I picked up 4 bottles of my FREE body wash yesterday at the same Coral Springs Publix where I TOLD you that I bought my Combat roach killers with coupons. And who should be my cashier but May the super sales girl. Apparently she is quickly moving up in the world of commerce. She had read this blog and expressed an interest in renting out the BEST movie ever on the subject of selling---"Tin Men" starring Danny DeVito and Richard Dreyfus. I also recommend that everybody else check out that movie as well. It shows what the world of selling is like in a very funny way.
One technique used in this movie is when a couple of aluminum siding salesmen posed as photographers who were working for a Life Magazine story about the benefits of aluminum siding. When the woman who owned the house they were photographing said that they didn't have aluminum siding, one of the "photographers" replied that her house would be the "before" house and that another home would be the "after" house to illustrate the improvement aluminum siding could make on a home. When the woman objected that she wanted her home to be the "after" house, the photographers told her that would be impossible due to her lack of aluminum siding. Then the woman begged to be the "before" house since she wanted to get the aluminum siding and asked the "photographers" where she could get it done. The "photographers" replied that they did know of an aluminum siding salesman who could fix her home up for her Life magazine story. Of course, the salesman was part of their team.
Your humble correspondent laughed at that scene since I had my own technique for closing a sale on high ticket items back when I used to sell 10 foot satellite dishes. My client was a guy named Charlie who lived in the California desert boondocks about halfway between Lancaster and Los Angeles. He was very interested in getting a satellite dish since cable wasn't available where he lived plus broadcast reception stunk. Well, I went over all the details as to the number channels he could receive plus price of the system and the installation cost which was $300. It was at this point where the all important "close" came. The natural inclination of almost everybody was that they wanted to "think about it." However, I had an ace up my sleeve. When Charlie hit me with the inevitable "I want to think about it," I mentioned that if we closed the deal that night I might be able to talk my boss into waiving the $300 installation fee in exchange for him putting one of our company signs in his front yard for 6 weeks. Well, I called the "boss" who was actually anybody who happened to answer the phone at the satellite dish company. When I mentioned the idea about waiving the installation fee in exchange for Charlie putting the sign in his front yard, I heard a chuckle and nothing more as I made like I was arguing my case with the boss. Finally, after "convincing" the boss to waive the installation fee I turned back to Charlie and told him the "good news."
It worked perfectly as it always did. As a finishing touch I told Charlie to PLEASE leave the sign in the front yard for at least six weeks and not take it down before then or I would catch hell from boss. In reality, Charlie could have tossed the sign in a dumpster the minute the installation crew left for all I cared. The sign had already fulfilled its main purpose---to get Charlie to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately sometimes my sales pitch worked a little too well.
A couple of weeks after the sale, I got a phone call about 3 AM when the Santa Ana winds were blowing hot and furious:
"IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!" the voice on the phone screeched.
"What," I asked sleepily.
"NOT MY FAULT!!!"
Who is this?
"IT'S CHARLIE AND IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!"
I had no idea who this Charlie was waking me up so early in the morning.
"Charlie who?" I asked.
"CHARLIE THE GUY WHO BOUGHT THE SATELLITE DISH! THE WIND BLEW AWAY MY SIGN AND I CAN'T FIND IT!"
Suddenly it became clear to me who Charlie was.
"Charlie, don't worry about it. It was an act of nature."
"BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR BOSS?"
Charlie was actually worried that my boss would become enraged about the loss of a sign that we really didn't give a damn about and would maybe reclaim the satellite dish equipment.
"Don't worry. I'll straighten it out with him so please get back to sleep."
And that wasn't even the strangest of my experiences selling 10 foot satellite dishes. Like there was the time I sold a 10 foot satellite dish to a couple of guys in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles who bought the satellite dish on the condition that it be painted bright pink. Actually there were three guys there but the third guy was chained half naked to the wall so I guess he didn't count. Hey, it was Silver Lake. Any other place and it would be considered criminal enslavement. In Silver Lake it was just part of the local lifestyle.
Oh and in case you think I sold only high ticket items, I also sold Jesus nightlights for 2 for a buck. But that's another story which perhaps the Coupon Whisperer will someday tell in another story entitled: "Attack of the Jesus Nightlights!"