Yesterday, I was delivering a workshop on Storytelling techniques, and one of the participants made an interesting remark that we have officially moved from Demand Creation Economy to Attention Economy. I found this fascinating, and here is one of the best advice I found on creating Attention. Thank you, Jon Buchan!

“So many cold pitches, Facebook ads and other attempts at persuasive messaging fail because they go straight to persuasion.

The very first line starts with something like … “We’re the best people in the world at X… We’ve worked with X client and our groundbreaking X technology is a world’s first…”

YUCK! Of course, that gets deleted!

Your job is to sell the idea that a call or meeting with you is not a bad idea.

Not to give every little detail – or to sell your entire offering in one go. Those steps come later…

Dave Trott talks about this when talking about effective advertising.

He brings it down to a level anyone can understand.

Imagine for a moment that you wanted your other half to make you a cup of tea or coffee.

You need first make an impact.


That gets her attention.

The communication is next…

“Cath, will you make me a cup of tea?”

However, that’s not very persuasive.

“If you make me a cup of tea, I’ll take the bins out.”

The same rule applies to direct mail or cold email or any form of effective marketing or advertising.

You need to make an impact first.

Then communicate.

Then persuade.

You need to stand out.

Your prospect likely gets a ton of other letters and emails (and cold calls) – and they all look and read the same.

You need to get attention.

Without that, it doesn’t matter how good your communication is. It doesn’t matter how persuasive you are. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is.

You need to get a reaction. An ‘ahhh’.

A nod. A smirk. A smile. A belly-laugh.

You need people to actually see and read and listen before you can communicate and persuade.

And being able to get cut-through – especially if it’s done in a unique or clever way – is somewhat persuasive in itself.

In a world of increased opportunity, there is increased competition. The need to win attention is more valuable than ever.

This is a principle I learned from Dave Trott. He comes from the world of television advertising.

However, the same principle applies to any persuasive message “.

Will this work for you?