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  • Ed Halsey

What can businesses learn from the Line of Duty finale?

Updated: May 6

No spoilers here, but Sunday evening saw the apparent conclusion of π—Ÿπ—œπ—‘π—˜ 𝗒𝗙 𝗗𝗨𝗧𝗬 and fans appear to have been left wholly disappointed.

So what can we learn as businesses learn from this...?



  1. Always manage customer expectations. Don't overpromise. Customer will feel cheated if you hype something up to be more important or awe-inspiring than it turns out to be. Under promise and over deliver and always check back that expectation is commensurate to what you're about to show.

  2. People notice when your narrative jumps around. Focus. People like things in a logical order that they can easily follow. But jumping around within your deck or demo, it becomes jarring and people will struggle to follow the message you're delivering.

  3. Tell people what to expect, without ambiguity and deliver exactly that If you say you're going to show them a demo, do. Never bait and switch. Always inform the customer before your engagement what to expect from the "episode" and ensure that at the end you have satisfied that promise.

  4. People don't like loose ends. Tackle objections early. At the end of your engagement, the customer wants to understand the whole picture. They don't want unanswered questions, ambiguity or a need for "another series" to tie everything up. Be sure to check back with them that they have all the information they need before concluding any meeting.

  5. Never try and be smarter than your audience Remember that smug kid in school who started every sentence with "well, I think you'll find that actually...". You wanted to punch him, right? Nobody likes when somebody tries to make them feel stupid or exert intellectual dominance over them. It's basic human psychology. Don't be that kid at school. Speak up to your clients, not down.

  6. We like to put things in boxes, good/bad, big/small. We don't deal very well with grey areas as humans. We prefer zeros and ones, blacks and whites. He's a goodie, he's a baddie. She made me laugh, she made me cry. We deal in absolutes. When you're dealing with customers, know that they're trying to do the same to you. They are trying to determine whether they like you or not, whether your product is good or not and whether it can help them, or not. Notice the "or not"...they are looking for yes/no conclusions.

  7. Be sure you know what it is you're actually chasing. What is it you actually want? Money? Fame? Fortune? Eternal happiness? A family? Do you really understand why you're doing what you're doing? Break that down to smaller levels...do you understand why your customer is, both the business itself and the person you're dealing with? Do you understand whether you're even a good fit for one another? Don't just chase shadows - understand what you are looking to achieve.

  8. Know your customer. How well do you really understand the people you're building your product or service for? Do you know what's important to them? Do you know what will land and fall flat with them? Have you researched? AB tested?

  9. Red herrings are irksome. Nobody likes being tricked. If you allude to something, deliver on it. Nobody likes feeling purposely misled and that includes a bait and switch. It build distrust with your audience and damages brand.

  10. People remember catchphrases and taglines, so choose yours carefully and place them purposefully....or the wee donkey gets it. Being memorable is important and helps cut through the noise. But make sure you're being remembered for the right things. Anybody I sold to in my SchemeServe days will have been privy to two catchphrases or I used; "We quote pin numbers, not telephone numbers" AND "At risk of sounding like Craig David...they approached us on Monday, we started building on the Tuesday (etc)........and we most definately* chilled on Sunday" Why did I always use those two "quips" in every meeting? Because they punctuated my message and if I wanted the customer to remember any two things, it was the speed we could deliver and the price point it would be at. Chosen very much on purpose, used with intent.


* Am I H? Well my surname IS Halsey.

Any that you'd add to this list?


(Please don't add spoilers in the comments)

#Business #Sales #Television

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