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The a-ha! moment


That simple moment in time when a concept or solution clicks in your brain. We have all experienced the phenomenon and more often than not what the Ah-Ha moment turns out to be is a clarification of a sequence of complex facts or figures into something very simplistic. I have often said one of the things I respected most about Jim Hoffmann was his gift to take a series of complex concepts or statements and distill it down to a simple short sentence. I would spend days preparing a 2-3 page report / presentation and then Jim would skim through it and say, so what you are telling me is XXXXXXX. He would be dead-on and would routinely help me crystallize my thinking and see very complex topics in simple form. He would tell me that if you cannot make this simple, no one will ever understand what you are saying and what it is you are selling. When we do not understand what we are selling and need 50 charts / graphs and funky marketing tools – we won’t sell squat.

AuthorWhat made me think about this phenomenon was a statement a customer recently made to me.  No sales pitch in this post, but a great moment occurred that resulted in a mutually large sale. We had pitched him one of our products several times and he admittedly “did not get it” and therefore had not sold it, quoted it and, quite frankly, never even thought about it. However, the beauty of the Ah-Ha moment created a win for both companies and ultimately yielded one very happy end-client. I guess the challenge we face in sales (in life as well) is that we are routinely searching for ways to help our customers have Ah-Ha moments that are mutually beneficial and, to be blunt, generate profitable sales for our organizations. Keep an eye out for a few video blogs / e-mails that I am going to create and share that will highlight some ah-ha moments I have witnessed this year (scroll to the bottom of this post to see one). I will highlight a few instances where we connected with a customer, created an Ah-Ha moment, and both parties got a victory out of the equation. The intent is to not blatantly “sell” in the Herb Tarlek sense, but share moments where connections were made that helped turn chaotic challenges into accomplished solutions. Now, if I could just have an Ah-Ha moment that helps me figure out how to do my expense reports on time and completely, life would be great.
Dave S. Brown
VP of Sales
Optima Graphics

About the Author
Dave Brown is the Vice President of Sales at Optima Graphics. He has been in the Trade Show industry since the early 90s.

Other posts by Dave

Categories: Business
  1. Robert Hughes
    May 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm


    Excellent point- and awesome goal to aim for … look forward to the next installment

    • May 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you Bob. It is interesting how certain blogs strike a chord. I have had 30 plus responses today and I am thrilled. Thanks and stay tuned! Dave

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. May 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    AHHHHH HAAAAAA … Great Post Dave

  3. Carla Eng
    May 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Dave, I think I’m going to incorporate the phrase, “ah ha” moment in to my sales pitch…that Jim Hoffman, master sales person and great guy! You couldn’t ask for a better mentor.

  4. May 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Nice post indeed. As you mentioned in the very start of your post, my friend was also god gifted in that, she would easily say complex points in very few words. And the best thing was her few words at times would prove heavier than more words of others.

  5. May 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Let me know when you figure out the “Ah Ha” for your expense reports 🙂 I am only 5 Months behind.

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