Nick has been in the life insurance business for a long time. During that time, he has seen many similar companies to the one he built come and go, but his keeps growing. Although still small next to a number of the larger multi-national corporations, he is not a competitor that can be ignored. One of the reasons behind his success he attributes to his sick sense of humor. When he first started the company he wanted to make it memorable so that it stuck in the minds of the prospects he visited. He wanted something that was connected with life, or death that people would remember. When he first designed his letterhead, his family and partners were a little surprised and told him it was tasteless, but then they realized that the reality that it was so tasteless was what would get them remembered – and the quality of their product would get them hired!
With that, the identity for the company was born. A small gravestone with the company’s name across it became the talk of the town where Nick resided and unveiled his company. People laughed at it, “It’ll die a death,” they said. “It is a dead cert to fail,” but they were wrong. The company didn’t die, and it has never been in any fear of failing. Oh sure there have been a couple of raised eyebrows and looks of disgust from a number of prospects, but mainly people have seen the funny side of it. From the initial concept, a number of successful alternative humor ad campaigns such as “Prepare for the Future Now,” and “The Grass is Greener on This Side” have won media awards and keep his company profits on a continuous upscale.
Recent trends in humor and television programs support his already successful company ideals. Trends reveal the company has enjoyed even greater success as younger generations enjoy quirky off-center ideas. Especially, these ideas were accepted as quirky when promoting life insurance by using suggestions of death within their sense of humor. Their parents may have quietly chuckled over the ideas, but this generation embraces it passionately as the profit sheet shows. Over 20% of his newest clients are entry level workers, and he readily attributes this to his sick sense of humor for which he makes no apology!
Not everyone can get away with that kind of idea, just as not everyone can produce something that resembles a Picasso and expect to sell it. However, every salesperson can find a way to ensure that the prospect remembers him, and that is what top of mind awareness (TOMA) is all about with customer service. What do you sell? Think about the associations that can be made with the product/service or even your company name or logo. The idea of ‘TOMA’ is to create a scenario when a prospect needs something, he will immediately think to call you and not one of your competitors.
There are firms that create TOMA through their massive advertising campaign. Think about the “brands” that you are bombarded with everywhere you go. Who do you think of when you think about fast food chicken? If you want to drink cola, which brand comes to mind? If you want blue jeans, which designer springs to mind? All of these companies have evolved TOMA into an art form – so much so that their name has become interchangeable with that of the product. Other companies use prestige as their TOMA tool. Perhaps, these companies have a corporate box at Yankee Stadium and invite top multi-national prospects there alongside their top sales people to watch a game. On the other hand, the sales people gently soft sell their product by doing little more than glancing occasionally to advertisements on the wall and brochures on the table.
Creating TOMA doesn’t have to be on such a huge scale. It can be something as simple as being the sales representative who always offers candy to the prospect, or the one who usually asks for tea with milk, or the one that tells groan jokes that get the prospect plus points with his 8 year old son. Perhaps your company never forgets the prospect’s birthday, or that of his secretary! If you’ve got a quirky letterhead, or name, I’m sure that it doesn’t hurt, but the main thing that you have to remember as a “Sales Superstar” is that your name should come immediately to mind when the prospect finds he needs whatever it is you sell!
“The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!” Marvin Phillips
James Malinchak, Featured on ABC’s Hit TV Program Secret Millionaire, is recognized as by many people professionals as the World’s #1 Big Money Speaker Coach and Trainer. For Absolutely free Video Trainings on how to get paid to speak and ways to be a effective presentation skills, visit www.BigMoneySpeaker.com.
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