The Sandwich Man

Maybe you’re a great web designer

Maybe you’re a great coder

Maybe you’re a financial wizard

Maybe you’ve got a flair for industrial design

Maybe you’re a craftsman with unique skills

Maybe you’re great at managing and building a supply chain.

Maybe selling isn’t something you enjoy, like or even care about. Maybe making presentations is the part of business that really isn’t your thing.

Problem is this: There’s plenty of great ideas, businesses and people who never reached their full potential because the selling bit was missing.

Step forward the ‘Sandwich man’

Startup blog definition: Sandwich Man – a gun presenter and public communicator who presents the ideas and sells the dream on behalf of the business.

A sandwich man is called such, because he holds together all the good things like the bread does on a yummy sandwich. Without him all the ingredients, nutrition, ‘reason for being’ could all fall away.

A good sandwich man would start and close any business presentation to people like venture capitalists, suppliers, key accounts, customers and the media.


Quite often successful businesses are run by a team where one of the members is the tech genius and the other is the Sandwich Man. Who then communicates the ideas and vision to get people on board. Rarely people are lucky enough to have both skill sets. Regardless of which skill set we have, we always need a sandwich man. We can even bring one into the team on a needs basis.

But without one, we may end up with a great product or business which never gets the traction it deserves.

Belief – from ‘Tribes’

I took this quote from Seth Godins latest micro book Tribes:

“Do you beleive in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy”

This resonates with me because it will motivate us to find solutions that ‘non believers’ will be too inept, apathetic or bored to uncover.

Entrepreneurs ought launch something they beleive in conceptually, not just financially.

Business relationships & startups

Entrepreneurs must build all types of relationships.

  • Relationships with our suppliers and the value chain
  • Relationships with our buyers & resellers
  • Relationships with our staff and business partners / investors
  • Relationships with our audience & evangelists

In fact, when we are small have little or no revenue, the only thing we can do is have conversations and build relationships. These will lead to action and revenue. While having dinner with a colleague the other night, John Colbert of Corporate Edge training he gave me his view on relationships.

He said:

There are two important factors in relationships – frequency & proximity.

How frequently are we engaging the other person? Where frequency, is any type of conversation, communication or interaction.

And what is our proximity to this person? Where proximity pertains to the physical closeness and real world interactions we have together. Do we meet in person? Are we getting to know each other without the use of technology? Simply meeting in the same location?

The more of the above two things we have the stronger our relationships come. If we for a moment think of who we have strong relationships with, we’ll see we have both Frequency and Proximity.

The reality is humans want to deal with people they like, trust and know. This is what relationships build.

So if one of our important business relationships (those listed above) is flagging, maybe we should have more frequent interactions, get closer or do both.

How to ‘Pitch’ workshop

Below is an elevator pitch ‘workshop’ I gave for the ‘Agents of change‘ entrepreneurs club of  Melbourne University. The video below is the one of 6 x 10 minute videos. The first (the one below) includes an ‘example’ pitch I did for rentoid – then has ‘alot’ of questions and answers. The last of the videos, workshop 6 – all of which are here has some ideas on great pitcing practice.

It’s kind of long, but the largely due to the discussion afterwards!


12 seconds

I really like the idea of ‘small’ – Making the macro, micro. 12 secondsTV does it:

As far as marketing insights are concerned it proves that categories don’t converge – but split.

We recently used it for rentoid to kill a few birds with one stone:

  • Rewards passionate fans with a bit of fame,
  • Create an important dialogue
  • Generate some ‘realworld’ market research to boot.

The cool thing is that we’ll publish what people think about rentoid good and bad – so then we have to act on any mooted improvements. Check it by clicking here:

So in the spirit of involvement – I’d love to get a 12 spot from the startupblog crew – ‘yes that means you’ with any piece of business / entrepreneurship or life advice you feel approporiate.

Put your 12 seconds link in the comments and I’ll put it up as it’s own post with a link to your blog / startup / business or whatever.

Get on it.

Best Pitch Ever

London Advertising Agency Prima, were pitching for the Ford Motor Co advertising account. This was in the halcyon days of advertising circa 1969.

They decided to do the following:

They dismantled a Ford Escort car. Took it up the stairs piece by piece, part by part and then put it back together in the board room. This was where the pitch was to take place. The people who did this were not mechanics. It was the people who would be working on the Ford account. The creatives and the account managers. The idea was entirely conceived and executed by the people who would be working with Ford on their advertising.

When the Ford people arrived for the pitch. They were flummoxed to say the least. And immediately asked how they got the car in the building?  Given there was no obvious way for the actual car to get in the building, let alone up the stairs!

The pitch then commenced with the Prima advertising team telling the story. Which no doubt included some of the trials and tribulations of dismantling & building a car piece by piece. But more so, showed all the intangibles which ultimately won them the account:

Passion, Ideas, Creativity, work ethic…

And a willingness to stretch themselves as a partner and an understanding of what Ford do, beyond that which any other advertising agency could have.

This is the benchmark. What will your next business pitch look like?