Blog & Company News

Oct 14, 2011

Run Your Sales Event Like an Animal Courtship Ritual

[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Like an animal courtship ritual."][/caption] You have merchandise to sell and you want to lure customers into your showroom. How do you draw them in, get them to stay awhile, and get them to buy your merchandise? Consider how members of the animal kingdom lure potential mates, and incorporate those tactics into your next sales event. Here are some tips.

Target Your Bugle Call

An elk’s bugle call can signify whether it’s courting, herding, or ready to fight.1 Sometimes, it’s a bull telling the ladies he’s available. Other times, it’s a cow who doesn’t plan to share her dinner. Whatever the situation, elks have an idea of whom they’re bugling to. Before you bugle, figure out who your target audience is. Inc. ran an article with advice on how to do just that.2 “Target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets,” according to the article. Next, figure out the best way to holler at your target audience. What will you say and how will you deliver it? Your bugle call could come through in mailers, TV commercials, internet promotions, radio spots, and other forms. Understand that your bugle call may lure unintended recipients. But a customer who responds to your call probably understands that even if he doesn’t plan to buy anything, he’s agreeing to hear a sales pitch in exchange for whatever prize you’re offering. Plus, he (or someone he knows) may be in the market for your product in the future. So make sure you …

Offer Great Prizes at Your Event

According to,3 the Australian hanging fly catches prey and offers it as a gift to its potential mate. The receiving fly judges the gift by its quality, and the better the gift, the greater the likelihood of the gift bearer’s success. How about you? What “prey” are you dangling in front of potential customers to warm them up to your product? Say you sent out a sales slick telling people they’ve already won prizes and all they have to do to claim them is to come to your store. So a customer arrives with his winning sales slick, and you tell him, “I’m sorry; you didn’t win the Ferrari, but you do get this lovely pen.” At this point, the customer will buck your pitch and buzz off into the night, peeved that he wasted $5 in gas and 20 minutes to visit your establishment. But you may still be able to win him over if you …

Offer Free Food

The Owl Pages4 reports that a male owl uses food as one way to lure a female to his nest. If it works for an owl, it can work for you. Your culinary spread could feature anything from doughnuts to pizza to foie gras with truffles. A heavy belly slows a customer’s exit from your establishment, and a mouthful of grub keeps him from objecting to your sales pitch. Once you’ve gifted and fed your potential customers and you’re ready to close the deal …

Don’t Be a Snake

With the male-to-female ratio against them, some male red-sided garter snakes will release female-scented pheromones to confuse their competitors, according to NOVA.5 The hypothesis is that the female-scented snakes can then slither up to the real female, according to the article. But then there’s the likelihood that the male snakes will gang up on the female-smelling snakes when there’s no bona fide female snake around. Don’t let that be you. When you finally give your pitch, be straightforward about your product. Selling a clothes washer? Don’t tell the customer that he can bake cookies in it. And don’t make him wait until he hauls it away to learn about any loopholes in the warranty. Stay honest and don’t try to fool your customers. If you pretend your product is more than what it is, your customers may hiss. For more information, visit: 1. “Bugle Call (of the Wild): Elk Mating Season Arrives Along With Prime Viewing” 2. “How to Define Your Target Market” 3. “Scorpion Flies, Hanging Flies—Order Mecoptera” 4. “Owl Breeding and Reproduction” 5. “Mating Trickery