Recently, I had the privilege of virtually attending the 4A’s “Confidently Sell Your Ideas” Workshop, led by a dynamic duo, David Clayton and Lucien Etori. They set the vibes with tracks from French artist MC Solaar before their presentation began. The workshop was an immersive journey into the art of impactful communication and exploring what it looks like to have design thinking paired with strategic sales in the advertising industry. Here’s a snapshot of the insights I took away:

Cultivate Genuine Curiosity

Embrace “anchor questions” to dive deeper into your clients’ aspirations and hurdles. This approach builds bridges to authentic connections. Paving the way for exchanges that are both meaningful and high-value.

Harness Your Unique Powers

In the advertising industry, your ability to unlock your individuality is a superpower. Own your unique blend of skills and creativity to make every internal or external client interaction not just effective but also memorable.

Beyond Transaction: Creating Value

Every interaction with a team member, prospective client, or current client on your agency roster is an opportunity to create and deliver extraordinary value. Extend the use of “Empathy Mapping” before the opportunity brief and project kickoff stages to unearth solutions that elevate the client’s business or needs.

Dare to Disrupt

In an industry that contains the most creative individuals in the world, daring to challenge norms is one key to innovation. Pose provocative questions, push against boundaries or edges, and be an advocate for conversations that lead to better outcomes.

Fun as a Business Tool

While the pandemic changed the traditional work model we were used to, sitting in on this webinar provided a great reminder. Enjoy the act of creation; it’s the enthusiasm for the task and people in front of you that will lead to the best work of your life.

TL;DR Version

  1. Engage deeply and authentically with clients.
  2. Leverage your distinct strengths in every interaction.
  3. Aim to deliver value, not transactional project deliverables or conversations.
  4. Be a bold voice that drives innovation.
  5. If you enjoy the creative process, you’ll help lift the team to better outcomes.

A Power Close

For those in the creative field, this might not be new—but have you ever looked up the origin stories of “Bluetooth” and “Wi-Fi?” To close our session together, Lucian Etori masterfully took each participant on a journey rooted in his personal experience in life. During the late 90s, he was working at a company called “Interbrand” in their naming department. An exec of 3Com representing a consortium of companies came to them looking for a more practical name for IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence (original name). Noticing the trend of Europe’s “Bluetooth” technology and name, they wanted something catchier. And that’s when Lucian dropped the story of “Bluetooth.”

Surprisingly, the name dates back more than a millennia to King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson who was well known for two things: 1) Uniting Denmark and Norway in 958 and 2) His dead tooth, which was a dark blue/grey color, and earned him the nickname Bluetooth. If you flip it on its side, what does it look like? Two teeth.

The naming of Wi-Fi: After an exercise thinking about things that don’t have wires and setting up an initial presentation, Interbrand tanked its first client review. Before their second meeting, Lucian eventually landed on the term “High Fidelity.” The pivot then was to pair it with something that sounded similar. He was keenly aware that to introduce a new concept or technology, an approach marketing practitioners use is wrapping their “new” in the “familiar” to help get the message across easier—thus landing on Wi-Fi aka Wireless Fidelity.