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Topic: Conning the pitchman?
Message: Posted by: sethb (Oct 31, 2009 07:18PM)
Maybe it's just a coincidence, but over the last couple of shows, I've had a few people watch the Squirmle pitch and then say, "OK, show me how it works and I'll buy it."

So I tell them the instructions are packed in with the worm, and it comes with everything they need except plastic cups and a Sharpie. Then they say, "but I want to be sure my kid can do it, so I need to know how it works."

So I tell them that any kid over the age of 6-7 will have no trouble doing it, and actually, some of them do it better than me, it just takes about 10 minutes practice in the mirror. Then they say "Well, I'm not buying it unless you tell me how it works first."

So I tell them I'm very flattered that I mystified them, but I'm sorry, the secret is part of the trick and part of the price. At that point about half of them buy it anyway. The other half say something like "OK, I'll be back in a while" (and I never see them again) or "Oh well, I don't have any kids anyway" (they never intended to buy it at all, they just wanted to know the secret for free).

The motto is -- don't get suckered into giving away the secret!! SETH
Message: Posted by: chefmagic (Nov 1, 2009 04:49PM)
You can also show them the back of the package, it says ages 3 and up.
Message: Posted by: sescarny (Nov 1, 2009 05:44PM)
Do they call Coca-Cola or KFC and ask how their products are made and what's in them before they buy? NO. Remind them of that kindly. Secrets are sold, not given away. :)
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Nov 1, 2009 06:04PM)
"The secret is TOLD when the trick is SOLD" or "The secret is TAUGHT when the trick is BOUGHT"

Sometime I say " There is something to it..we aren't selling holly water you know."

I like Sescarny explantion as well.

Message: Posted by: sescarny (Nov 1, 2009 11:08PM)
Hey Don,

I LOVE your lines!! Are they open for others to use by any chance? :)

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Nov 1, 2009 11:24PM)
If they weren't I wouldn't have posted them in an open fourm.

(I stole them,why shouldn't you)

Message: Posted by: sescarny (Nov 2, 2009 06:44AM)
Ha Ha Ha!!!! Good point...

Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 2, 2009 11:50AM)
It's funny, some of these people act like they were buying an expensive diamond or something. But we are only talking about a $5-10 magic trick, folks!

And chefmagic, you are right, the package does say "3 and up," which I think is actually very optimistic. I usually tell people "6 and up," which is probably still pushing it a bit, but that's at least more honest.

Don and Ses have the right idea -- the secret is part of the price, period. Idle curiosity seekers and tire kickers, you will please get out of the way, you are blocking the view of the next tip coming in . . . . SETH
Message: Posted by: sescarny (Nov 3, 2009 01:18PM)
I've learned that only about 1 out of 10-15 will buy based on knowing the secret. The rest had no plans to buy, they wanted to know the secret. Like Seth said, tire kickers. Let 'em kick dirt instead.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Nov 3, 2009 02:00PM)
Some what on the same subject.I learned that if you are on the joint and waiting for a tip and some guy walks up and says "show be a card trick" not only will he 100% guaranteed not buy a deck he won't even stay for the entire pitch.So when that happens I say " the magician is on a break,stop back in about half hour" they never do come back.

I also found out the more questions they ask the less they spend.I tend to not be very nice and get sarcastic with them and say " the information booth is two rows over,they only charge $1.00 a question...have a nice day"

Message: Posted by: sescarny (Nov 3, 2009 09:05PM)
What? A die hard pitchman being sarcastic? Never.....
Message: Posted by: Jestnjoker (Nov 3, 2009 09:12PM)
Wait, I've been practicing "warm and cuddly" since I bought Don's DVD. I'm supposed to be sarcastic? I guess I can throw away my "Decks-$6, Hugs- Free" sign.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Nov 4, 2009 10:29AM)
I think many of these situations can be avoided by going with bigger tips, when that's possible. If nothing else, you're bound by the law of averages to get more buyers with a bigger crowd.

The problem is that you always have to start somewhere, which often means performing for just a few people, in order to start building a tip. In that case, I usually try to stall a bit until I attract a few more people.

And I have taken Don's way out on occasion, saying that the magician is taking a break, eating lunch, next show in ten minutes, etc. Just because you are doing a free magic show, doesn't mean you always have to perform for everyone that asks. Sometimes Mom dumps the kids in front of my table (expecting me to entertain them while she shops elsewhere) or a group of bored teens will wander by and want to be amused. Those are good times to take a break! SETH
Message: Posted by: WillRoya (Nov 7, 2009 07:51AM)
I like the line, "That's the demo, now it's time to buy." And clap your hands. Don't let the marks waste your time. Either close them or send them away. Tell them to think about it and come back if they decide they want it. A lot of people do, sometimes they walk 10 steps and walk right back!

Also if I feel someone is just wanting a free show, I just charge a $1 for the demo, if they want to buy something they get a dollar off. Only one person has to pay the dollar, and anyone can watch the demo. This is good if you are running low on stock or losing your voice. My closing rate is around 90% when I've done this! If it is a 12 hour fair, I might do this the last few hours of the day.
Message: Posted by: sescarny (Nov 7, 2009 02:18PM)
I liike that!!