I Could Barely Contain My Laughter

  • Sep 15, 2014

I could barely contain my laughter during the meeting.
Attorneys and accountants must have continuing education credits to maintain their credentials.
I used to present a class on marketing for professionals, so they could obtain CEU's.  I would always take a promotional product to put at each seat with the presentation notes.  Most of the time there were a lot of these items left behind.  But not this time.  This time, every last item was taken, even the ones that were at empty seats were taken.  
This presentation was to a group of attorneys, accountants and financial advisors in Pittsburgh.  They were all dressed in suit and tie.  All very formal and stiff.  The promotional item I brought that morning was a little flip open pocket mirror from Lanco.  As I got into the presentation, I realized that almost everyone was in their own world.  Almost everyone had picked up that mirror and looking at themselves.  Put it down - pick it up and look again - some were inspecting their teeth.  
As I continued to speak I argued in my head.  Should I tell them what I saw and tie it to the power of promotional products and risk embarrassing them and killing the moment?  Should I keep silent and see what happens?  I decided to stay silent.  
You already know the results.  All the mirrors were appreciated, taken and without a doubt kept and used. 
Yes, you guessed it.  After the meeting I got back to my car and he-hawed.  I was seriously giddy with excitement, not at their expense but at what I learned that day.  What I learned that day was just how deeply a promotional product can touch the emotions.  This was a group of real people that had put up a facade of seriousness to keep people out. This simple little mirror obliterated that wall.  
Perhaps it was my response to that or perhaps it was their response, but when I visited their offices after that morning, the way I was treated was much friendlier and less formal than it had been in the past.  They treated me as a person rather than a sales person.  
That day changed my perspective of what we help clients do for their marketing.
If creating the right emotional connections helped me lower walls and open new accounts, perhaps I would be able to help my clients do the same thing.  From that day forward, looking for ways to create those emotional connections has been an important consideration in our recommendations.