How to not make a sale

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Dec 8, 2003
I have been considering TV for a while. It will likely be my advertising of choice for this year. A guy called just yesterday to see about putting me on a local hour-long channel thingy bla bla bla.

He comes in absolutely reeking of smoke. I know for a fact that its possible to smoke and not smell like an a**…I mean butt.

He tried to tell me about how this is my “busy time of year.” It’s mighty bold to assume that he knows my business.

What’s worse is that he leads the hour-long show and has decided to substitute the word “oriented” with “orientated”. Maybe Capt. English can help me out here but even a hick like me doesn’t think those words are interchangeable.

He threw out some silly numbers like “We reach over 25,000 homes……our demographic is from toddlers all the way up to senior citizens.” What a pile of BS.

The pricing is silly too. An entire hour is $600.00. A 30-second commercial on that show is $60. Hmmm….

It really made me look at some little things that I might do to turn off customers. I don't think it's anything real obvious like this but maybe I need to go hone my selling skills.

Anyway it gave me something to do for about 10 minutes. Now back to your regularly scheduled program!
So are you going to so business with this guy?

So he offered you a real bargain then. I take it he was offering you $600 to appear on his show, or am I just being silly.:) Oh and the two words are not interchangeable, unless of cause you are a total dick head, as this guy seems to be.

The impossible I can do today,
Miracles take a little longer
I once had a rep that stunk of smoke so bad it made me gag. Needless to say he never made a sale.
He used it like this, "Our show is very family orientated and youth orientated and even adult orientated." Sounds sexual to me.

He used that word so many times that I was going to ask him to stop.
According to the on-line Cambridge dictionary, "oriented" is a US equivalent of "orientated".

Orientated: directed towards or interested in something.
Yes, I believe that is a British usage, but here in the U.S. it makes one sound illiterate. This guy sounds like a complete turn-off. Anyone who would make such an outlandish claim regarding the demographics must think his prospect is pretty ignorant and gullible. I would have been tempted to really let loose on this guy verbally....but then I probably would have just told him I was in the middle of a delicate and time-sensitive project and couldn't talk right now.
Sales people gotta gab and do their dog and pony show. They also always know your business and demographic customer better than you. Look at them with a little empathy though...they get far more "no's" than "yes's"...especially if they are cold calling.

As framers, we are in the favorable position of people coming to us and giving them back a tangible product for their hard earned greenbacks. Not too many doors slammed in our faces and we are shocked and/or hurt when something weirdly similar happens.

I use to give unsolicited sales people too much time of day. I finally wised up that, not only are they wasting my time, but you are wasting theirs too if you chat too long. Neither of you is getting done what you need to do and by chatting too long, you could be leading them on to think your a live fish.

By the time I retire or die, I think I'll finally be a wise person.

Dave Makielski

PS Oops! Here comes a where did I leave those breath mints?
Next to your pack of cigarettes? Perhaps you should come more orientated with the location of your mints?

The really sad thing is that I was truly interested in their product and don’t think its incredibly high. They just ruined the sale.

My favorite radio rep comes in at least once a month with their latest dog. If I give a quick “not right now” the disscution quickly becomes fishing or marketing or kids or church. I want to do business with him even though I’m not in love with his product or price. Now that’s a salesman.
jay - this guys sounds aweful - can't stand old cigerette smoke smell on people - yuck

Just an FYI, we are doing a second segmet today on a local morning TV show - FREE. The first show, we called and asked if there might be interest in us doing a segment on childrens art. We had heard through a customer about an interior decorator discussing room arranging, so I thought - why not??

Anyway, we focused on what we call Photomats and sportmats - names of kids cut on the wizard and insert photos or team names, sport names, etc. We also took along children's framed art. The time ran short, and they spent so much time on the photomats that they never got to the framed childrens art - they invited us back! So, today's show is focused on framing childrens art from the low end - plak-it through high end design (incorporating children's art in the home). It airs live today between 10-11am and targets a huge piece of our market - stay at home moms.

We are hoping to turn this into a monthly spot focusing on many diffrent aspects of framing and educating our consumers.

Another thing we did, was donate a lot of our older LJ framed samples at full retail value to our local Public radio/tv station. For certain levels, there are spots during the TelAuc that we are mentioned - about 20 or so during the auction time, we are published in their magazine, and it also equates out to about 30 radio spots a month from may-December of this year on their classic radio station - another target - well-to-do consumers with disposable income.

These are just a couple of ideas that we have implemented in the last couple of months to help separate us from the masses. Also, the free news articles spotlighting the business have really helped.

Keeping our head above water!

Also, realized this should have been added to another post!
You feel free to add sanity to any of my threads at anytime.
I don't want smokers in general or Charles in particular to think I'm picking on them, but here's a funny story that perhaps 2 or 3 of you haven't heard before.

Dogzilla doesn't like cigarettes. I suspect he had an abusive owner who was a smoker. When Dogzilla was still a shop dog, I was way in the back when I heard the door chime and headed to the front. Before I could get there, I heard a horrific racket from the dog.

I came around the corner to find an ad salesman pinned up against the wall in my workshop. (Dogzilla never went up to the show room.) The guy had snuffed out a cigarette just before coming in and it was still smoldering in his hand. Dogzilla never touched him, but he wouldn't let him move, either.

He seemed satisfied with my explanation of events: "Cigarette. Private workshop. Big dog." and I never heard from him again.

Do the rest of you get the phone calls from radio salespeople who have a 60-second spot ready to recite without ever having been inside your shop?

I can't actually tell over the phone if they stink of cigarette smoke, but I usually discover I really don't have 60 seconds to spare.

One thing about not having a storefront - those calls have been drastically curtailed.
Its funny you mention that Ron. I was showing my radio guy Picture It First. He thought it was neat how I could actually show somebody what the picture looked like before it was framed. He related that to how he likes to let somebody hear a spot in advance of selling the spot. It made amazing sense to me at that point. But until then I had thought premade radio ads, premade websites, and the like were almost intrusive. I guess I need to let my guard down a bit.
Jay, How has the "PIcture It First" program been working for you? I saw it in NY and thought it was pretty cool. Was it easy to set up?

I am much more tolerant of smokers than gum-chewers. I will deal with smokers, but not gum-chewers. Unless, of course, I am the seller, not the sell-ee. Then I have to put up with everything unpleasant.
Pam I just have the demo but I'll say that setting up the software was a breeze. The camera might be a little more challenging but nothing like programming a space shuttle. The neat thing is that there is almost no learning curve at all with it. It’s some of the most straightforward functional software I've seen in a long time.

I just hope they don't start with the typical software stuff like adding on garbage till its no longer practical or easy to use.

I don't typically use new software unless I'm beta testing. I'll let those guys troubleshoot it. I imagine all kinks will be worked out by Atlanta. I'll probably buy it there.