Can the Beatles Help You Close Big Deals?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jan 07, 2010 @ 23:01 PM

Perhaps. Back in the 60's, three companies were competing for attention. But they weren't retailers, manufacturers or service providers. Despite that, they had features and benefits that caused people to follow and buy from them.  Some people didn't care for any of the three and bought from alternative sources.  Some preferred just one or the other.  And some bought from all three.  They were the big winners of their day.  Who were they?  Try The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones.  Check out the following table which, if they were traditional sellers, could have been used to tout their features and benefits.



Beach Boys


Angelic Harmonies




Sounds of Summer








Rhythm Section




Blue Collar Sound




Foot Tapping Sound




Sophisticated Arrangements




Made in the USA




Catchy Melodies




Love Songs




Songs about Girls, Cars and Surf




Dynamic Front Man




You may argue with my analysis but my analysis is not the point. 

The point is that you may be just like one of these market leaders - or not.  One mistake that companies make is they say, "Let's do the things those other guys are doing and then we'll be all things to all people and increase our sales."  Can you imagine the Stones singing like the Beach Boys?  Yuck.  Or the Beach Boys getting all gritty like the Stones? 

When companies become all things to all people they lose their following.  They lose their edge, their niche, their appeal.  Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, ask yourself how many more followers, buyers, customers and clients you would have if you simply improved on what you already do.  The Beatles did that.  So didn't the Beach Boys.  Stones too.

What happens if you're not a leading band but you're simply a one man show - a singer, songwriter, or recording artist like Neil Diamond or a small business?  How does Neil Diamond compete with The Beatles?

That was the topic on this week's edition of Meet the Sales ExpertsMy guests were Sales Development Experts Tom Schaff and Andy Miller and they contributed some brilliant ideas as they spoke about the work they do to help small companies land huge deals.  You won't want to miss this show.

Click here to listen.  Click here to contact Tom.  Click here to contact Andy.


(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales tips, Tom Schaff, the beatles, rolling stones, closing big deals, andy miller, beach boys

MLB All-Star Game Unveils a Sales Prodigy

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Jul 19, 2009 @ 22:07 PM

Tom Schaff, Sales Development Expert in St. Louis, related a very funny story about events before and after the MLB All-Star Game. Here is Tom's story:

At Fan Fest, Taco Bell gave away enormous taco head hats to promote Volcano Tacos...but they didn't have very many. We were the first ones there and each of my kids got one. All day, people were asking where we got those hats.

"The day comes to an end and we were walking back to the rain-delayed Futures game and a guy offers my 7 year old $10 for his hat..."

"No way", Aaron said.

"How about $20?"

"Not a chance", he said.


"I like this hat, Mister."

"Kid, money is no object, I have lots of money..."(he opened up his wallet with hundreds).

Aaron looks at him, says "Mister, I got that hat for free, if you want to pay $100 I'll take it."

The guy paid him and says "Kid, you're going to grow up and be in sales"

So Aaron walked around the corner, only to see a guy walking down the street with 5 of the exact same hats in his hand and called, "Hey Mister, if any of those hats are extra, can I have one?"

He had a hat, then sold the hat for $100, and then got the hat back minutes later for free!

Thanks for sharing your story Tom!  It's both natural and accidental when a seven-year-old gets the deal he wants and on his terms. Now if the grown-ups could just be more like the seven-year-olds they would sell a lot more effectively and a lot more consistently! It was simply a case of not appearing to be too anxious, a willingness to walk away, and a tremendous understanding of value.

Here is testiment to the fact that Tom is bringing up a balanced kid who understands the importance of giving back:

Aaron woke up the next day and said, "I'm giving $10 of the $100 to God and $45 to Alex (his brother) because I was lucky he picked my hat, not his."

While Tom was at Fan Fest, he was interviewed and subsequently a guest on the MLB Network with Hazel Mae and Harold Reynolds.  Here is the surprising clip:

My guest on this week's episode of Meet the Sales Experts will be Sales Development Expert Jim Stephens.  Join me live at Noon ET on Wednesday 7-22-09 or check back later and listen to the archived show.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales competencies, Dave Kurlan, sales, selling, sales tips, Hazel Mae, Harold Reynolds, Tom Schaff, MLB, MLB All Star Game, Fan Fest

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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