Fandeck of Features
By DEE SCHLOTTER, PPG
By Jerry Rabushka, Editor and Hans Mugler, Publisher
Palette of Departments
By Hans Mugler, Publisher
By Gordon Blickle, Contributing Writer
By Hans Mugler,
Don’t Judge a Book…
The first 20+ years of my business career were spent in radio, both on air and in sales, production, and management. I worked primarily for traditional radio stations…country, rock, easy listening, etc., but in the 90s I was hired to help steer a new type of format into the St. Louis market…“alternative music.”
We began calling on “typical” businesses of the format: soft drink companies, bars, amusement parks, fast food, concert venues and tattoo parlors, but then we started targeting businesses that were not thought to be typical for our music format, such as jewelers, banks, higher-end car dealers, and upscale restaurants and clothing stores.
Many times our potential clients were surprised to see what our Gen X audience would look like or how much disposable income they had to spend. They thought our audience would be low scale, skateboard riding, pimply-faced tattooed freaks; we countered this by showing them national reports and statistics about how our listeners were a very lucrative market. They had high amounts of disposable income, were very motivated to try new things, and were looking for high-end items for their homes and lives. After we held a few station events and potential customers were able to actually see what types of folks showed up, many of them were hooked and signed up for long ad schedules that really paid off for them. You can’t judge a book by its cover!
Many of you also know that I am BIG on Halloween and do a huge Haunted Porch every year for the neighborhood kids…but mostly for my wife and I! I recently made an online purchase at my favorite national haunted retailer of some zombie hands for my costume. They arrived with no receipt in the box, which would not normally be an issue, but while these hands were in transit to me, I purchased a different costume, so I took the hands to the brick and mortar store to be returned…wearing the dirty, sweaty clothes I had just mowed my lawn in.
The guy at the counter first said “these are not our brand, I won’t return them.” I pointed out that I buy exclusively from their company and have for the last 3-4 years. Then he asked for the receipt. I told him I came to the store because the two boxes of items I purchased online came without the receipt in the box. He said “that’s impossible!!” However, it was possible even though this was the very first time it had happened to me.
I offered to show him the receipt and shipping confirmation on my email on my phone, proving the item was purchased from their online store, but he said he would not look at it and only cared about seeing the printed receipt. Words were exchanged, tempers flared, and I was on the phone to the store’s Customer Satisfaction line first thing Monday morning where I was treated with complete and utter respect. I won’t be going back to that particular store, won’t be spending the ridiculous amounts of money I would have spent there, and the idiot at the counter will learn the lesson not to judge a book by its cover.
You dealers probably already know not to judge someone based upon what they drive, how they are dressed, how old they are, or even how they speak. Warren Buffet wears overalls down on his farm. Elon Musk (Tesla) mows his own lawn on an electric riding mower he built. You can never judge a book by its cover! As George H. W. Bush (and Dana Carvey) used to say, “Wouldn’t be prudent!”
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