the skills that Belle has is preg testing cattle. So this could get weird.

Steve Davis: So she was at the Parkside Hotel in Adelaide.

David Olney: Thankfully that can't involve preg testing cattle. This is good.

Steve Davis: That's right. Parkside Hotel, and she shared a picture of one of the posters they have, which taps into some modern technology they use. Here's what it said.

Don't leave your seat. We'll come to you. Order and pay from your phone with our visual menu. Scan the QR code with your phone camera or visit the web address and you can order the food and they bring it to you. Which I've seen is a bit of a trend in a lot of places. You might have seen it too, David. Mm hmm.

Here's the dilemma. The photograph is taken inside the lady's cubicle of the lady's toilet. And that is on the back of the toilet door.

David Olney: Let's see if someone has the guts to order from there and actually put [00:27:00] delivery table as Ladies Bathroom Stall 3.

Steve Davis: I am actually up for that. I hope it's in the men's.

David Olney: Just do it in the men's, dude. Don't make this any more of a drama than it needs to be.

Steve Davis: That is... Now, do you think, because the headline is Don't Leave Your Seat, Has this been done mindfully, that they know there'll be cognitive dissonance, and hang on a minute, and now people on a podcast talking about and sharing it, or do we sense this is a replication of what is meant to be on a table, but just happened to have found its way into the back of a toilet door?

David Olney: I really hope it's deliberately cheeky, despite the seat we're talking about.

Steve Davis: So do I. I, I think if that's the case, it's, it's Oscar Wilde. Only one thing worse than being talked about that's not being talked about. It, it made Belle take her phone out and send a photograph in, in a place where she doesn't normally communicate to me from.[00:28:00]

And that is a little bit of Chattoparra bit of fun. We need to have a meeting at the Parkside Hotel, I think.

David Olney: So you can go sit in there and order your lunch and see if it arrives. Yeah,

Steve Davis: you can sit in the one next to me and we'll see if See if

David Olney: they'll deliver to there too.

Steve Davis: Can you bring a couple of extra plates?

Caitlin Davis: R4P's number four, Perspicacity. The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. Oscar Wilde.

Steve Davis: Let's turn to Perspicacity again. The segment where we think about thinking and we're diving in all through Series 3 to a wonderful book by David Sandler. It's called You can't teach a kid to ride a bicycle in a seminar. It's his reflection and the capturing of his life's work in trying to understand and improve the [00:29:00] sales process.

And as part of that, there is a submarine icon that he's used, or a system, a seven part system called the Sandler Submarine, in which he's broken down the sales process into those seven stages. And, and the analogy behind that, I don't think we've mentioned, is he said... On something like a submarine, if there's a breach in the side of the ship, they can seal off one section of the submarine to stop the water causing any concern elsewhere.

If it then breaches the next segment, they can close that off. And likewise, he's saying, these are the sections you need to go through, dealing with one at a time to be doing his sales process correctly. And this week, we're in part three of the submarine, and this is pain. So we've looked at building rapport, we've looked at setting a future contract, but this time it's pain.

How does David Sandler define [00:30:00] pain?

David Olney: Pain for Sandler is anything that is causing the prospective client to worry or wake up or sit looking into space going, Oh, this thing's causing me such a problem. But I just don't know what to do. But I have to do something. But I don't know what to do. But I have to do something.

And that immaterial of how long I think about it, there's the drive to move forward. There must be a way forward. There needs to be a resolution to whatever this problem is. It's something that you can't just shrug it and go, That's just how the situation is. It's something you feel compelled to resolve.

Steve Davis: Yes, and he also makes a point a number of times in the book that if you have ever failed in your sales it's typically because you have not identified or helped the client identify and communicate the pain that a certain situation is placing them [00:31:00] in, but also he made an interesting point If you meet someone and they've been living with this pain in their organisation for 5 years or 10 years, he said you are very unlikely to get a sale because they have acclimatised themselves to this situation of pain.

So pain itself is not the panacea, David.

David Olney: No, we're back to the consistency of misery. If it's a pain that hasn't been resolved, well, it hasn't killed us, it's just become normal. So in the case of a prospective client, you can only work with current pain that is still having an impact that's bothering them.

If they just go shrug, that's just how the world is. It's no longer pain, it's just the way the world is. And another thing that's very important from the Sandler perspective is that when you're talking about pain points in someone's business, A big thing Sandler realized, don't ever make someone feel less than [00:32:00] okay.

Like, if by talking about the pain they're suffering in their business, that they can't get growth, that they can't get more people through the door, that they can't get more website traffic. If you talk about it in a way where you make them feel worse... You will also lose them, because instead of letting them tell you about the pain, you've pointed the pain out.

And by doing so, you've, you know, demonstrated, whoa, I've got the power to just point it out to you and put you under the spotlight. And no one likes to be under the spotlight of having something they see as a failure pointed out to them.

Steve Davis: That's interesting because he does make the point, when you're there in the sales role, your job is not to waltz in like God, as if you've got, you know, you're, you're the one who has everything together.

You do need to conduct yourself with some humility on one hand, but also Having that quiet confidence that the product or [00:33:00] service you're selling has got capacity to render assistance and help people get a solution to a problem they're feeling. It's a balancing act.

David Olney: Yeah, it's something that I've seen in lots of traditional salespeople.

They think they're being really clever when they say to the prospective client, I know what your pain points are, they're X, Y, and Z, and we can fix all three of them, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It doesn't work. Not in the way it's meant to, because it makes the prospective client go, well, maybe that's kind of my pain points, but you've just told me that you've already assessed me.

You don't even know me. We've been talking for 10 minutes. So it immediately gets the prospective clients back up. So really, a very big part of discussing pain points from Sandler's perspective is Ask the prospective client. Tell me what's going on with your business. Tell me what things, you know, are sort of keeping you up at night or are concerning you.

Why are they concerning you? How did they get to, you know, how they've [00:34:00] become? How long have they been like this for? What have you already tried to solve it? You know, where do you want to get to, to try and resolve this? Let them do the talking. Sandler makes the point consistently throughout the submarine, ideally, you want the client talking, you know, at least two thirds of the time.

It's about them expressing what they need to express, so that they really know where they're at with their business, where they're at with things they want to resolve. So when later on, you tell them how you could help, They feel you've genuinely listened, and you're genuinely responding to them from the perspective they're in.

Rather than just trying to sell to them, you're actually trying to help them with something they've articulated to themselves and you.

Steve Davis: And we can see the, the rationale behind the, the submarine is because... You require the person, your potential client, to be comfortable enough to open up and give you honest answers, which is [00:35:00] why rapport is right at the beginning of the submarine process.

David Olney: Yep, and then you have to have the upfront contract to make it okay to have an uncomfortable conversation about pain. One thing as like a little baby, little Sandler beginner, I would say I've noticed Sandler makes the warning in the book, don't talk about pain with a prospective client for too long.

Like once they've told you about three pain points, Move on, because if you get them talking about pain for too long, people can become very uncomfortable about how candid they've been, and they have a, Oh! Oops, I didn't mean to say so much. And then they will just disappear. And I've had salespeople tell me that, yeah, when they were learning Sandler and they went through the pain phase, it was going so well, they just kept dragging out more pain.

Yeah, they let the person do the talking, but they just kept letting it happen. And the prospective client just disappears and you never hear from them again. So what I've heard from a few very good [00:36:00] salespeople, and I've actually found works better, is once you've got three pain points, Recapitulate them, that you've understood them clearly.

Get confirmation from the prospective client that you understand the three pain points. And then turn it around a little bit and go, okay, based on the three issues you would like to deal with, and don't ever call them pain points with the prospective client. Call them issues that they'd like to deal with because it's painful for them.

You don't want to be reinforcing the pain and making them feel worse. But once you've got the three pain points sorted, Ask them a slightly different question. Okay, now that we have a really good understanding of those issues you'd like to address, if we could address them, where would you like to get to?

What would you like to achieve? Because a few salespeople I know, and I've found the same thing, find that if you end with a positive of a goal we'd like to achieve, It helps the prospective client to see they can [00:37:00] bridge the gap from where they are, which they've now outlined very well, to a place they'd like to get to.

And if you can help them build that bridge, or you can be that bridge, then you've got a genuine partnership there between what you can offer and what the prospective client needs. And that's a good place to start working together.

Steve Davis: Very eloquently summarized. Thank you, David. It's as if you've read the book as well.

So, I hope there's something useful that you can apply there in your next week or two of your enterprise in thinking about. The importance of understanding the pain points, which is our internal label for the, the issues that your potential client is dealing for, which you might have some, some way of helping them solve them.

And you mentioned you're building a bridge, David. Well, if we think of this as a bridge we're at part three of the submarine. Next episode, we're at part four, the middle part of the submarine, as our bridge is being constructed from [00:38:00] where we are now to having a sandler. Like approach to our sales activity.

And if you haven't read it yet both David and I do recommend this book. You can't teach a kid to ride a bike in a seminar. It's a classic and it really deserves a good read until next time. Goodbye, David. And thanks for being here yet again.

David Olney: Thank you, Steve, and farewell listener.

Caitlin Davis: Thank you for listening to Talking About Marketing.

If you enjoyed it, please leave a rating or a review in your favorite podcast app. And if you found it helpful, please share it with others. Steve and David always welcome your comments and questions, so send them to podcast at talkedaboutmarketing.com. And finally, the last word to Oscar Wilde. There's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about.[00:39:00]

Send us questions and comments for the Talked About Marketing podcast

Get helpful marketing articles and links to our latest podcast episodes