When I think about selling and self-branding, there’s always a certain line from a fabulous movie that comes to mind. In “Catch Me If You Can,” Leonardo DiCaprio plays the part of Frank Abagnale, Jr., in a biographical crime film that outlined Mr. Abagnale Jr.’s life of crime. Now before you start thinking ‘Is this guy telling us to be con artists?!’, the answer to that is ABSOLUTELY NOT!! But even with salesmanship there is a certain amount of created imagery that occurs, and works. Certain things that happen to give the buyer a certain feeling that makes him or her say YES. Besides, Frank eventually started using those skills for good instead of evil. So it’s all good.
So back to the movie. There’s a specific scene that I love. Frank’s dad, Frank Abagnale, Sr., played by Christopher Walken, teaches a young Frank briefly about sales and imagery. It goes like this:
Frank Senior: You know why the Yankees always win, Frank?
Frank Junior: ‘Cause they have Mickey Mantle?
Frank Senior: No, it’s ’cause other teams can’t stop staring at those damn pinstripes.
Here’s a clip of the scene from YouTube if you care to watch. It lays out a little bit of the context too. In this clip, Frank Sr. is attempting to get a loan from a big bank. Watch how he makes himself look like a big shot to land the sale.
Do you see what I’m getting at? I don’t care what you’re selling. I don’t care if you work for a huge company, a startup, yourself, or if you’re just selling yourself in your daily struggles. Act as if. Act as if you already are what you want to be and what your prospective buyer wants to be a part of. If you’re working for a startup software company, act as if your product is the hottest thing on the market and prospects need to get in line to buy it. It works. Trust me. It is simple human psychology, wiring and behavior. Disclaimer: Once it works, whatever you’re selling better be damn good, or you’ll lose customers left and right. This is simply a way to get them in the door. Entertaining them after that is up to you.
But don’t take it from me. Rock superstar and renowned business man, Gene Simmons talks about it in his book, Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business. Great book by the way. Check out this line directly from the book. He is spot on.
Get it? Good. Now go and use this little tidbit. Don’t lie. Create hype. Create a vision. Create a feeling in your buyer. You owe it to your product or service. If you have questions, something to add, or just want to discuss, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Talk to you soon.