I was thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen the Oxy-Clean guy in a while. No new gadgets or gizmos to hawk. I was only a sales guy for a couple years before I went into support, but the sales process has always interested me. I’m good at the opening, benefit/advantage, but I’m a terrible closer… hence a terrible salesman. Oh, well. Billie Mays, Ron Popeil, Vince Offer, and Anthony Sullivan define the boardwalk pitch these days on cable tv commercials and infomercials. they ply a trade with a century worth of history. the boardwalk pitch has led to endless betrayals, conflicts and grandstanding. Mays and Sullivan are joining together on April 15th to host a show about the business on the Discovery Channel. I have the DVR set 🙂
Growing up in Philadelphia, I used to go down to Altantic City and Ocean City during the summers. I remember seeing one Boardwalk sales guy on the OC boardwalk, but the heyday of the Boardwalk sales pitch was long past by the time I got there in the 80’s.
The pitch is named after people who would set up small stands along the boardwalk and sell…. anything. Combs to clothes. What defines the Boardwalk pitch is the method instead of the product. It starts with extolling the virtues of your main product. After gathering some people around, you move onto the bid. “Would you pay $20 for this? $15? NO, I ask for only $10 for this miracle of modern kitchen technology.” After you have some takers, you actually make them wait a minute. You don’t want to sell 2 of these things, you want them all out of your trunk forever. So, you throw in the clincher by offering another, cheaper product, for free with purchase. If you’re doing it right, peer pressure and consumer competition will drive all your sales.