(480) 397-0590

Want a Career?

Find a CFO

223 partners in 45 states
     6,745 years experience

Find a CFO by zip code

Find a CFO by name

Free Business Resource

Fill out the form and receive for FREE The Discovery Analysis (a $1600 value)

Privacy policy

Billy Mays Here..For B2B CFO

Jun 11, 2009


A recent Fortune Magazine profile of TV pitchman Billy Mays (OxiClean, Kaboom et al), describes the success of Mays and partner Anthony Sullivan - an Englishman who honed his technique in the London street markets - who are megastars of the $300 billion industry known as direct-response advertising.

The article explains that once they find a product they believe in, they move the merchandise with a three-step process that harks back to the carny tradition: "bally the tip," "nod them in," and "chill 'em down."  That got me thinking about how I might apply their sales technique to the marketing of my professional services.

The hardest part of making a sale is stopping people and catching their attention. In carny lingo, "ballying the tip" means drawing a crowd - and once one begins to gather, it feeds on itself. The use of volume, energy, hand gestures, and faux authority are all tactics to bally the tip.  I am looking for successful business owners with $1 million to $75 million in sales, and I would YELL:


To keep the crowd you use humor and make the presentation interactive.  I would now demonstrate the B2B CFO® Wheel of Services and invite prospects to take the Business Check Up test.  Should I also tell my joke at this point?

The next step is convincing potential customers that buying your product is totally reasonable.


Yes, of course you would. A good pitchman will literally nod in answer to his own question to get the crowd nodding along.

"IF YOU COULD HIRE {at this point I am hoarse} a professional that made this easy, provided more value than their cost, and I could sell it to you for less than 10 - 20% of the cost of a full time seasoned CFO, wouldn't you want to buy it?"    

Yes, yes, and YES! Next, Billy Mays will demonstrate the product, typically in a wind-tunnel, or by attaching his Crazy Glue to a giant weight.  I would validate my product by talking about my personal bio and track record, my happy clients,  our 20 year history, our presence in 43 states with over 120 seasoned partners; our four hundred successful clients with over $3 billion in revenue, our nationally recognized publications. 

But the trickiest part of any sale is being able to transform good will into cold, hard cash - the chill-down. Rather than politely ask if anyone would like to buy something, the pitchman often starts the process for potential buyers by counting it off. "Who are going to be my first ten customers? You, sir, you're No. 1!" 

.....I'm not exactly sure this would work for me. In contrast, I would offer to provide my prospects with a complimentary half day, in-depth analysis of their business, a benchmark study and a simple proposal for achieving their desired results.  Like Billy Mays, I do business on a hand-shake.

So...maybe this needs a bit more work, but I think I might be on to something...

If you would like to "FIND MORE TIME AND INCREASE COMPANY VALUE", then give David Kirkup, Partner at B2B CFO® a call on 404 348 0326 or email at dkirkup@b2bcfo.com.  "OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY!"


Share this article on LinkedIn







More from David Kirkup…

About the Author

David has over two and a half decades of business experience and is a proven financial management expert. Working in Europe and the USA, David has served as Divisional CFO at a number of Fortune 500 corporations: including Reuters, Marsh & McClennan, Zurich Insurance and ADP as well as numerous small and mid size companies. As part owner of a small software company, he was heavily involved in the marketing efforts and ultimate sale of the company. As CFO with a national PEO firm he dealt with the credit and financial issues facing hundreds of small business clients. David also spent 5 years in Bermuda managing captive insurance companies.

View David’s Personal Website


A collection of books from B2B CFO® to help any business succeed. Read the first chapter from books, including the Wall Street Journal’s book, for free.

Zoom in using the +/- tools on the left. Click on each photo for more details.