Friday, August 29, 2008

Gay Techno Doesn't Sell Anything But "Don't Panic" T-Shirts

Yesterday I called on a client who has been having some issues with his business and I wanted to check on him before we meet up at the upcoming CEDIA tradeshow in Denver next week. When I got him on the phone he let me know that his father had unexpectedly died at 56 years old. There was little to say other than that I was sorry to hear the news and to offer my sincere condolences.

As soon as I got off the phone, I headed down to the card store a block from my new offices and looked for a condolence card as well as some nice "thank you" notes as I believe you can never have enough of those around. Handwritten notes show people in a digital world that you actually care enough to send them a meaningful thought.

As a music major and a "recovering" audiophile, it only took me about 15 seconds of a new song coming on the boom box in the store (note: not Musak) before I was considering writing my wife a condolence card because I was considering killing myself just to stop the pain of listening to the musical abortion on the CD player. The song was a remix of "Lady Marmalade" from Moulin Rouge yet it wasn't the rap-laden Christina Aguilera version. This was something much more drum and bass. More "fantastically" gay and enough to make this heavy metal loving music enthusiast look for something sharp to jam into my ear drum just so my wretched screaming would make the music go away.

So I guess I have a big mouth considering I asked the girl behind the counter "got any other shopping music?" and she just looked at me. Another lady chimed in "This is the gayest song I have ever heard!" and no response. When getting ready to check out - I asked the girl why she didn't change the song and she said "I really like it and I work here." Brilliant. To quote Barack Hussein Obama "This election isn't about me - its about you!"

When walking back to my office it dawned on me about how the best salespeople are all about other people and their needs. The best closers never say "lease this Mercedes because I need to make my month" they say "this is the lowest price I have ever been able to lease a car like this to anyone and I am glad that person is you." And then they send a written thank you note (hell, I could lend them one from my shopping bag).

I don't expect to get Blake (the Alex Baldwin character in Glengarry Glen Ross) when I am buying a sympathy card as some tiny shop but the idea of people-centered interest was driven home to me during this shopping experience - driven home like the credit card pen in my ear from that God-awful song that I still can't get out of my head.

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