I’m a Sherlock Holmes junkie. I’ve read all of Conan Doyle’s short stories, seen all of the movies, tv shows and even have an original Holmes based graphic novel. Of all the heroes and detectives in literature, he’s at once the most “removed” and relatable. Which is why I think I have such a fascination. As I was sitting in the theater watching the most recent reincarnation of Holmes played by Robert Downey Jr., I couldn’t help but think that there were lessons to be learned from the way Holmes goes about his detective work. So here are three things I observed about Sherlock and how they apply to Smarketing.
Holmes observes what’s hidden in plain sight. He sees things others miss and uses it to his advantage.
The lesson here is to not take anything at face value, whether you’re talking about target market research or a first call with a prospect. Probe, look for clues others have missed that could give you a unique insight and advantage over the competition.
Holmes doesn’t reveal the solution to the case until he has all of his ducks in a row.
Sherlock plays his cards close to the chest. Doyle often reveals that Sherlock had the case solved in the initial client interview at Baker St, but Holmes doesn’t present his ideas to the client right away. He waits till the very end, when he has everything neatly wrapped up and only then reveals the solution. This applies directly to sales. Even though you may think you have the appropriate solution for your client’s problems immediately, it doesn’t mean you can circumvent your sales process and present too early in the sales cycle. You need to make sure all of your “evidence” (which in sales would be compelling reasons and qualifications to do business among other things) is assembled before you make your final presentation and attempt to close.
Sherlock has a singular focus, never letting himself be distracted from the end goal.
Holmes is always thinking about the case he’s working on. He works night and day doing research, going undercover and thinking about the case. Even when he seems to be engaging in a distraction like a party or walk around town he’s usually working an angle. While he’s pursuing Professor Moriarty, smaller, related cases come up but he doesn’t allow himself to forget or lose sight of the bigger picture…bringing down the biggest crime boss in the world.
As a Smarketer you should always be working toward an end goal. That goal may encompass smaller goals and those smaller goals may be made up of even smaller goals, but never lose sight of the big picture!