We advise our clients all the time: Never Stop Selling. Always keep the pipeline full. Never assume the big account will stay forever — because it won’t. Keep selling and you’ll avoid a lot of pain. Sales people who watch TV’s “Mad Men” recently learned that lesson all over again. For the handful of you not already hooked on the show, this 2010 blog by Robert Ferrucci may bring back some painful memories of your own.
If you’re a fan of the TV drama “Mad Men,” you received a lesson in sales this past Sunday night. One of the main characters, Roger Sterling, is a partner at the 1960 advertising firm that relies heavily on the Lucky Strike cigarettes account for revenue.
Sterling is typically shown in his corner office trying to occupy his time. He’s been asked more than once “what do you actually do all day?” At different points in the series we’ve seen that Sterling is a man who is clearly resting on his laurels. Lucky Strike is carrying him and carrying the firm, and all is well with Lucky Strike.
Or is it?
In this weeks’ episode, Sterling is out to dinner with his key contact at Lucky Strike. They’re enjoying a few too many and laughing about old stories when the Lucky Strike executive drops the bomb: Lucky Strike is leaving Sterling’s firm for another agency.
Sterling is caught completely unawares. He asks, “how can this be, it’s been 30 years!”