we are all salesmen, always. and coffee is for closers

kanyewhen i was a lad i sold tvs on commission.

it was a commission only store. you got a draw of about $400 a week, but that was really only minimum wage after taxes and no one waned to just make draw.

and the store would fire you if thats all you made. they wanted sales sales sales.

i was 19 and i loved the pressure. but mostly i loved the reward of being better than the other guy. theres something nice about being paid for what you did and being punished for what you didnt do.

every other Saturday theyd bring sales trainers in to pump us up and give us tips. i remember one guy said that if we could get laid we could sell anything because the weiner is probably the least satisfying part of a mans body. he explained to us on a dreary saturday in west LA that the woman’s body rarely reaches climax through vaginal intercourse and yet men are constantly trying to convince women to engage in that activity with them.

i was 19 listening to this. trying to eat a bagel. the aroma of Windex was in the air as the store was getting ready to open.

i didnt want to hear any of this. but the gentleman in his suit, tie, and free pens kept talking.

he said if you could, in effect, sell your junk you were actually selling yourself which was the root of sales.

“once the customer is convinced that you are trustworthy,” he said, “you can get them to pay for anything.”

ironically i was one of the store’s top salesmen for that year.

and i wouldnt experience, lets say, adulthood, for almost two more years.

and trust me, that was not a sales pitch. it was a birthday gift.

but still to this day i think about that sales trainer, and i believe a lot of what he says.

especially the part about life being sales.

which is why i worry about kanye.

nokia ceo takes a page from The Lonely Island when confronted with iPhone


i guess theres a reason the adam sandberg snl video has 50 million views.

but theres also a reason why Nokia is in trouble: even their own CEO isn’t listening to his customer.

even though the interviewer was a bit annoying and agressive (compared to U.S. tv interviewers) listen to what he is saying

“i saw a picture in the newspaper about the Luminia 928. What kind of phone is that?”

“when are you announcing that?”

birch please“i have an iPhone. i don’t want to have an iPhone. i want to have a Nokia phone because i believe in you and i believe in Nokia. but i want to have the Lumina 928.”

any salesman worth his salt realizes the trap being set for him: the customer says he wants to buy something, but it doesn’t exist yet. meanwhile the salesman has something to sell right now.

rule number one of sales is, as we know, The Customer is Always Right.

but rule number two, to me, is SWAT. Sell What’s Available Today.

Stephan Elop must have sold a thing or two to become CEO of Nokia so he knows the obstacle presented to him by this interviewer. he cannot sell him the 928, all he has is a 620.

but Elop prematurely leaps into a classic amateur salesman blunder: PITCHING TOO EARLY WITHOUT QUALIFYING THE CUSTOMER.

when the interviewer says that he saw a picture in the paper for the 928, Elop should ask “what did you see in that photo that made you so in love with our phone that you wanted to ditch the Almighty iPhone?”

and let the guy say wonderful things about your beautiful product. odds are he’s not going to mention the things the 928 has that your piece of crap doesn’t have.

and then say, well, all those things are true, my friend, but like many protypes and concept cars of the future, what you saw isn’t available. but i do have some good news. excellent news if i heard you right. in fact i have something in my pocket right now that will be available in Finland in a matter of days that has all the things you mentioned.

it’s the 620 and it’s better than your iphone.

and then go into that discussion, not the one about how the 620 is so meh in comparison to the 928 that you put it back in your pocket (!?!!)

ABC: always be closing. bro stopped closing on the 620 as soon as it became obvious that the interviewer only wanted to talk about the 928. did you ever see Steve Jobs stop closing about the current line of apple products when everyone wanted to talk about the next generation? of course not.

if for a second you think this finnish tv host knows more about your products than you do, then yes, retreat

but seriously if you can’t get around a very simple consumer objection which any salesman has heard since the beginning of time (“why shouldn’t i WAIT for the next thing coming around the corner”), then you should be in a different line of work.

“my friend, i’m glad you have an iphone. because when you get this 620 you will love Nokia for improving on what you have been using all these years.”

then drop the phone.

my problem is i didnt go into minor league baseball promotions when i was 20

before i could legally drink a beer i was offered a job to be the General Manager of the Palm Springs Angels.

at the time i was selling tvs and stereos in west LA when little did i know it

but i was selling a complete audio video system to one of the owners of the minor league team

and he loved loved loved my style and persuasiveness.

in qualifying your customer one of the first things you do is find out what your customer does

not wanting to reveal too much he told me he was involved in sports management

so some of my descriptions of the equipment or uses were somewhat sports related

but not too much because you never, as they say, want to put too much salt in the soup.

at the end of the sale he said we are looking for a new general manager and youd be perfect.

unlike in the major leagues, in the minor leagues the GM is not the guy who wheels and deals contracts for the players and manages trades and personel. in the minors the GM is a promotions and advertising dude. sales. butts in seats.

bill veeck is one of my all time heroes, i told the gentleman. not in the minors but in the pros he put fireworks in the scoreboard, he got a midget to pinch hit, he had a shower in left field and a barber chair in center.

(unfortunately he did it on the south side of chicago, thus it doesnt count in heaven)

but on the north side, as a lad, he is the one responsible for the ivy in wrigley field. the most beautiful icing on the worlds most delicious cake. subtle yet irreplaceable. anything else would seem outrageous. ivy. sigh.

he got harry caray, he got nancy faust, he got a special liquor license for comiskey so you could buy hard booze in dozens of locations throughout the park. they called it the biggest saloon in chicago.

milton’s satan once said, if you can’t make a hell out of heaven, make a heaven out of hell. and he did, for the white sox .

palm springs you say?

the only problem was i had just gotten accepted to ucla and uc santa barbara.

could i really turn my back on one of those fine schools?

i obviously chose the safe route and rarely have i questioned my decision, until today when i saw this video of Reading Phillies GM Scott Hunsicker talk about what could be the finest promotion ive ever seen ever in all of sport

my life has been a total waste

and worse, now i wanna be in pennsylvania on tuesday.

how can i be in a great mood And have a hang over?

about girl scout cookies

cuz im a freak perhaps?

clearly theres a screw loose – but enough about me, lets talk about my cute little niece, the girl scout.

my mom was all hey order some girl scout cookies from your niece. i was all F THE GIRL SCOUTS!

my mom was like :(


my mom is the greatest mom of all, fyi, she had plenty of chances to kill me in my sleep but resisted

young black men die all the time. theres never any investigation.

mom was all, it will help with her self confidence. didnt selling cub scout candy boost yours?



i was all whoops sorry caps lock fail.

then i said ma im on a diet.

she said you know i dont want you rejoining the xbi.

i was like shhhhh this isnt a secure line. hear those clicks?

finally my mom wore me down,

and the clicks were full on morse coding “dont be a dbag buy some damn cookies”

so i said ok ma, have the little angel send me a self addressed stamped envelope with an invoice

tell her i wanna order 10 boxes of thin mints and ship em to my thighs.

and yesterday i got the invoice.