Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I’ve just returned from a Summer Vacation and my batteries are again fully charged, so I thought I would return to my Blog for my 2nd posting of 2011. Just to pick up on my last theme of Internal Selling, I wanted to follow-up on the all important topic of closing corporate trademark licensing deals. Early on in my licensing career, I was lucky enough to meet a guy who became my mentor in the industry his name is Seth Siegel, co-founder of The Beanstalk Group Licensing Agency. To me, Seth is a legend in the industry. My relationship with Seth was not unlike the relationship that Jerry Maguire had with what he called his mentor, the late, great sports agent Dicky Fox. Dicky Fox is one of my all time favorite movie characters. His wisdom spread throughout the Jerry Maguire movie is one classic, but meaningful, cliché after another. Just to give you a few Dickyisms as I call them:

“The key to this business is personal relationships”

“If this [points to heart] is empty, then this [points to head] doesn't matter.”

“Roll with the punches, tomorrow is another day.”

“ Hey... I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I have failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”

Well I had a Dicky Fox moment one time when talking with Seth. Years after working with Seth and The Beanstalk Group, I asked him why he decided that AT&T would make a good licensing client for his agency and his response was something I will never forget. He said, “When I am evaluating whether I want to work with a client I look for closers.” My response was well what the heck does that mean? And Seth proceeded to tell me that he made sure that all his clients had at least one person on the Licensing team that he thought could get a deal closed internally at that company. He explained to me that my boss at the time was not a closer, but he had enough exposure to me to know that I was a closer and that sealed the deal for him. And to Seth a closer was a person who had the drive, enthusiasm and selling skills to get a negotiated licensing deal signed off on by senior management at their company. I thought that was a very shrewd observation because you see a Licensing Agent’s worst nightmare is to negotiate a major deal and get the licensee to sign off on it only to have his client, the licensor, fail to secure senior management sign-off. All the hard work is done to close the deal, but no one exists internally at the licensor to successfully sell the deal into senior management and get it closed. If you want to be a successful trademark licensor, BE A CLOSER. Be that person that is singularly and passionately focused on getting your deals signed off by your senior management. I was that person at AT&T and I was successful in getting signoff on 9-figure licensing deals as a result. So to create my own Dicky Fox line and to borrow from Seth:

“Remember people want to work with closers. So BE A CLOSER!”

Mike Slusar

Managing Director & Owner
Brandar Consulting, LLC
email: mike@brandar.com

“Helping Brands Reach for The Stars”


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