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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » The Fire Wallet and the 3-card Monte (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DonDriver
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It not a good trick for layman.Its really too hard for them to learn.
Kim
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I can agree with that Don, I should have been clearer in my statement I guess.I personally did not find it that hard to learn,but I was really an amateur magician at the time and not just a layman.
Sometimes its hard to switch between magic think and pitch think here on the discussion board.
DonDriver
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I understand Kim.But remember when it comes to layman (marks) they are brain dead.
visionquest
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It is very tempting to think of the people in front of you as "brain dead" because of all the stress they can give you through a day asking how the tricks are done, not paying attention, eating hamburgers in front of you while you are working, walking away when you are demonstrating, heckling you and worst sin of all not purchasing anything.

However, that is an attitude of grizzled old pitchmen and although understandable is counter productive. It is the reason why new pitchmen who know nothing about the business at first often do far better than the old timers. They are more enthusiastic and are not so jaded. They don't see the customers as "marks". They see them as human beings, the customers sense this and purchase more. Then when the newcomer sees that he is taking in more money than the veteran he tends to get big headed and egotistical about it for a short time until he becomes as hard headed and cynical as the veteran and when that happens he becomes less effective and then stops bragging because his sales fall off a trifle.

My brother used to be a pitchman and ended up very wealthy with a chain of 30 retail shops. He said that when he was a pitchman he LIKED the people in front of him while 90% of other pitchmen called them "suckers" and "marks" and yes "brain dead" was a common expression. I asked him why he liked them and he said, "They give me money! Of course I like them!"

It should be borne in mind that the people we call "brain dead" may be doctors, lawyers, real estate salesmen or university professors. Hardly brain dead. It should also be borne in mind that many of the people who purchase from us live lives of luxury and affluence. The people we call "brain dead" and "suckers" can often buy and sell us. Sure, there are people on a lower economic scale than us but they deserve respect too.

I certainly don't practice what I preach because this is a hard business and the people can get to you with their inanities. But you should always keep at the back of your mind that the person who you consider a "mark" may well be living in luxury mansion while you are living in a cheap motel or a trailer.

Just something for all of us to think about.
DonDriver
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Speaking of MARKS...
seneca77
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Quote:
On 2012-04-08 20:15, DonDriver wrote:
I understand Kim.But remember when it comes to layman (marks) they are brain dead.


Wow! What an unbelievably crass and condescending attitude toward your paying customers. I'm in sales and yes, clients can be annoying and not understand things, but to paint them with such a wide brush seems counterproductive at best. I'm sure that attitude comes through in your pitch.

I'm sure I'll get flamed as this is my first post on Step Right Up but I just couldn't let this go. Maybe since I'm not a pitchman - just a lowly amateur magician - I'm sure I don't understand all the nuances of the job and its goals, but I just don't get it.

It looks like Mr. Driver has the pedigree behind pitching and has sold untold numbers of Svengali decks, but I wonder if he couldn't have sold even more if he treated his potential customers better.

If I'm missing the bigger picture here, please let me know. Do those brain dead marks *expect* to be harangued and harassed? Is that part of the charm of the show/pitch? Does that encourage them to open their wallets? I've seen enough pitches at state fairs (kitchen gadgets, mostly) to think that you "catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" but maybe I'm just different that way.

Not trying to be hostile out of the gate, legitimately trying to understand the psychology at work here.

Thanks.
- Bob
DonDriver
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Bob its like this...marks are stupid as they can be and I can't stand most of them... but I'm a VERY good actor and they all think I love them.Remember I only have to see them once for about 10 minutes tops...after that they are history.If they linger I'll run them off...with a smile on my face of course.

Oh...pitchman aren't salesman...we are thieves,a much better way to make money.

Don
Potty the Pirate
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The process of becoming desensitised to your clients, and regarding them collectively as ignorant, happens in many vocations. On cruise ships, on aircraft, and in hotels, the vast majority of the staff, in time, genuinely despise the clients. They get together after work, and discuss the idiocy and crass attitudes of the punters. I know, because I've been there.

But of course, it's really only a very small minority of those clients who are actually idiots. Most of them deserve respect and consideration. Many of them are good Humans, caring folks, who would be horrified if they knew the condescending attitudes of the staff who serve them.

Unfortunately, working with Joe Public, it's the fools who stand out.

When I worked on cruise ships, we had a secret language (based on Cockney Rhyming Slang), so that we could actually slate the customers right in front of them, without them realising it. At least, that was the theory. The more intuitive and intelligent passengers clearly got a good idea of what was going on.

We referred to them as "Billies"...("Billy Bunter"="Punter")

I can honestly say that nearly all the folks I knew, who worked on cruise ships and in hotels, had a simply appalling attitude towards the clients. It was disturbing for me, and I was never comfortable with that attitude. Even though I admit that I joined in with the fun at the time.

In reality, it was our bosses, who treated us like dogs, and worked us like slaves, that were culpable. The clients had paid large sums of money to be there, and rightly deserved a high standard of service and respect. Sure, some of them were ignorant, but only a few.

When the passengers disembarked the ship, crew members would bleat "Baaaaa".....because they perceived them as sheep. Etc.

And what the waiters do to the food they serve to clients they personally perceive as "ignorant" ....well.....

A Head Chef on one cruise ship (one of the leading Cruise Lines in the World) once told me a story about a passenger who'd complained about his steak being too rare. Chef took the steak from the waiter who returned it, wiped it on his backside, right in front of all the other staff, slung it in a skillet for ten seconds...and sent it back.

Allegedly, the customer then reported that the steak was now "delicious".

Yes, these things really do happen.

If life has caused you to be so jaded, my opinion is, get the hell outta there. Find a new vocation, because your time has come for change.

That's what I did, when I was so exhausted from working every waking hour, every day, at a frenetic pace, with never a day off....and even the most reasonable of complaints from the clients seemed like a personal affront.....

If you don't respect your customers, how can you expect them to respect you? Well, only if they really are idiots....and truthfully, there aren't as many of those as we might like to think.

;)
Docc Hilford
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So funny to read these replies.
DON WAS RIGHT!
He speaks of how easy they learn what they buy.
The marks are TV iPhone YouTube Netflix watchers and are nearly literally “brain dead”.
I’d estimate 10% or less will read the instructions to a Sven deck.
They will NEVER learn Color Monte!

Salesmen and entrepreneurs have a truly affectionate relationship with their customers and clients.
Pitchmen are grifters 😉
Marks aren’t clients.
It’s a beautiful and symbiotic relationship.

Peace
Docc
monkeycat
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I used to call the punters "vermin" for decades. It was only until I started to do psychic readings that my ruthlessness started to soften. A bit more and then a bit more and then a bit more still. When you see them as vulnerable individuals face to face in a one to one situation suffering from terrible problems you don't see them in quite the same way as you did before. And then I heard not that long ago a radio interview with Joe Stuthard who was a fantastic pitchman and realised that I had been doing it all wrong for a lifetime. His attitude to the punters was completely different to that indicated on this thread. I think his way was the best way all along. I discovered it too late alas.
Docc Hilford
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I think you’re right.
As you probably know I’ve done readings for 30 years.
And I like people.
But so did Don Driver.
He used to give away Sven decks to kids who couldn’t afford one!

I was chuckling because his wording is typical pitchman carny lingo.
I didn’t think he was making a statement about the punter’s humanity.
But merely their lack of respect for the tricks they buy.

Two men have families, hopes, dreams and problems.
One is a drunk one is a cop.
They may be loved or hated by any other group.
Soldiers try to kill each other, but may respect each other’s humanity.

All very heavy.
I think Don’s point was you can’t teach a layman Color Monte.
Hahaha.

Peace
Docc
monkeycat
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I remember you once put out some method of selling readings in a sort of pitch situation. I forget the details but it involved billets in some way and I think standing up on a platform and gathering a crowd.

Anyway I saw one guy actually doing your pitch and trying it out at a psychic fair. I am not sure how well he did but I do know the promoters were horrified by the trickery aspect and never allowed him to exhibit again!

On the other hand I pitch Svengali decks at psychic fairs but then I am not a normal human being! See here for what I mean!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4dFiakyyA4
Docc Hilford
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Hahahaha!!!
That’s hilarious!
ML pitching Sens because there’s no one at the Psychic fair!

Yes, it was called the Psychic Pitch.
It used a CT as a come-on to pitch magic square books.
Performed correctly, nobody could possibly tumble the method.
I took the money and handed out a paper for them to write their birthday and question.
Collected them one at a time, tore them up, got a chart book and filled in the square based on their BD and answered the question at the same time.
Took about 1 minute each.
I could outsell Svens with that pitch.

But I’d NEVER do a Pitch at a Psychic fair!!!
That shows he didn’t understand matching venues with presentations.
I wouldn’t pitch Svens at a Baptist Church Picnic either!

Jeez!
Peace
Docc
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