Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

March 7, 2010

Have you met the ‘Goop Guy’?

Every now and then we run an article from a guest author, and today we are delighted to re-print ‘The Goop Guy’ written by Robert Middleton, one of our colleagues and associates.  As you read it, have a think about the principles involved and how they relate to your business and the way you do your marketing – then please add your comments at the end!


Imagine sitting in the middle of a swanky shopping center, a male

cosmetologist hovering over you, with goop slathered all over your

face. Not a pretty picture. But that was me on Friday.

How in the world did I get into such a situation?

Well, it started innocently enough. I was in San Francisco for Mac-

World and stopped by the upscale downtown mall to pick up a few

shirts at Nordstrom’s and find a Valentine’s day gift for my wife.

As I was wandering aimlessly through the mall, I noticed a number

of young girls handing out a sample drink of some sort. I was

thirsty, so I grabbed a dixie cup of the elixer and gulped it down.

Before I could blink he was talking to me. I say “he” because I

don’t think I ever got his name. He was totally focused on me for

the next half hour.

Have you heard of the goji berry? he asked innocently enough.

Well, no I hadn’t. Oh yes, it’s one of the world’s most powerful

antioxidants, and the company he worked for, “The Secret of the

Himalayas,” was the purveyor of all things goji berry.

Before I could blink he was was looking at my hands and

commenting on how dry they were and asking what I used to

moisturize them. Me, I’m a guy. We don’t think about that kind of

stuff. But before I knew it, I was rubbing my hands with an exotic

product called Hunza Apricot Treatment.

It felt kind of like wet sand. I rubbed it in and then he rinsed my

hands ever-so-delicately with a spray bottle. Next was Body Butter,

a light moisturizer that smelled like coconut and apricot.

How did my hands feel now? he implored seductively.

Well, by this time I thought this was pretty nice stuff and would

make a nice Valentine’s gift for my wife. I was sold. OK, now let

me outta here.

Not so quick!!

The Body Better was followed by by the exotic Goji Peel, then

another moisturizer and toner which he proceeded to rub into my

wrist as he regaled me with the superior qualities of these

sublimely divine body products.

OK, OK, enough already! I’l take the Apricot Treatment, the Body

Butter and the Goji Peel. My wife would be happy and I could get

back to MacWorld.

But wait, he was willing to give me the dispenser of special

moisturizer for only $50 and throw in the toner for free. How could

I possibly say no to that? I pulled out my credit card and $240 of

my new-found products were wrapped up and ready to go.

But just one more little thing.

He looked soulfully into my eyes and asked me what I was doing

for those bags so strategically placed beneath them. Bags? I have

bags under my eyes? Apparently so.

And before I knew it I was sitting on a stool being slathered with

eye goop. By now I was having fun. This guy was such a

consummate salesman I couldn’t believe the path he was taking

me down.

Here I am, a guy, considering goop to put under my eyes every

day! When would it all end? Then I realized it. It would never end.

As long as he had my attention he would continue to sell.

Then he showed me the prices. $175 for the eye rejuvenator and

$275 for the collagen cream. Yeah, how on earth did we live before

collagen? And don’t forget the mask that was now spread over the

right side of my face.

He gently wiped off everything with delicately moisturized cotton

puffs and then had me look in the mirror. Did I notice the

difference? Well, actually I did. My right eye was now definitely less

baggier than my right one. Wow, this stuff works!

But at that price? You gotta be kidding me!

But suddenly I learned that, for a very limited time, and just for

me, he could give me the first two products for a greatly reduced

price and throw in the third for free.

Well, I finally got ahold of my senses and thought… There is no

friggin’ way I’ll use this eye stuff for more than a few days, feel like

an idiot and regret my purchase. My sanity took the upper hand

and I told him firmly, thank you, but no.

An average salesperson would have moved on. But not Goop Guy. I

think he used about five more closes (don’t you care about your

eyes? was the most heart-rending) before I took off.

Nevertheless, as I gathered my bags and walked away and down

the escalator to freedom, I looked back and still saw him enticing

me back to his parlor of lotions and potions, never really giving up

until I was completely out of sight.

My only regret was that I hadn’t pulled out my Flip Video and

recorded him in action. It was in my pocket, but as I contemplated

returning, I knew I probably wouldn’t get away without buying

that damn eye goop.


The Bottom Line:  If most Independent Professionals

had one tenth of the focus, persistence and charm of this guy,

they’d be making ten times the income. No, you really don’t have

to manipulate, but certainly you’d know exactly what to say to

make your services compelling and valuable. You’d have a great

answer to every single question your prospects asked, and always

have another way to move the sale forward, no matter what.


© Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit
Robert’s web site at www.actionplan.com for additional
marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional
service businesses

September 21, 2009

Persistence Pays Off

I love parables, don’t you? They entertain and there’s always a lesson to be learned. Sometimes we get to snigger at the dupe that just doesn’t get it too. This week I’ve got two parables for you, and the best part is that they both happened to me within the last few weeks. You’ll learn from each one while they’re (hopefully!) entertaining you, and in one of them you’ll get to chuckle at the numpties who just didn’t get it.

1. Persistence Pays Off

Last summer Vanessa and I took a long hard look at the bargeboards and soffits on our house, and hung our heads in shame. They were awful! So we used our network to find a recommended fitter, and were introduced to Mike Sullivan at Trade Plastics. Mike came over to give us a quote – and that’s where things got a little slowed up…

You remember last summer, don’t you? That was when the world was introduced to two new phrases: ‘credit-crunch’ and ‘publically-owned financial institutions.’ So Vanessa and I did what everyone else did, and put a hold on our buying decision. How many of your clients did the same? And that was where your sales-cycle ended, I’ll bet.

But not for Mike. Earlier this year he knocked on our door and asked how things were going. He didn’t come on strong at all, just wanted to see how things were with us. Wow! Follow-up! Who’s heard of such a thing? I wish I could say that we gave him the job right then, but we didn’t. We still weren’t ready to loosen the purse-strings, so we thanked him for the visit and told him we’d call him when ready.

So how many of us would have thrown that lead in the bin and moved on? I’d probably have put my hand up to that one. But once again, Mike didn’t go with the conventional wisdom.

About three weeks ago, our doorbell rang. And it’s a funny thing, because in the week leading up to that ring, Vanessa and I had been talking about our bargeboards. If they were awful a year ago, can you imagine what they looked like by now? And the gentle ‘thaw’ of the recession is undeniable, so we were looking once more at our budget.

So when Mike was behind the opened door, we asked when he could start the job. A week later, we had lovely new bargeboards and Mike had the money in his bank account. (We can heartily recommend Mike’s work, by the way. Also, he’s a great guy, he has a great team and his prices are reasonable. So if you need that kind of work done, drop him an email.)

The moral of this story? Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Don’t be pushy, but if a prospect seemed interested and then got distracted, touch base and ask how things are going. If they’re still not ready wait for an appropriate interval then rinse and repeat. Like Mike, you may well get the business in which you invested so much effort.

Check back on Friday for my other story!

Bookmark and Share