The best sales people don’t rely on a smarmy pitch or underhanded tactics. They find out what people want, and then deliver.
I spent one Seattle summer working as the ice cream man, selling my wares from a three-wheeled truck. My best route included Alki Beach a sandy summer hangout on the west side of the city. One of my favorite methods of making a sale involved young men.
Your typical guy on the beach isn’t terribly interested in popsicles or fudgesicles. Those things are for kids. If I had been driving a beer wagon that was lax on checking IDs I would have had plenty of customers in that demographic. But being a young man myself, I did know what they wanted–girls. And in good weather there was a plentiful supply of them at Alki.
Armed with this inside information I would spot a likely group of young men and make sure that there was an equivalent group of young women near by. I’d pull up to the guys and say, “Hey, if you buy these ice cream bars I’ll take them to those girls over there and tell them they’re from you.” Like me, most of the guys were too shy to make their own introductions to cute girls so this offer was too good to pass up.
After I delivered the treats to the women they headed over to thank their benefactors. In subsequent passes on the beach I sometimes saw them still in conversation.
I have wondered if anything, other than extra money in my pockets, resulted from my favorite method of making a sale. I imagine a young mother tucking in her son who asks, “Mommy, how did you meet Daddy?”
She smiles, kisses him on the forehead and says, “Well, there was this ice cream man…”