12 Jan 2015

I’ve spent the last decade carefully honing my morning ritual. Sure there have been some changes - Miami’s climate prompted me to trade the fleece Jets blanket I affectionately call my ‘thinking cape’ for a pair of focus flip-flops - but the core process has remained the same. I wake up, wander about a bit, and check my newsletters email account while the coffee brews. Most of the time there’s nothing worthwhile - just a bunch of bogus deals and cliche coupons - but lately I’ve come to really enjoy the stock photos that are circulating... and their unintended implications. 

Case in point the photo above. The authors of the Groupon for a “Tactical Handgun” Class that touts a “focus on responsible gun ownership” chooses a picture of a guy with a gun in his pocket and his finger ON THE TRIGGER. I don’t know about you, but any posture that positions you to literally shoot your dick off doesn’t seem terribly responsible to me. And while I’ve gotten enough Groupon emails to know the photo pool they use isn’t deep, I couldn’t help but wonder if my own corner-cutting clip-art behavior ever painted a similarly peculiar picture. 

So it begs the question - when we design presentations, should we stick to corporate approved images? Or does relying on a marketer - who focuses on form, not function - introduce more risk than reward? Can we be trusted to deviate from the design? 

As a salesman, the person left to defend the fliers, we’d be silly not to favor what works. But don’t swap out the corporate style just to be different. Reserve your literary license for times when doing nothing will leave you with confused customers and a clogged pipeline. Because when the caption says caution, but the picture says castration - it’s time to call a copy-editor. 

So this week, look before you laminate. Sure we all occasionally find ourselves stuck in stock photo mud, but when you take the time to review the brochures you boast about, you’ll prevent your copy from going out half cocked. 

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Last modified on Monday, 12 January 2015 21:58
Erin Wilson

I find great amusement in everyday absurdities and am constantly surprised by how my bar-ventures, my travels, and even my food-qusitions relate to the shenanigans that is software sales. I am grateful for the opportunity to leverage the Sapient Salesman as an outlet to share with you my follies, and I hope you can enjoy the schadenfreude.

Website: ebullienterin.com/
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Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

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