Standin’ On Shaky Ground.


Logical people…..don’t get it. The binary, black or white, good and evil, it’s either in, or it’s out kind of folks who can’t see past their glasses. The kind that needs to have you coach them so they can upsell your concept to their management. “I got this, Bob.” But they don’t got this, Bob.

Scary. Logical people. They make your terra not so firma.

I remember once pitching a Spanish version of a patient education video to a group of pharma marketers and being given the third degree by a guy with a calculator wanting to know exactly how much we could make off of each video. I told him we weren’t in the video business. It would be used as a marketing/teaching/sales, tool.

It went over like a fart in a space suit. I mean, who has answers like that to a concept? Not me, I’m an idea guy. Those people scare me.

Like the old joke: Know the difference between an elephant and a loaf of bread? When the reply is no, you casually mention that you won’t be sending them to the grocery store any time soon. Kinda like that.

If the person you are pitching to has to be spoon fed, you have every right to feel shaky. It means when the whip comes down, and it will at some point, you will be one of the first to go. If they don’t intrinsically have any idea  of your value and your potential down the road, start shakin’. You have my permission.

I missed a cut once at a pharma outfit and didn’t know why. I was ready to go. More than ready, actually, I was packed. Then they gave me the news. “You still have a job  here if you want it.”

After I unpacked and grieved over missing that big fat juicy package, I asked around as to motive. I asked because in all the time I was back in-house, no one had shown an inkling of understanding of my potential. My mama didn’t raise no fools.

The ground started to rumble at this point. One manager even posited that I missed the cut because people liked me and liked working with me. “I mean, who doesn’t like Bob?”

Well, I certainly wasn’t going to give him any names.

Having spent a good deal of my career in sales, I was very good about asking open ended questions to get a feel on someone’s thinking. What I usually got back from upper management was enough to tell my wife to start looking for housing back out west again. See the part about “mama” and “fools” again.

Years ago, I had a guy teach me the C Scale on the guitar. The next time I saw him, I showed him that I was able to pick out that same scale extended all the way down the neck. He told me how rewarding it was to help someone who could take things all the way out to their logical conclusions. I never forgot that. Take an idea an add to it.

Always ask those open ended questions when pitching  any creative offering. Try to gauge their understanding of what you are bringing to the table. That way, you will always know where you stand, shaky or not. You should never be surprised. Ever.

I wish I had a nickel for all the times I heard, “I don’t get it.” I felt the ground rumble every time.

They weren’t gonna get it, cause I wasn’t gonna give it. Get it?





Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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