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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  May 14, 2009

Big branding blunder

Has this ever happened to you? A buyer will show great initial interest, then ignore your calls after you send the information they requested. Frustrating, isn’t it?

We drilled down on this at length on Tuesday’s Here’s the Deal call on competing in crowded markets. (You can purchase the MP3 file of the call here.) Here’s what takes place: in crowded markets, experts will cast the fishing net out wide, depending on the clever slogan to get initial attention. And it does. The buyer likes the witty play on words enough to ask for more information. (Which leads said expert to think, “YEA!! I’m gonna get this job!”) But when the buyer checks out the website or that speaker one-sheet, they find there’s nothing interesting past the slogan. That’s when wittiness isn’t enough for the next round of consideration and the brand-by-tagline expert is immediately disqualified. The buyer is busy, and really doesn’t know why you didn’t make the initial cut, so they don’t bother to return your calls.

The lesson: where there is money, there is competition. And in the heat of competition, it’s easy to brand ourselves with cleverness, thinking “If I just get my foot in the door, I’ll get the assignment” (or job, or speaking engagement, whatever). Don’t do it. Compete for the final round of consideration, not for the cheap thrill of “Sounds great, do you have any information I can look at?” You’ll spend a lot less time selling and more time closing.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.