The Eternal Opposite

Kate asked, “Are you just naturally contrary or do you do it on purpose?”

I began, “Sales experts like you are always telling me that…”

The Eternal OppositeBubba, our peach of a branding expert interrupted me as he arrived and slid into an open seat . He said, “Y’all should know by now he’s just naturally cantankerous but there is usually a reason and most often it is because he smells money. He’s looking at things that way agin I’ll bet.”

Chris took a sip of his tea and said, “So why don’t we let him defend himself if he can.”

“Challenge accepted,” I said. “I was telling Gail about a client that was bemoaning the fact that a survey from Aspect Software found that one-third of consumers would rather clean a toilet than talk on a phone with a customer service representative. She was overwrought about her customer service department. All I really did was point out the other side of that equation. Two thirds were happy talking to a CSR on the phone.

The problem is that humans are gated to see the danger and run from it. That’s okay if it’s a rattler or a hungry tiger but statistics and analytics are for sorting out the good the bad and the ugly rather than a reason to put on your track shoes.

You have to look behind the numbers.

Reporters and marketers are always backing the hearse up to the door. That doesn’t mean there is dead body inside.

Gail piped up, “So you’re advising us to look at all the percentages or both sides of the survey, right?”

“No,” I said. “I’m saying you should not only look at all of it but think about how you can use the data to your benefit. Some examples:

  • One up Kate’s alley—in 2015 CSO Insights Sales Performance Optimization Survey of 1000 firms worldwide reported that 37% of companies had implemented a sales collaboration/networking system such as Chatter, Jam, Jive, and Yammer. Less than 35% reported noticeable impact. That tells me that 65% are in need of some help in making it work. Whether she goes direct to the companies or gets a contract to do the job for one of the software firms there is money to be made.
  • Any of you ever hear of Optor? No? But I’ll bet you’ve heard of Occupy Wall Street. The occupiers got our attention  branding themselves ‘the 99%.’ The movement was an abysmal failure. Everyone lost interest.

Optor, on the other hand succeeded. They overthrew the Milosevic government in Serbia. They focused everything on their mission. People joined them over time seeing that dedication and the slow but sure progress. They became the definition of a positive feedback loop.

Optor operated like a start-up company rather than a protest group. They wrote a manual that has been picked up and used in the Georgian Republic, the Ukraine, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East.

The lesson for me is that to succeed you need a vision and a mission not just a slogan.

  • One more. According to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Facebook is the most used Social media for B2C companies while Linked In is the one B2B companies prefer. No surprise there. What is surprising is the role Twitter plays in both and the fact that it is nearly twice as heavily used in the B2B space. No, I haven’t figured that one out yet.”


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at

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