The Less Original The Better

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. Houseguests and fish stink after three days.

Shoptalk enjoys frequenting the Cliché Finder on the Web (www.west egg.com/cliche), but didn’t realize there was more than second-rate headline-writing inspiration to be found there. Luckily, Barry Farber is here to set us straight.

The author of The 12 Clichés of Selling (and Why They Work) (Work man Publishing) has little use for the innovative, the novel or the newfangled. There are no Lovebrands or Points of Attraction here. Instead, he urges marketers to live by as many clichés as possible, out lining his thesis in chapters like “Never Take No for an Answer,” “Knowledge Is Power” and “Honesty Is the Best Policy.”

“I’m not reinventing the wheel here,” Farber admits in the introduction, “although I may explain to you why the wheel works and maybe even how you can build a better one.”

“A lot of the work I do is with companies who say, ‘Barry, we need some blocking and tackling.’ These guys have gotten away from the funda mentals,” Farber tells Shoptalk. “In selling, we’re always looking for some secret magic. But really applying the simple truths can work magic.”

It’s not just career advice, either. “I’m going for my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I’m 43, and from that, I realize it’s the small things you do every day that bring you closer to reaching your goals,” Farber says. “And as I say in the book, one of my favorite clichés is, ‘If you’re knocked down, get up.’ “