Monday, 11 June 2007

Paris Hilton Saleswoman


Paris Hilton's on again, off again, on again jail sentence is just the latest in what is sure to be a lifetime of ups and downs, successes and failures, highs and lows.
So why are we talking about her here?
Because what she has done with her career can serve as a roadmap for any aspiring sales professional who wants to set himself, or herself, apart from the competition.
First, answer me this: What is it that Paris Hilton does? Sure, she has some video experience that she can list on her Hollywood CV, but seriously...what is it that Paris Hilton does for a living? A recent news report said that Paris Hilton, and other celebrities, is paid as much as $250,000 to attend a party (note to party organizers everywhere: I'll come to your party for $50,000. Have your people call my people).
"Career"? You tell me.
But there's no denying that she is famous. And, she has built a career for herself (whatever that career may be). All of that makes her one of the best saleswomen ever.
Here's why:
She believes in what she's selling. What is she selling? Herself. She is the brand. She is the product. And she believes she's the best. Do you have the same kind of passion for yourself, and your product or service?
She presents a unique message. There are a lot of imitators in Hollywood, but theres only one Paris. Are you unique and memorable? You see how its worked for Paris...if your sales career is languishing, you might want to think about redefining yourself in a more memorable way.
She's someone you can't look away from. I'm not talking about the way she dresses, or whether or not you think she's beautiful or not. I'm talking about her "persona". Her whole personality, her image, and that "x-factor" that has the nation glued to their TV sets waiting to see a picture of Paris Hilton in jail.
Here's my point: She generates attention.
Do you? Does your sales message? Is your sales message unique and memorable in such a way that it rises to the level of being Paris-worthy in its presentation? If not, your prospects are probably looking away from you...and what you're trying to sell.

$250,000 for attending a party??? Come on...

The long nightmare continued today, as a Los Angeles judge ordered Paris Hilton back to jail.
The past few days we've been subjected to wall-to-wall Paris Hilton news, non-stop on the 24-hour cable news channels. A lot of us ask, "Why????"
What in the world did Paris Hilton do to earn the right to interrupt the G8 Summit and the launch of the space shuttle??? How has she done it!?!? Those of us who are entrepreneurs would spend 45 days in jail if it would bring worldwide publicity to our enterprise, right?

The whole thing got me to thinking about the lessons that her inexplicable rise to fame, and our ongoing fascination with her daily exploits, has for today's entrepreneur. "The Paris Principles" for business success:
You gotta look good. Paris Hilton focuses almost manically on her appearance. Do you spend a lot of time making sure your business looks good to the outside world?
You gotta be seen. Paris Hilton gets publicity. If she parties, we hear about it. If she gets arrested, we hear about it. Paris pays attention to getting noticed and staying on people's mind. Are you doing all you can to publicize your business?
Have fun. Love her or hate her, you gotta admit that Paris Hilton knows how to have fun. And secretly, we kind of envy her for that. As a business owner, do people have fun when they interact with your business? People like to have fun...that's why we keep tuning in for the latest Paris Hilton news.
Use the "new media. Paris Hilton rose to fame by starring in a home-made video. We won't get into a discussion about the content of that video, but suffice it to say that if you search Google and YouTube, you'll find plenty of videos and pictures and news on Paris Hilton. Is your business using these new publicity portals to publicize your business?
Give them something to talk about. If you're not a little edgy, you probably won't get talked about. There are lots of movie stars that aren't getting the kind of attention that Paris Hilton is getting, even though they're more talented and more deserving of attention. Yet, because Paris Hilton pushes the envelope, she gets the attention. Are you as edgy as you can be with your business?
Laugh at yourself once in a while. Did you mess up? Have a product launch that went haywire? Screwed up a grand opening of your newest product?
Learn to laugh at yourself. Paris Hilton turned the concept of laughing at herself into a hit TV series, "The Simple Life". Follow her lead!
Be nice. As I think back to everything I know about Paris Hilton from the stories I've heard in the media, I can't remember anything that talked about her being mean. Not public feuds to speak of, at least not any that turned really nasty by today's Hollywood standards. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Paris Hilton has fostered a reputation of being nice. Clueless, maybe, but nice. Make sure your business is known for being "nice".
Don't be a Lindsay or a Britney. Paris Hilton comes close to crossing the line with her behavior, but she never goes over it too far. Compare that with Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, who have gone way, WAY over the line...to the point where their careers have taken a serious hit. Know where the line of acceptability is in your business market, and don't go over it all that often, and not very far over when you do cross it. Edgy is fine, drunken stupors are another story.
The Paris Principles: Follow them, and you'll probably have a successful business venture!
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