Saturday, May 29, 2010

"No, Ma'am, I don't have ESP. I'm just an antisocial jerk."

First rule of salesmanship- do not reveal your utter contempt for the person you are trying to convince to buy your product. Remember, the customer has all the power until she has walked out of the store with your product in her cart. Acting like a total ass who doesn’t give a damn who she is or whether she buys what you are trying to sell is NOT the mark of a good salesman-however, I would take a moment to alert security that there is a crazy woman in the store who came in looking for shampoo but is now opening boxes and eating food she hasn't paid for. "I'll take a box?" Yes, you sure will, lady. That one in your hand.

Second rule of salesmanship- don’t be rude. I’ve never met a successful salesman who did what the guy in this FiberOne commercial does- insisting on interrupting the customer as she attempts to ask questions, treating her as if he wishes she would just get the hell out of his face and stop infringing on his personal space, and speaking to her through an upturned nose as if to say “Yes, you Illiterate American Monkey, there’s just as much fiber in this cereal as the box claims.”

Third rule of salesmanship- don’t let your customer know that you hate your job. The guy in this commercial looks and acts like a PhD discharged from his position at a prominent East Coast University because the administration and his fellow staff members simply could no longer bear to be around him- plus, there was that little “incident” with the coed. He looks and acts as if he’s just a few seconds away from murdering one of his lessors for daring to treat him as if he’s just a guy handing out free samples, and he wasn’t once one of the most brilliant physics professors to come out of Pakistan.

Fourth rule of salesmanship- Know your product. The less attractive it is, the better your pitch has to be. If you are selling pencil shavings stuffed with gluten that will create the sensation of having a rock in your abdomen if you manage to keep it down, you are going to have to come up with a seriously attractive ad campaign. The insufferable little knob who stars in this commercial acts as if Box O’ Twigs is something everyone loves to eat anyway, so his biggest problem should be keeping the shelves full.

Finally, FiberOne really ought to stop taking ad tips from Volkswagen- it really isn’t a good idea to leave your potential customers thinking “gee, what a dick” when the commercial ends.