The Leads, The Leads, The Leads

Finding and Qualifying Actionable Leads for Your Creative Agency

David Mamet may very well be the voice of our generation, perhaps the most riveting social commentator of the past 35 years. Playwrights inherit a unique responsibility to the masses. It is incumbent upon the playwright to hold a mirror up to society and reveal to us for the first time who we really are. They accomplish this by delivering insights into ourselves that we cannot see without their plot and character development. They also inherit the kindred spirit of the Bard of Avon, who held up said mirror better than anyone.

Mamet writes dialogue (“Mamet speak”) in the same familiar manner that we speak today — just as Hemingway wrote in the vernacular of his time, 80 some odd years ago (strangely, at least to me, Papa’s novels now read the same way an early Springsteen record sounds —embarrassingly dated). But, reading Mamet’s works can only help us write more effectively for today’s intense staccato marketplace, and therefore, communicate better to it. Seeing his films can only increase our creativity. But, experiencing one of his plays as a live performance can transform us. To study a Mamet script is a journey into the art of communicating — his tales totally rely upon minimalist but colorful language and dialogue. I confess, I find it mildly interesting that Mamet, Hemingway and Springsteen all sported beards (and for that matter, Shakespeare, too).

Glengarry Glen Ross, perhaps Mamet’s best known work, is particularly relevant to agency new business. The action is primarily centered upon “leads”, ultimately the Glengarry leads. New business professionals must accept that they are first in the lead generation business. As much as we are now grounded in a search engine-based marketplace, we cannot simply blog & tweet and sit and wait for an email response to our latest newsletter. Or just track the daily click-throughs to our website. Social media doesn’t replace the need to generate and act upon leads, it augments it. It’s another road, not the only road. At some point, we must make a sales call and ask for the meeting — or send a sales email requesting the same.

Everyone’s favorite scene in Glengarry Glen Ross seems to be the 7 minute “motivational” speech Alec Baldwin delivers to the boiler room of a real estate telephone sales team (whose members include some of the finest actors of the era — Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris — none of whom wore beards, except Pacino in Serpico). It’s a tour de force performance, with several lines forging their way into the lexicon of the contemporary sales and marketing person (“Coffee is for closers”, “Always be closing”,  “Get them to sign on the line which (sic) is dotted”, “The leads are weak? You’re weak!”). I also find it mildly interesting that Springsteen and Serpico briefly wore a similar wool hat.

This post and this video introduce a new series of original Palma content. In the coming days we will examine Leads. We’ll discuss what they are, where to find them, how to qualify them, what makes them actionable and how to act on them. There are a lot of lead generation services available to our industry, most of them are bogus or watered-down. It’s our responsibility to ultimately be our own lead generation service, and it’s easier and more effective than you may think. Enjoy the Baldwin clip and the forthcoming series.

4 thoughts on “The Leads, The Leads, The Leads

  1. Lee McKnight Jr.

    Totally agree with this sentence Mike: “Social media doesn’t replace the need to generate and act upon leads, it augments it.” At the end of the day, you still have to pick up the phone.

    And by the way, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” is sill my favorite Springsteen album.


    1. mikepalma Post author

      Thanks Lee. I still like “Greetings” (especially “Growin’ Up”, “For You”) and a few songs on “The Wild, The Innocent, etc.” (although does anything sound more tired than “Rosalita”?) — I should have been more specific, I really meant the “Born To Run”” album. Hey I just saw your site — cool. good luck.

    2. ron huey

      mikey, i like the column. but it was the “greetings” comment that stopped me cold.
      Hey bus driver keep the change, bless your children, give them names. Don’t trust men who walk with canes, drink this and you’ll grow wings on your feet
      Broadway Mary, Joan Fontaine, advertiser on a downtown train, Christmas crier bustin’ cane, He’s in love again.

      no one writes like that any more. not even bruce.

      1. mikepalma Post author

        Thanks Ronny. Should have been more specific. Love greetings. ESP for you and grown up. Meant the born to run album, sounds so disingenuous to me now. Including thunder road. So forced. So overblown.

        I think tweedy miswriting great songs. So is neko case but not many. Not many.

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