Coffee’s For Closers (and how the 5 media trends today make this an anachronism)

Most everyone who has been in sales is familiar with the cigarette smoking Alec Baldwin in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.  He turns to a befuddled Jack Lemon and tells him loudly to put down the coffee because coffee is for closers.  You can re-watch the clip here if you choose.  Back in 1992 when Alec did his infamous speech the world of sales and the world in general was a lot different.  We’ve evolved for the better I would say.  The “hard sell”, “close them at all costs” still exists but less and less because consumers have gotten smarter.

I once experienced the “hard sell” myself.  My wife and I attended one of those infamous timeshare gatherings where you got free round-trip plane fare by just attending.  Now I’m a seasoned sales guy but I never experienced anything like what they put us through.  It was brutal.  Short of tying us down and sticking a pen in our hand to sign we were put through a form of verbal abuse to sign up for a timeshare the like I had never experienced before or have since.

Coffee might be for closers but it’s not the only caffeine drink available today.

Which brings me to the 5 trends that we in the media and marketing business need to be versed in, memorize, inculcate, emulate, gesticulate and promulgate.  In a piece today in Inside Radio, these 5 trends were mentioned and they deserve to be looked at more closely-

  1. Audience Targeting – No longer is just “broadcasting” a message enough. Sure, it’s a great way to “get the word out” but understanding the depth of who is getting the message and what the potential is for action is not only available today but necessary for deliberate response.
  2. Personalized Content Experiences– Once you know the “who” should get the message then it’s about effective messaging with personal content experiences. That’s why there are millions of websites and thousands of podcasts.  It’s why YouTube has more content in its library than imaginable.  It’s why Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and Google dominate their verticals.  We as consumers need to feel some connection to a personalized content experience every day.  Marketing needs to be about personal experiences if it’s going to be successful.
  3. Programmatic Delivery – When you think about the timeshare sellers in the GlenGarry Glen Ross movie you have to chuckle as they are an anachronism to today’s world. Programmatic placements are growing because automated systems can deliver better, faster and often cheaper.  Does this mean ALL sellers are heading the way of a buggy whip?  Of course not.  But, in 2019 and beyond, the only truly successful sellers will be real client solution providers otherwise everything can be placed from one computer to another.
  4. Leveraging Local Assets Through Local Insights – All media is local. Everything is local.  I know the argument that pure content is ubiquitous and can exist on levels that appeal nationally and internationally.  I get it but more content is local and that’s what local media has over Google and Facebook and now Amazon too. Combining local assets that have credibility and meaning to local consumers and then gaining insights on consumer behavior against those assets allows for a deep connection for marketers and sellers.
  5. The Evolution of The Sales Organization – I will just quote directly from the article because I couldn’t say this any better – “To keep pace with all these changes, media companies have had to rethink the way their sales organizations do business. Sure, in-person relationship-based sales are still important. But the traditional ways of selling media are giving way to an approach that prioritizes customer metrics, real, demonstrable results, and uses tools to take a lot of the guesswork and some of the manual labor out of the sales process. This is evolving the role of the account exec from an old-fashioned salesperson to a business advisor to clients.”

Let’s agree that everyone touching media and marketing today should be directionally focused on these elements so we provide the necessary solutions for clients.  Coffee might indeed be for closers but coffee gets cold quick so maybe it’s time to change the line to “Solutions are for Closers”.



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