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pslaughter
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Well, I thought I'd update you guys on how things are going...

I stumbled into a pretty good situation, at least for me. I found a pretty good spot where I don't have to pay rent in exchange for performing a couple of 20 minute magic shows. Oh and they are letting me hat the magic shows so that helps to make some extra money.

I pitched today. I sold 25 worms and 7 Svengali decks. I was there from around 10:00-3:00. I got tired at three and just kind of folded up shop. While I'm not exactly setting the pitch on fire I do feel like I'm making a little progress. At least I'm feeling a bit more comfortable.

One thing I will say is that IT really isn't all that bad. I have to admit that my original idea was just to stick with the gimmick that comes pretied on the worm. I've never been a fan of IT and just figured it wouldn't be worth the hassle. The only reason I went ahead and gave it a shot was because Pete told me too. Man he was right. Once you get use to it IT is the ONLY way to go. Sure it breaks some, but not nearly as often once you get the hang of it. If you want to give IT a shot, go ahead and set up at least 10 before you go out the first day. That's what I did. Then when I broke a few, I didn't worry about it because I still had several left. Now I am making sure I always have at least 10 set up and ready to go when I head out. Another thing that has helped me is to always have another one out and ready to go should one break on you. All you have to do is switch in the new one and keep going.

I'm also learning the meaning of Pete's "it's a numbers game" philosophy. You really have to keep doing it over and over and over again. The more pitches I do, the more pitches I seem to close. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, but the more times you give it a shot, the more likely you are to at least have a shot at the $$$. There have been some times where I just knew the folks in front of me weren't going to pull out their wallets only to have them buy several. Other time I could just smell the money, and then nothing, nada...I don't really get it yet. I'm still really new at this, but there is something to it.

Right now I'm just trying to keep at it. I'm hoping my new found pitch holds up. I'm hoping I'll be able to put in enough time over the winter so that come spring I'll be up to par. I'm living by the idea that practice makes perfect (or in my case at least better).

One thing I'm not sure about how to really handle correctly is pitching both the worms and the svens. I've noticed that when I try to tie them into a package and do both pitches, I just can't keep the crowd. If I just pitch one, close, and take the money, then move on to the next item, I do much better. The worm pitch is right at 3 minutes, the Svengali is around 4. Is there a better way of handling this package thing?

I'm also curious to hear how you guys handle silence at the end of your close. Yea, I know about the one last trick idea. After the larceny trick, then what? Same thing with the worm. You've done the pitch, answered their questions and asked for the money. They are just kind of standing there. Then what? I think I might be coming off a little to strong. I've just been saying "so how many do you want?" or "what color would you like?" In regards to the worm the little darlings actually have the package in their little grubby hands! It just seems really awkward with their parents trying to either hand them back to me or hang them back on my peg boards. So how do you guys handle it? How do you push them over the edge to convert them to sales? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say on the subject!

Well there you go. That's it for now.

Thanks again everybody!
DonDriver
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Do you have bags ? If so ask the kid "what color do you like" than put that color in a bag and give it to the kid and put your hand out to the parent and say...$6.00 ...thats with all the tax...and just stare them down.
pslaughter
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Don, I'm going to do that tomorrow! I'll let you know how it turns out!

I guess I'm just going about it all wrong. Believe it or not I get a little p**sed off when the buggers don't buy! It's like, hey you mucks you stuck around this whole time (a whopping 3 minutes! :0) ) you have my product in your hands, the kid is asking for it, now just give me the stinkin money you @$%$! God I hate it when they say "We have to think about it." My response..."I know how that goes, be sure to call your financial advisor, I know this is a big investment!" Of course I say is like I'm kidding and it's a joke. Still...

I know some people just aren't going to buy, and that's OK. Is it just me though? I'd rather them just walk away early and save me the trouble of going through the pitch. So do I need an attitude adjustment or what?

Oh I did say something I thought was pretty funny today. This woman was going to just deposit her kid at my booth and go about her merry way. I yelled at her as she started to walk away, "Hey lady, if you leave your kid with me I'm going to buy him a shot of espresso and give him a free puppy." She returned and picked the little bugger up. I didn't sell them anything, but I wasn't a baby sitter either! :0)

Thanks! :0)
Devious
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Mr. Laughter, you seem to have an utter contempt for all those who do not purchase...Do you realize this? You stated yourself, "It's a numbers game"!
Try just working the pitch and don't focus at all on the money...that will take care of itself.

When you mention, little buggers, grubby little hands, you mucks, you @$%$, and perhaps other insults you throw around, would you want to give that guy even a quarter? Just relax and have some fun, remember it's a free show!

I allowed one of Jimmy Talks A Lot's apprentices to work a pitch on my table and he called the non tipping audience "cockroaches" well believe you me, he is no longer welcome even near me.

Please don't become that guy. Remember do they really need what you are offering? Try to make them want it. How do you do that? Well for starters have fun with the performance for they will want that same thrill from their groups. Make sense?
They will value it more when you don't force them to buy it.

Here's to your success guy!
All the best,
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
DonDriver
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Devious is right on but I would get P.Oed myself at times.When a mother would pull their kid out of the pitch I would say to the mother.."that's right get the kid before I ask for money....head to that Avon booth but don't buy your kid anything." hahaha it never did any good but I sure had a good time.I would down right insult them sometime and say things like " don't you think your kid is worth $5.00...he looks like a good kid to me...here I'll buy him a deck.Or "kid does she ever spend any money on you...isn't she embarrassing to be with.Oh I was bad sometime.Not once did anybody call me on saying these things...NOT ONCE.

Understand most of the time I had a very good attitude but some days I just didn't give a sh**...lol.After 30 years you'll understand (smile)

Don
JoeJoe
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Some people are going to not buy, don't take it personally. Snapping at them might make you feel better, but like Don said ... it never does any good.

As people we develop an emotional attachment to a particular expected outcome, and when we don't get that outcome the emotional response is 'anger'.

The solution is simple: change your excepted outcome ... if you go into a pitch thinking they won't buy, then instead of getting angry when they don't you get to experience joy and excitement when they do.

I often find myself saying "I knew they weren't going to buy, but I thought I'd take a crack at them anyway".

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Jon-O the Great
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When someone says, "I'll be back" or "I'll think about it" or whatever, I pull out my "25 Stupid Reasons Why I Can't Buy Now" list (I have it in a sheet protector, stuck catty cornered under my money box) and say, "Wait, lemmee see if that's on my list." Of course it is, so I say, "Hey look here, that's #1 on my Stupid List. (Smiling) How did you know?" They begin looking down the list which gives me a chance to say, "Hey, it's only $----, take it with you."

Usually they don't buy anyway, but it always gets a laugh and SOMEtimes they will buy.

With my strippers, I do what has been described to me as a "drop". If they are starting to walk away without buying, I'll say something very furtively, like, "Wait. Come back here. (I motion them back and almost whisper.) Look around. See anyone buying anything? See anyone carrying a bag? It's a very slow show. Tell you what, buy 'em RIGHT NOW, don't give me any of that "I'm gonna walk around and think about it" jazz, I'll give you an extra stripper. Someone you know would love it." Sometimes they buy, sometimes not, mostly they do. It costs me an extra $2 but if they buy, it makes the difference between earning SOMEthing and earning nothing.

I haven't tried it with the cards but at $10 per deck I could sure give 'em an extra TCM or deck, if necessary.

I only do the "drop" when no one else is there. Because I don't want everyone to think they can have 3 strippers instead of 2. But even tho I say it's a 'RIGHT NOW' kinda thing, sometimes they willl come back and if necessary, I'll give 'em the 3rd one, even then.

If anyone wants the "25 Stupid...." list, PM me. I'll e-mail it.

Jon
pslaughter
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Well, I got up this morning and headed out right after reading a couple of reply posts here. I wasn't really crazy about Devious' post at first, but it did get me to thinking.

I have to admit I do have a different attitude toward this pitching business than I do towards other venues where I perform. I'm not 100% sure why this is. Believe it or not I'm pretty sure my audiences don't think of me as full of contempt. I get booked a lot in family venues such as theme parks and when I busk I get pretty decent hats. Pitching however is different.

I'm wondering if it has something to do with coming from a busking background. Sometimes pitching seems like you are doing show after show and getting no hat at all. That would tick me off if I were busking. Thankfully that hasn't happened. I've had some days that weren't great, but all in all I can't complain.

Well, long story short I decided to take all of your advice. I just went out today and tried to concentrate on having fun and not expecting to make any money. I pitched a bunch and really just looked at it as a learning experience to try to really get Pete's pitch down. Also the venue let me perform my busking show a few times which I thoroughly enjoyed. All in all I'd say I had more fun.

Now to answer the big question..."How did this little experiment affect my bottom line?" The short answer is it didn't. I did pretty much the same today as I did yesterday. I sold a few more Svengali decks than I did yesterday. However I will say that my mood was a lot better and I think that probably makes it worth continuing. I did feel a lot better at the end of the day.

So I'm still thinking about how and why this business affects my mood so differently than other performing venues. It really isn't about the money necessarily. Of course I want to make some money with this, but that isn't really the reason I'm doing it. I think some of it has to do with some of the attitude that is reflected back at you when you are trying to pitch. Generally when I busk, I build a crowd and just go into my show. Building a crowd isn't really that difficult once you get use to it. Folks generally are in a good mood and they are willing to be entertained if they stop to watch. Pitching seems much more adversarial to me. When I'm busking it feels as if the crowd is more inclined and perhaps enjoys giving me the money. Pitching feels kind of like the crowd is much more guarded.

This is definitely an interesting social experiment for me. I should definitely get a much tougher skin out of all this. I'm also learning a lot. Heck, Mark Lewis even sent me an email this morning about how to handle packaging the worm and the Svengali in a package. In a nutshell he told me it wasn't a good idea. His suggestion was kind of an either or proposition. Shorten the worm pitch and lead into the Svengali. Then at the end asking them which one they'd like. The foregoing was paraphrased and drastically shortened. I know he is a controversial figure, but his advice was well reasoned and the tone of his email was very nice. I appreciate him taking the time to write it. Just like I really appreciate everyone else who has been willing to talk with me at length and help me including Don.

So know that I am listening, and am willing to give your advice a shot...whether I like it or not! :0)
Devious
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Thank you Mr. Driver for corroborating what I feel to be the correct approach. I too get frustrated, but it's mostly when I kind of have a feeling they will buy, and then don't. I found out that I was setting myself up for resentment. I know longer go in with those expectations. I do however, know that they can expect to have fun whilst listening to my pitch. The rest takes care of itself. Don, 30 years certainly qualifies you for our Worlde Famous Pitchman Pension! "Here ya' go kid, a free multi-coloured worm." My respects to you sir!

Joe-Joe,
Whenever I get that look of refusal, like you, I take a crack at them anyway and say, "No matter where you go, you'll find yourself spending more than at my show"!

Hello there Jon!
What a wonderful concept...I love the way that you engage them afterwards without animosity and yet continue to entertain them! I totally love it! Please by all means, do send me the list you've created. I promise to give you a FREE stripper in return.
Here's to your continued success people!
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
DonDriver
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You all have good thoughts on GTFM.Devious said it best when he said "It's a numbers game"! Throw enough sh*t against the wall and some of it will stick.

Perseverance my friends PERSEVERANCE !!!!

Don
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2011-09-18 21:11, Devious wrote:
Joe-Joe,
Whenever I get that look of refusal, like you, I take a crack at them anyway and say, "No matter where you go, you'll find yourself spending more than at my show"!


I say it for all of them - I don't need that look of refusal. I approach every single pitch with a "they aren't going to buy anything" attitude. Why would they? It's just junk ... they can't cook with it, they can't clean with it, they can't fix their car with it ... it's useless. If they don't buy, then it just means they are smart and there is hope for humanity yet.



If you really wanna look at the numbers ... then ask yourself how many products you have purchased thet have been pitched to you on TV? Do you have any Oxy-clean? Mighty Putty? Slap Chop? Sham-Wows? Green Bags? Pasta strainers?

Yeah ... people are gonna say no ... including yourself ... so get over it. Just smile and say "thank you for watching my pitch". I've had people bring back friends that did purchase.

I wish I could credit for that line, but I stole it from a "super sweeper" pitchman roughly 15 years ago. It works. He would even shake people's hands, but I'm a germaphobe.

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Jon-O the Great
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"In a nutshell he told me it wasn't a good idea."

Of course it's NOT a good idea. It's DON'S idea. Mark deprecates anything of Don's. Or, frankly, of anyone else who crosses him. Mark is ALWAYS 110% right and anyone else is 1000% wrong.

I think anyone else will agree--it's whatever works for YOU! In the 20 years I've sold strippers, my demo must have changed 100 times. I see someone else doing something and some piece of their demo, especially the close, grabs me. I change my demo to include it.

I'm sure it is no surprise but I don't do Don's demo. I did, but I don't. Oh, his is the BASIC demo but I've added and subracted so much that people who saw it before tell me, "Oh I saw some guy doing the cards a while back but he wasn't NEARLY as good as you!" SAME ME!! But they buy this time.

That doesn't mean Don's wrong and I'm right. It only means MY DEMO WORKS FOR ME. So if it were me, I'd quit worrying about what Mark--or anyone--thinks. I'd find something that works and THEN improve it.

And one more thing. I DO HAVE FUN WITH IT! Even after I've explained the cards and the TCM, MANY of the kids ask, "Wow! How'd you do that?"

"Did I just explain it?"

"Yeah---but how'd you do that?"

"The simple instructions are inside the box. I'll guarantee you'll be doing the tricks in 5 minutes after you read 'em. And, hey, you can do the TCM now. How hard is it to turn your hand over?"

Jon
WillRoya
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I have the attitude that I don't need the mark's money, a slow day for me is under a grand and one sale really makes no difference and I don't like to force the product on people, like you see a lot of other sales people do. If at the end of my demo I don't see them reaching for their money, I'll tell them to walk away and think about it. I know kids and even adults with limited funds like to see everything first before they spend their money. They will and do come back, sometimes in a just a minute so they can think about it or decide how many they want to buy. They will respect you not doing the "buy it now" close like every other sales person.

Another line I like to use is "if you are low on funds or really need to think about it, I'll be back next year." It surprisingly works, even if you have to wait a year for the sale.

I can't stand most people who want to waste my time with stupid questions or talk shop and dismiss them as quickly as I can if they are not going to buy. Just ignoring them and going right into the next pitch seems to work most the time. Those time wasters can really cost you money when it is bang on. "I'm here to sell people not entertain, so if you want to buy something, let me know, otherwise, please clear the aisle!"
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