You lost me at ‘Hello’: How to stop selling in broadcast mode


Poorly thought-out, over-complicated sales pitches cost engineering and technology companies business.

Joanna Watchman and Chris Bilko – seasoned comms marketers here at technology marketing & comms consultancy Content Coms – discuss seven useful presentation tweaks that keep an audience interested.

Late one evening in 1984, the famous copywriter David Abbott was attempting to write an ad for a small but ambitious British magazine.

He read through the copy of an existing piece – or, at least, what he could understand of it. It seemed to suggest the magazine could give its readers new-found intelligence… but in doing so it had (rather paradoxically) become long, dreary and difficult to comprehend. Abbott picked up his pen.

Then all at once, Abbott scribbled through every word of the existing, long copy and replaced it with the single thing he believed it was trying to say:

“I never read The Economist.” – Management trainee. Aged 42.

You had me at hello

Abbott’s line is the equivalent of Tom Cruise’s famous ‘hello’ in the film Jerry McGuire, which aptly demonstrates what decent sales pitches have the power to achieve.

Say the right thing in a pitch and, in just a few words, you’ll have your audience leaning in, anxious to hear what you’ve got to say. But say that wrong thing and you’ll do nothing of the sort.

Instead, you’ll have prospects thinking “you lost me at hello.”

Read this article in full on LinkedIn PULSE.