I Don't Know.
Today's Marketing Cookie has a big word in it that I have never used: Magnanimity. Hmmm...
As far as I know, I am not hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobic (having a phobia of long words), so I could fearlessly guess what magnanimity means and proceed to tell you how this word will bring you respect throughout the universe and beyond. That, my friend, seems risky! After all, it is the universe we're talking about, and I wouldn't want to steer you into a black hole. No, that sort of peril really must be avoided.
I could ask Siri, or use the collection of tubes that have also been called "the internets", or maybe use "the Google" to find the answer, but that would be cheating. I believe that cheating is wrong…especially if you get caught!
Rest assured that even if I could cheat, my mother would most certainly find out. She somehow always, always, always finds out. So, for her sake and mine, looking up the definition of magnanimity is completely out of the question. I hereby proclaim that I simply do not know the meaning of the word magnanimity and therefore, since I am ill-suited for the task, and the depth of my wisdom has hit the shallow end of the pool, I am unable to unlock the secret of how you can gain universal respect. Sorry.
I do however, remember a short time after I had founded my first company, I was on an important sales pitch trying to impress some executives at a Fortune 500 company. Don't ask me how I managed to get in front of one of the largest sneaker companies in the world, but I was there, and things were going great!! Really great...until one of the executives asked me, "What do you think of the Allen Iverson campaign we are featuring on our website?" It was such a simple question. If I had done my homework and prepared a little more, I might have been able to respond intelligently, but no. My mind was blank. I had visited the site, but I did not have an answer.
So, I looked at the floor, then back at him. And then I looked at the ceiling and back at him, and for the life of me, I couldn't come up with anything smart to say. Nothing. So, just moments before my face turned red and my head popped off, I looked him in the eyes and said the only thing I could think to say, which was, "I don't know."
Apparently, I had said the right thing. Soon after that meeting, they became one of my largest customers, and that executive later told me that all of the pontification, bragging, and important big fancy stuff that I said in the meeting were easily forgotten. Saying, "I don't know", however, was the only thing that mattered.
He told me that all of the other vendors who pitched them tried to impress them the same way I had. They had said all the same fancy stuff that I was saying, and were all asked the same simple question about the new campaign promoted on their website. The other vendors all tripped over themselves to give a intelligent answers. The question however, was a trap. No such campaign was featured on the website.
When I admitted that "I didn't know", their respect for me grew. The trust that my honesty established transformed into respect and that's why I had earned their business.
As soon as I wrap up this post, I'm running to my dictionary to crack the code on magnanimity. Who knows? Armed with one more hefty word, I might just earn that universal nod of respect today's fortune is chatting up. But hey, if not, no sweat. There's something to be said for the respect that comes with keeping it real, not to mention it always scores points with my Mom.
by Myles Bristowe
Today's Marketing Cookie
Learn to speak marketing.
"Plus the soul of your firstborn in small print."
What marketing says:
"Only $1 per day."
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