Friday, April 24, 2009

What Works in Sales

Famed reality TV producer Mark Burnett is claiming that producers like himself can do a better job selling ad space on these shows than professional ad sales people.

Burnett is producer of "Survivor" and "The Apprentice." Maybe I'll write about "The Celebrity Apprentice" next week. Anyway...

During a gathering of reality hitmakers at a Hollywood Radio & Television Society luncheon in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, Burnett was asked by moderator Jeff Probst what is the most frustrating aspect of dealing with networks.

"The biggest problem is the massive disconnect ... between creative producers and ad sales," the "Apprentice" creator said. "The dumbest thing in the world is that the people who are trying to sell advertising -- the entire reason for this business -- are explaining what the content is after hearing about it third-hand. We're not there to say, 'Here's what the show is, here's my vision, here's the feel of it, and here's how I think some of your products could integrate seamlessly without harming the experience for the viewers.'"

He's right -- I believe he could create a more compelling sales proposition for advertisers because they would be hearing him describe his vision. Not a professional salesman describe Mark's vision as it was described to him (third hand).

More proof that sales and communications comes down to two things: clarity (a clear message) and credibility (an interesting messenger).

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