Selling Scarves in the Summertime

Last weekend my youngest son & I went to University of Phoenix Stadium to see the US Men's National Team play against Columbia in the Copa America Centenario. We had a great time, even though USA ended up losing the game. But that's beside the point...

It was very hot out that day - 108 degrees as we made our way towards the stadium.

Image Credit: flickr - cebimagery


We parked near the stadium at Westgate and ate lunch before making the half-mile walk to the game. At one point on our walk, we were funneled down a small asphalt road with concrete buildings on both sides, which served to bottle up the heat and blast it down at us - I was honestly worried folks were going to start passing out right there on the street..

Anyway, we get to the end of this little section of street, and a guy is standing there shouting,

"Scarves. Who needs a scarf for the game? Get your Copa America scarves here!"

My son and I looked at each other, and without saying a word we both burst out laughing. This was one of the most ridiculous scenes I've ever encountered. It doesn't matter that scarves and soccer matches are historically a good pair - this was the proverbial "Selling ice to Eskimos."

What are you selling? When? and To Whom?

You're not going to get much action at an open house on a hot summer afternoon. Same thing on a cold rainy day in the winter.

Sending out 10,000 mailers, once, is like throwing them into the wind. You'll be lucky to get a phone call or two. For the same budget, you're better off sending a few hundred mailers every month for a couple-few years.

Some things, on the other hand, never go out of style:

  • Top notch customer service.
  • Providing value - more than the information that's 2 mouse-clicks away on any smartphone or computer.
  • Going out of your way to make your clients' lives better.
  • Nurturing relationships.
  • Honesty.

If it feels like you're selling too hard, you probably are. Try taking a step back and work on building your relationships - the sales will come. No need to sell scarves in the summertime.

- Chris Butterworth