Monday, July 20, 2009

Peddling your wares

For many years, mall kiosks have been leased by those hand lotion salespeople and the unforgettable "Do you have a crack in your windshield?" people. Nearly every trip to the mall my husband and I whispered our mantra as we walked by these kiosks: "Don't make eye contact! Don't make eye contact!" Cause once you did, you were sucked in and the only options were to either be rude and and ignore them or stand there for five to ten minutes while they gave their spiel (and make you try their nail buffer and hand lotion) and it ends only after multiple uses of "Sorry, I'm not interested."

This guerrilla marketing really isn't new, but recently I've experienced it more. And for art instead of some random product. In April I took a trip to LA. A friend and I were approached several times as we took in the sights on Hollywood Boulevard. We were asked to take a listen from a pair of headphones. We declined, naturally. (two petite girls, 3000 miles from home, being approached by large strange men in an unfamilar, gigantic city. Um, I don't think so.) Anyway, these men were peddling their music and asked people to listen to a sample then buy their cd. And just a few weeks ago, here at home, my husband and I attended a concert at a local club. Afterwards, we were approached by a member of the opening band, asking us to buy their cd. My husband was a bit flustered and gave an answer that sounded a bit rude, but he later told me he really didn't mean it that way. He was just caught off guard and couldn't manage a simple "No thanks."

So all this had led me to wonder, does this sales tactic really work? My first book will be published soon, in eBook form, but if it were in paper form, would I really have the guts to walk up to people and ask them to buy it? Or worse yet, put myself through the pain of rejection time and time again? I think not. I don't understand why poeple put themselves through this.

When I shop at the mall, Target, anywhere, I like to browse, take my time, do my own thing. Nothing irritates me more than a salesperson who just won't go away. Ask me once if I need help; if I do, I'll tell you. If I say no, then later on need help, I'll come find you.

Have the current economic times made people more eager to pounce on possible buyers?? Are people getting desperate and resorting to means they wouldn't have done otherwise?


  1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks for joining my blog! How, I don't think I could do that. It's almost as attractive as thumping people over the head with my books. :) Congrats on the e-publish!! That's awesome!

  2. Thanks! It's really exciting...doing some tough edits right now...but I'm sure it won't exactly get easier as I go along!!

  3. I don't think it's the times. Some people are pushy. LOL! I'm the same way, no eye contact.

    Also, for your book if you were in the mall it would be weird. But a book signing or library even would be different, I think.

  4. Just anywhere in general...I do readings at open mic type events in my city. Soemtimes people bring their things to sell. Usually they're just laid out on a table. I can see myself doing that, but going up to people and asking them to buy my

  5. Oh yeah, I don't think I could go up and ask someone to buy my book either. *shudder*