SmartTalk, Episode 9

In which Victor and Mark celebrate their return from Dallas by discussing how Victor got Mark to ride the Greyhound bus, marketing lessons from Mohammed the limo driver, Malcolm Gladwell and Blink, Victor's use of fancy phrases like "cognitive dissonance", the dangers of being too outcome-oriented, Laura Linney on Showtime's The Big C, Victor's use of the SW Principle, Mark's collection of putters, and why it's not the bow and not the arrow.

SmartTalk – Ep 9

The Package Is The Product

In working with my clients — and in speaking engagements where I make the point — I find a certain resistance to my preaching about the importance of packaging, image, and what is called "sensation transference." The later phenomenon is what occurs when the qualities of the "package" — let's say the hotel where a conference is being held — "transfer" onto the product, in this case, the conference itself. So, if the conference was at a wonderful luxury hotel, the attendees are much more likely to think it was a great conference than if it was held a budget hotel, even if the content and speakers are exactly the same. 

My clients protest, "What should matter is what a great lawyer I am!" That often leads to a discussion of human nature, the fact that potential clients don't have x-ray vision, the fact that people listen with their eyes, the need to communicate visually, and much more. I sometimes feel I do not have their attention until I get to the part where I explain that having great packaging will allow them to charge higher prices. 

This post by marketing guru Seth Godin beautifully illustrates how you turn $3 worth of soap into $20 worth of soap. That's almost seven times the price. The same principles and methods can be used to turn a $100,000-a-year law firm into a $700,000-a-year law firm.

You can understand human nature and use it to your advantage — or you can complain about how people "should" act. But you won't change it. 

SmartTalk, Episode 8

In which Victor and Mark say goodbye to Texas, but are first joined by Dallas personal injury attorney Bob Kraft to discuss gadget love, the WayBack Machine, being a blogging pioneer, discipline vs. improvisation, why Mark should have been a fireman, Web site vs. website, a sign that says "FISH!", Bob's attempts to get a word in edgewise, the liberating effect of an unread blog, the value of a journalistic background, a blogging lesson from Robert Redford, Bob's "aw shucks" moment, the lessons of 39 years and 100,000 clients, the built-in BS detector, and a final word on "sincerity" from Sir Laurence Olivier.

SmartTalk – Ep 8