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Sunday, March 22, 2009

It Comes Down To Excellence

Here are few reminders for those of us who expect to survive and prosper in the world of business, and advice for the person who plans to go into business for him or herself or rise in the ranks of their current corporation.

The first piece of advice is to accept the fact that people do not need what you have to sell them. You may think they do, but they don't. Accept the fact that needs are not important, but that wants are very important. Millions of people ought to have what you are selling, but until you make them want what you have, they will never buy it.

Remember this: If someone is made to want something badly enough, nothing in the world can stand in the way of him or her getting it. Nothing happens until someone sells something. The salesperson, the want-creator is a very important person.

It's good, isn't it? Sometimes we forget who the salesperson is. The salesman or woman is the person with the briefcase getting on the plane, and visiting your office.

But the salesperson is also the man or woman behind the door marked “President.” And he or she is the person burning the midnight oil at the advertising agency who knows the truth of advertising great, Leo Burnett's comment that “Any fool can write a bad ad, but it takes a real genius to keep his hands of a good one.”

It was also Leo Burnett who said, “After all the meetings are over, the phones have stopped ringing and the vocalizing has died down, somebody finally has to get out an ad, often after hours. Somebody has to stare at a blank piece of paper. This is probably the very height of lonesomeness. Out of the recesses of his mind must come words which interest, words which persuade, words which inspire, words which sell. Magic words. I regard him as the man of the hour in our business today."

And the former president of BBD&O, Charles Brower once wrote: “When you try to formalize or socialize creative activity, the only sure result is commercial constipation. The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.”

This should be of particular interest to the modern business owner or executive who carries the delegation of authority to the point where even he or she expects all good ideas to come from minds other than his or her own.

In the end, the formula remains the same today: Excellence in every department of your business. Excellence renewed every day.

We all know, really, what it takes to succeed in the world today. But it's good to be reminded once in while to re-affirm our belief and start looking in corners for signs of the dust of complacency.


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