Many years ago when I was in college, I worked for a company that did marketing and selling for Cutco Knives. (Yes the “knife job”) While attending a professional development conference for that company, I will never forget the day I heard one of the Division Managers (Rick) give a motivational wind up speech. He said “In order to be remembered and stand out from everyone else, you must RISK BEING THE FOOL!”.
In marketing, what does it mean to risk being the fool? It means to act and do things in a manner that is different from the norm, that is so board-line risky, it makes a STATEMENT that is never forgotten!
With so much competition out there and technology allowing for things to spread quickly, this move is something we all MUST do to create separation from the crowd.
Here’s how to successfully pull off this risky move:
- You need an Audience – In order to make a bold statement it must be at the precise moment when there is an audience to spread the legend! I say go bold and do it during a Network Marketing, Seminar, or CEU event. It has to be an instinctual spur of the moment decision, and it must be 100% – all or nothing!
- Do the Unexpected – If everyone is leaning to the left, lean to the right. If you’re at an event and everyone is introducing themselves sitting down, STAND UP. You’re different and people will remember that.
- Bend the Rules but don’t Break them – Telling a joke is a great way to bend the rules, but don’t use an off color comment that may offend someone.
- K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid! – This is marketing 101. A great moment in being the fool doesn’t have to take an hour and have multiple steps. Some of the best moments I’ve had lasted 20 seconds or less.
- Confidence – Remember this is a RISK, if you are not confident in taking the risk, you WILL BE THE FOOL! Confidently and boldly make your statement, and you will be remembered forever.
My finest example of this happened to me in 2006 when I was first making a name for myself. I attended a statewide Networking event for all health care professionals in New Jersey. Over 180 guest arrived at this event. For whatever reason (I think they weren’t expecting the turn out) they decided to let everyone in the room give their 30 second elevator pitch. (I know, it took almost 2 hours for everyone to go).
I listened to the first 2 people and then realized
“I have 80+ people to go before me. No one is going to remember a word everyone is saying. I have to do something to STAND OUT from the crowd”.
I thought of 100 things before settling on the one idea that I knew would work. I remembered the words of that Division Manager 5 years earlier “RISK BEING THE FOOL”. My heart was racing out of my chest as it got closer to my turn until the person before me spoke. As soon as she sat down, in that flash I committed to my decision. I stood up, pulled out my chair, stood on the chair, and then walked on to the table and said:
“Steve the Hurricane Weiss from Care Choice. Here’s a quote I live by, ‘People don’t care how much you know, till the know how much you care’ Thank you”
Then I jumped off the table and sat down as if nothing happened. You better believe after that meeting everyone in the room came running over to me. To this day, I run into people who attended that meeting that I haven’t seen since (cause they were from far away from my territory) and when they see me they say “Are you the guy who stood on the table at that Networking event?”. That was the day I became a Celebrity in the business.
So, now that you read this, I don’t want to see EVERYONE standing on tables at networking events. What I do want to see is people seizing the opportunity to do something different, to make a statement that will never be forgotten, and making a name for themselves.
All the Best and Happy Hunting…
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