A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

I want to tell you now, about what sounds like the
worst business in the world…

And that’s the business of selling things through direct mail marketing....

You see, most of the people you approach with your product simply aren’t interested. Some are even downright rude – often hurling gratuitous abuse in your direction. Others simply ignore you altogether. A few have the good manners to say no thank you, but not very many.

And if you’re very lucky, perhaps one or two out of every hundred you approach, will actually buy something from you. But even some of those will ask for their money back.

It all sounds absolutely horrible doesn’t it?
I’m not so sure though…

You see, many years ago I worked in another business that seemed a whole lot better. Most of the people I dealt with were at least polite and one in four that I approached, actually placed an order. There was no abuse and nobody ever asked for their money back.

Does that sound better?

Well maybe, except that this second business never made any real money and the sense of rejection from those three out of four who didn’t order, was soul-destroyingly awful.

And here’s the thing... that first business made me a handsome profit, and I never got to experience one single ounce of hurtful rejection from those ninety-nine out of a hundred who effectively told me to go away.

And in case you haven’t already guessed, the big difference between the two businesses is purely in the method of marketing used.

In that second business it was all done face to face, and every time-consuming rejection came like a knee to the proverbial groin.

But in that first business, everything was done remotely via direct mail or advertisements. It’s an environment where a rejection consumes neither time nor ego - other than for the odd lunatic who scrawls “F*** Off!” (Or something equally as witty) on your order form before sending it back to you.

And that’s pretty easy to live with when
you’re sitting on a sack full of money.

Direct response marketing allows you to replicate yourself thousands of times over all at once, and then despatch yourself out to the world in the form of advertisements, direct mailing pieces and webpages. Some hit home, others simply crash and burn. And it doesn’t matter a jot. All that does matter is the final tally at the end of the day.

The crash and burns don’t hurt at all, but there’s great joy in the hits. Because they’re pretty much all you ever get to see.

So I think I’ll stick with the ‘worst business in the world’ for now. And if you want to get rich (and like me have a fragile ego the size of a house) then I think that maybe you too should consider the ‘mail order’ approach over traditional ‘one to one’ sales meetings.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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