February 26, 2008

Who is Sharliza?

Looking Sideways – An eccentric look at sales and marketing – Who is Sharliza?

I was paging through abou Time (Vol 5 No 2), the 1Time inflight
magazine on a flight to Cape Town, recently. An article by PR Worx, First Female Pilot For 1time Airline, caught my eye.

Airline recently announced the addition of the first female pilot to
its ranks. Sharliza van Heerden is the first woman in 1time history to
pilot one of the airline’s aircraft.

The article was
disappointing in many respects, besides the fact that there still have
to be ‘firsts for women’ in this emancipated day and age. However, it
taught me a big lesson about one of the top influencing strategies used
by master persuaders. More about that later.

I’m curious to
find out more about Sharliza (unfortunately, the author didn’t even get
the basics of a good PR/news article right – what, when, where, why,
who and how. Ok, there was a "who" and a "what" in it. I wanted to know
a lot of things about Sharliza – what did she look like (no photo), how
long had she been flying, how old was she, was she hot or not, was she
single or married, is she Afrikaans or married to an Afrikaner, which
plane will she be flying and so on.

I thought that the author of this article really blew it. Until I
realised that the author had (by chance) tapped into a great persuasion
strategy – curiosity. It is one of the things that really makes us human. Most of us have a curious nature and need to slake it regularly.

had me. I needed to find out what Sharliza looked like and find out
more about her. By making your audience curious and leaving them with a
typical soap opera cliffhanger, you get them wanting more. The next day
I start my search. First stop – nothing. Second stop – niks. By the way, check out the website and see
how the magazine is presented – it’s pretty cool. Third stop, type
Sharliza van Heerden into – nada. It had an
opportunity to get me more involved in the human drama that makes up a
company like 1Time. It had a chance to turn me into part of its family.
Unfortunately, in this instance it really did blow it.

But, the learning for me was how quickly the article piqued my
interest and aroused my curiosity. Enough to spend 15 minutes searching
for Sharliza. Savvy marketers and sales professionals tell stories that
arouse intereset and curiosity – each step of the story leading the
audience to a final conclusion – Discovery.

Anyone got a photo of

Jacques de Villiers is a sales training and influencing expert


One Comment on “Who is Sharliza?

March 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

My first stop when trying to find someone is always the social network sites – facebook & linkedin
But checked for you and this method wouldn’t have worked this time either.


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