Selling a Brand Plan…Lessons from Christie’s.


So I’m reading this NY Times Sunday Magazine interview of Christie’s auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen and the question is posed “From the outset, how do you identify the right bidders in the room?” Says Jussi “It’s the glint in their eye, and intuition. It’s about the posture of the client, how they sit forward on the chair, how they make eye contact with you. As I look up, I know the four or five people that are definitely going to bid.”

Cool skill? Yah huh!

If I apply this level of observation to my business, will it tell me who in the room is going to buy brand strategy? Moreover, will it tell me who in the room will actually implement it — an equally important question.  When you think about it, someone willing to pay hundreds of thousands, even millions, for a painting has to be on the edge of their chair. As does someone buying into a brand strategy.  When I look into the eyes of C-level executives while presenting and see the fire, see the wheels turning, I know I have them. It’s the kind of engagement Jussi sees. When I see that glint, I know who the buyer is. Don’t underestimate playing to the buyer. The outliers in the room will see it and catch on.  

If there is no response, no emotion, no visible cognition, it’s time to cue the orchestra. Peace.