Today I was in a presentation where Gere Maxwell, a well known branding expert, who was talking about one of his clients the huggable ‘used car dealer’. That’s pretty hard to imagine but that’s what they did. They had teddy bears in their cars, their offices and the whole thing was about being huggable. As he was telling the story he had one of the teddy bears that they give out to their clients and he gave it to a guy in the audience and I’m not sure if he noticed but when he gave the teddy bear to the guy, his whole physiology changed. Because a teddy bear is emotionally charged. We’ve got these amazing childhood memories of being safe when we hold our teddy or when we went to adventures, to theme parks, or birthday parties, we took our teddies with us.
And that’s the power of the prop. If you’re a salesperson you need a prop and if you can find a prop that is emotionally charged it makes your job as a sales person dramatically better and easier.
The prop serves two functions. Number one: it’s a great way for them to remember who you are. They may not remember your story but if they remember the prop, the story will automatically come to them so they know who you are. Number two: if you pick a prop that is emotionally charged like a teddy bear, that allows you to leverage that feeling and the emotion you have with the prop, to your product. So they’re open to your message. And if they’re open enough they’ll also embrace it and hug your message.
It’s a lot like when you have Angelina Jolie pitch you a wrist watch. What the companies are hoping to do is your feelings for Angelina will be transferred to the watch, so use a prop and choose it wisely. Pick one that is already emotionally charged for the positive and you’ll sell more stuff and be more memorable.