A Secret to Downton Abbey’s Uber Popularity and What It Can Teach Us About Selling

The incredibly successful Public Television series Downton Abbey just completed its six year run and more than a few people are mourning its passing. Like earlier popular series like Cheers, Seinfeld and Mash, people really looked forward to their weekly interaction with these wonderful characters who grew and developed before their very eyes.

But there was also a technical dynamic in play which we should keep in mind when selling.

That is, the scenes in Downton Abbey were edited through what is called “quick cut,” technique. That means that they moved from scene to scene very quickly, allowing the story to cover many characters and sub –plots throughout the season.

For example, a scene in the kitchen between two characters might have taken only one minute, but since it was connected to a steady flow of other scenes building throughout the season, it satisfied us emotionally, for the moment, as we moved to the next scene and another set of characters. Then, in the final season, they tied all the relationships and plot lines together in one satisfying finale.

The quick cut producing and directing technique is not unlike the way great relationship builders develop and methodically increase rapport over time in the business context. It does not take a huge amount of time to reach out and touch a prospect or client on a regular basis.

In fact, many customers don’t want us to spend too much time on each touch . . . it is more a matter of pinging them regularly. Of course the key is to deliver something of emotional value each time as opposed to just “touching base,” with nothing to add to their busy lives.

Many of us tuned into Downton Abbey every week for six years for a simple but ultimately very powerfully emotional reason . . . it made us feel good. Salespeople can learn much from such expert communicators.

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