Tampa's Polins denied 'World's Greatest Salesperson' title but may he inspire all who sell
Wake up and good morning. Three finalists took to the stage in Cannes Monday seeking to become the "World's Greatest Salesperson" as chosen, on the spot, by leading executives of the advertising industry. Eric Polins of Tampa, managing director of the advertising/strategic marketing firm HCP Associates, was one of the three -- all of whom had won the right to compete by judges who had picked their 2-minute YouTube pitches on "how to sell a red brick" as the best of some 230 entries worldwide. Here's Polins' original YouTube pitch, and here's a recent column detailing Polins' effort and the initial competition.
Alas, our local favorite, Mr. Polins, was denied. Canadian Todd Herman, an international performance coaching and training expert from Edmonton, won the coveted World’s Greatest Salesperson title. Using real-time voting, a live audience selected the winner during the OgilvyOne “Can you sell, or else?” seminar at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The third contender was Lee Abbas, a former Panasonic marketing executive and most recently an English teacher in Hokkaido, Japan. Here's contest sponsor OgilvyOne's news release on the winner.
The original competition drew contestants from 12 countries, all asked to "sell" a red brick in their YouTube pitches. On Monday, the three finalists had to present, live on stage, their pitch for selling a more sophisticated product: the Motorola Droid phone.
Kudos to all three, but especially to our hometown participant Polins for such a great effort and for taking the chance and clearly having some fun along the way -- including a free trip to Cannes! Congratulations and may Polins be an inspiration to all folks in sales.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist