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Free Lunch Incentive

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Having been in my professional industry for over a hundred years, or what feels like a hundred years, the personal invitation or news of others receiving an invitation to a seminar or presentation that gives a free lunch has been massive. Even outside my little cubical the world loves offering a “free lunch” while feeding you information, (pun intended). It’s kind of like the free hotel stay if you tour a condo or a free trip to Mexico if you allow a vacuum salesman to pour coffee grounds on your carpet. It’s classic marketing 101, “Bait ‘em with the prospect of free”.


Right off the bat this raises two questions. One, does this really make it free and two, what is the reasoning behind this shady offer of a free lunch?


Let’s start with; does this really make it free? Obviously the cliché, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” comes to mind. Everyone loves the word “free” yet no one believes that it’s real. We all think or know that at some point there’s a catch, but that doesn’t stop us from hunting down anything that has the word “free” attached to it. In the end it’s impossible to deny that going to something to receive your “free” thing isn’t free. At the very least it costs you time and on some occasions that can seem like a rip off in comparison to the pain of “sitting through” whatever it is you have to endure.


What is the reasoning behind this shady offer of a free lunch? I think I answered this, for the most part, in the previous paragraph. People love the fantasy of “free stuff”. In my mind, I’ve always thought of how ridiculous, not to mention a waste of money, it is to feed people who have no intention of buying whatever it is you’re selling. A lot of them aren’t even listening to you or can’t hear you because of the crunching and munching echoing inside their skull. I suppose I’m totally wrong and this system of “feed and sale” is cost effective, because it happens all the time. Another cliché is, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. So perhaps, “The way to a company’s check book is through a free lunch”.


I wonder how long before they have a stripper dancing in the background during a presentation. That’d really fill the seats.


Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

February 26, 2009 at 6:11 am

A Story About My Dad, The Salesman

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My father was a door-to-door “No Solicitors” sign salesman. He had an annoying voice, a bothersome demeanor and obnoxious mannerisms. Sufficit to say, he was very successful at what he did. Every morning at five am, he’d leave the house with a box full of signs, load them in his car and drive off. He’d return about seven pm with an empty box everyday. Later, he shared with me some of his “trade secrets”.

Here’s list of things he’d do to give him the edge he needed to be successful:

-“I’d never brush my teeth in the morning or eat anything for breakfast. I’d chain smoke and drink as much coffee as possible, which is another great way to get inside someones house or business, may I use the bathroom sort a thing. Anyway, I’d drive around smoking and guzzling coffee then when I’d make a sales call, I’d lean in close and try to push my breath on them.”

-“Sometimes I wouldn’t bath for days or I’d wear the same suit all weak. Wearing the same clothes over and over again gives you a much more offensive odor than just not bathing. It’s a unique smell, special, different from just plain old b.o.. I think it has something to do with the fibers soaking in all the stinkiness.”

-“If I found myself in a situation where I thought I was on the edge of losing a sale, a real sale, not some bum who isn’t really interested in buying, but someone who just needs that little something to seal the deal, that’s when I’d pull what I call the mister. That’s where you spit very lightly in someones face when you’re talking to them. It took me a really long time to learn how to do it well and not get caught. I’d practice a lot when I was driving around smoking and drinking coffee in the mornings, scouting sales routes. You really have to be careful and gentle in your approach and watch out for too much repetition. If it only happens two or three times in a meeting that’s enough and it has to be a light spray. If it’s light enough and soft enough, the person won’t expect a thing and usually won’t even mention it. You can always see it in there eyes though, that instant loathing, how they pretend they’re rubbing their chin or scratching their cheek, trying to wipe it off. Even if you lose the sale, it’s pretty entertaining to watch.”

-“Talking excessive loud is a good tool. Again, you have to perfect the technique, but noise is something that bothers a lot of people. Some people will buy a sign just to get a little peace and quiet.”

-“I always loved when I got a head cold. Trying to close a deal with the sniffles or an abrasive cough really moves the transaction along.”

-“I only did this a couple of times, because the last time I tried it a guy came after me with a Louisville Slugger. I’d carry one of those stink bomb viles in my coat pocket and just as I’d finish my pitch, I’d reach inside my pocket and crack the vile open. Amazing, some people will buy from you if they think you’ve shit your pants.”

I’m sure there was more, but I can’t recall anymore. It’s crazy to think that’s how the man feed his family, but he did and never complained. He sold those signs up to the day he died. I sometimes wonder if it wasn’t the life that killed him.

So now, every time I see one of those signs that say, “No Solicitors” I always think of my dad and how happy I am that I’m not a salesman.

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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November 15, 2008 at 5:59 am

Buying A New Car

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You’d think that in our modern world that everything would keep pace with the rapid advancements of technology. It’s no joke that as soon as you buy a electronic gadget, it’s out of date. I recently bought a new car and was astounded by the fact that nothing has changed in selling style, since it’s conception.

It all began with a flyer in the mail. It was for little, gas efficient cars at amazing low prices. I joked with the wife that I should trade my V-8, gas guzzler in for a compact car to save on gas. She said, “Sure. Go check it out.” I spent about four hours one day at a dealership and was about to be lead into buying a $14,000 MSRP car for $20,000. The wife told me I needed to walk away, which I did. Later she advised me that if I was serious about buying a car, it should be a car I actually wanted and not just a car from a circular in the mail. I actually did a little research, (little being the key word) this time before buying. I even drove out to a small town from where I live to look at the particular model I was after. It had been in an accident, so I walked again. Finally I went to another lot locally and found the model I was after icluding color and extras I was interested in.

This is where the whole old style of selling kicks in. My sales associate did the whole, “Let me go ask my manager” bit. Where they walk off and count to 50, then come back with another line of bull. We do a few of these back and forth things, until he can see I’ve reached my limit. Honestly, why can’t car dealers loose the slime and just be real with you. I think I’d been more inclined to buy a car, even more rashly or on impulse, if they just shot from the hip. Anyway, as I’m working on price, I bring up the cost of tag, title and tax. The sales associate tells me that they’re having a promotion of tossing a football from twenty yards into the back of a pick-up to win it. I told him that I was going to make it, no doubt, even though earlier I had seen a guy try who was twice my size not even hit the truck. He kind of smiled and told me no one had made it yet. The hours start slipping away and I’m to the point where I want to leave. This prompts the manager coming over to make his “final, low as I can go offer”. It’s pretty good, but I ask if I can go home and think about it. At home the wife and I go ’round and ’round about it. I eventually call the sales associate and tell him I’m going to pass.

Later on in the evening, the wife, out of the blue says, “You should buy that car.” So I rush down there, right before closing, find the manager and say, “I changed my mind, I want the car.” We do the initial paper work then go outside to “throw the football”. The manager is laughing as he gets the football from the bed of the truck, because it’s been raining, the ball is wet and slick and has three times the amount of air inside it suppose to. It’s a total carnival game. This football is like a super, bouncy ball. As I walk back to the line to throw, the manager tells me how a local, former, hot-shot, college quarterback only made 2 out of 10 attempts. I get to the line, dry the ball off best I can on my shirt and “let’er rip”. It was like throwing a watermelon. As luck would have it, I made it, straight in, right over the tail gate. The manager gets mad and I start screaming like a drunken, sports, fanatic. He throws the ball back at me, partly as a joke to hit me and partly as a way to vent his frustration to hit me. I catch the ball and we start to walk in to finish the paper work. I ask him, “Do you want me to throw it again?” He tells me, “Sure.” I toss it again and it banks off the back window and goes in. It was awesome. I’d never felt so macho before in my whole life.

The best part was driving home and calling the wife to proudly tell her I’d won tag, title and tax.

Egg On,

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

October 13, 2008 at 4:34 am