I OWE A LOT TO JAY LEVINSON
I was just informed this morning that one of the great marketers has passed on. Three days ago Jay Levinson passed on.
He was the ultimate creative, salesman, author and teacher.
Although I did not know him personally, I owe a lot to Mr. Levinson. Not just for what I learned in his books, Guerrilla Marketing and Guerrilla Advertising, or by making Marlboros so attractive to a 16 year old, but rather because he helped me land our digital agency’s first major account.
When we started Revital Agency it was in the deepest part of the recession. At the time we were working out of 875 sq. ft. house with poor ac. Wayne informed me that a lead came in from our Craigslist ad. Craigslist of all places. I got the idea from Jay.
MARKETING TEST OVER COFFEE
I called the guy. He was looking for web design and a digital agency to manage his online marketing. He wouldn’t give me a budget over the phone, but asked me to meet him at a Starbucks in St. Pete to “discuss all this in person.”
The guy’s name was Dave. And the moment I sat down, Dave began to quiz me. He asked me about every possible marketing question he could think of: questions on strategy, budgets, and tactics.
He was drilling me to see if I knew anything about marketing. He even asked me the 4 P’s.
It was a like a marketing exit course over espresso.
I answered his questions to his approval, some of which were hypotheticals and others that were directly related to selling his product. Although I continually asked, not once in the conversation did he provide a budget to work with.
It wasn’t until the end of our meeting that I knew our digital agency landed the job.
JAY MAKES THE DEAL
When I stood up to shake Dave’s hand, he looked me in the eye and asked, “what marketing book would you recommend to my brother? He’s a small business owner that just opened his doors. I don’t have time to help him.”
I asked what the budget was. He squinted.
I told him to start with Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Levinson.
He cracked his first smile at this.
“The budget’s $55,000. You got three months. Show me what you can do.”
Later, I discovered why he smiled. Dave bootstrapped a company to 10 million a year in 4 shorts years using Jay Levinson’s advice in Guerrilla Marketing.
Dave’s still a client to this day. I haven’t told him that the author that unknowingly helped connect us has passed on…
THANK YOU, MR. LEVINSON
Your book helped me get the lead and close the deal, which directly helped fund Revital Agency’s first year in business. Your contributions to the business world have lead to democratizing marketing, helping countless business owners realize what it is we actually do at marketing agencies by teaching them how they can do it on their own.
Although, I’ve read hundreds of books on business and marketing, I can’t think of any since 1984 that you wouldn’t have directly influenced.
Thank you for all of it.