ABC. Always Be Closing.

This should be watched for two important reasons:

One: It’s the coolest Alec Baldwin’s ever been.
Glengary Glenross bit part. Arguably better than Charlie Sheen’s bit part in Ferris Bueller. Proof that less is more if the script remains tight and focused. (To all the 30 Rock fans who challenge me here, I’m afraid you’re wrong, as much as you long to be right.)

Two: Salesmanship.
A huge part of the success or failure of our business.
Who still knows how to sell? Who still sees it as their ‘skill’ to sell? Who still sees it as their ‘job’ to sell?
Not too many hands raised.

‘Selling’ seems to have become a nice to have, rather than a deliberate aspect of the job.
But let’s not immediately blame the ‘suits’. (There’s plenty of time for that.)
Could it be that agencies aren’t as clear about what the ‘product’ is? Strategy? Integration? A happy client? A good meeting? High five great meeting!
All these bi-products make selling, or knowing what’s worth selling, fuzzy.

The better agencies I’ve worked left no grey area around why everyone came to work each day.
Creatives joined the agency because of this clarity. And the machine was geared to make the work happen. There was no plan B.

Salesmen have sales targets. Does your business set targets and rewards for selling work?
I’ve seen brilliant ideas die of old age on the walls of ordinary agencies.
Conversely, agencies that are able to excite their clients with the prospect of buying work, break that deadlock of analysis paralysis and get that great feeling of wind in the sails / hair as momentum grows. These agencies are the ones to watch. And their work is what people watch.
Bottom line, the best companies get their concepts off the walls and into the hands of the world. That takes selling.
And that takes a bit of Alec Baldwin.

ABC. Always be closing.
Or no filter coffee.
Second prize. Steak knives.
No thanks.

Maybe Alec’s style isn’t your cup of tea, but I think there’s truth in what he’s saying.
And for our business right now, this is the flame we need to rekindle.

What’s an idea if it hasn’t been made?



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