Debate lost, lesson learnt

Debate lost, lesson learnt

I lost in the vote for a public debate last week. It was a great fun event though and the experience reminded me how rare the opportunities for a good, robust, debate come up.

The next day I realised there was quite a big learning point; perhaps content is not king. My able opponent was on home ground and knew a lot of the audience. By contrast I knew only a handful those present. The audience vote was undoubtably influenced by relationships (people said so).

The lesson I learnt is not to forget about the quality of the relationship. Great content has to be there of course, but if the relationship is weak or non-existent there is little chance of success. This translates into many areas of sales and marketing.

This is not sour grapes. The event, organised by Blueleaf, was well run and attended by an interesting crowd of people from the Cheshire digital marketing community. My opponent, and the debate victor, was Callum Reckless from Reckless.

Anyway, here is my version of the evening:

A debate was held between Kevin Harrington of Results Through Digital and Callum Reckless of Reckless. The evening of the debate, despite strong preparation, Callum beat Kevin 25:22.

In the best marketing tradition, Kevin Harrington decided to find the best ‘spin’ he could on the result. He showed how he earns his keep by posting this blog after the debate:

“Kevin Harrington is pleased to announce that for the recently-completed 2015 Debate Season, he came in 2nd place, having lost but one debate this year.

“Callum Reckless, however, had a rather dismal season, as he won only one debate all year.”

I am a partner at Succession Plus. We are specialists in providing proactive, focused and strategic advice for SME owners to help them manage strategic Business Succession and Exit Planning. I am enjoying a career that has embraced product and service businesses at all stages of their journey. I have worked in technology, telecoms, consumer electronics, payments, media, and publishing.

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