I’ve been called a few less than flattering names in my life. The most bizarre name a customer has ever called me was Jay The Bald Guy, what? Bald Guy?? Offensive, right?
Not really! The truth is I am bald and Jay The Bald Guy was a name I actually gave to myself. But who in their right mind would give himself such a ridiculous name?
True Story About “Jay The Bald Guy”
The story starts out much earlier in my sales career in the wildest sales environment I’ve ever worked in. This place was an abnormally crazy and cutthroat sales job. It was survival of the fittest there and I was outnumbered. I was faced with resistance and tough competition being that “new guy” on the block, moving in on the old timers territory and money.
This place was an old furniture warehouse slash store, with a tin roof and no air condition in sunny Florida, it was just a really tough place to work. The owner liked making money and he didn’t care much about what happened on the sales floor, just as long as sales were being made. It was like the wild wild west, anything goes.
The job was commission only, so no sales no money but, it paid very handsome commissions. That kept all the salespeople at each others throats, hungry to sell as much as they could.
One day someone on the sales floor blatantly stole a sale from me, it was then when I realized, I’m at war! I thought I have to come up with a strategy and right then I vowed not to lose again to these bullies!
I knew, if I wanted to make a paycheck and survive I’d have to fight for it and do something, something different! Ridiculous even!
Jay The Bald Guy Is Born!
That’s when I had the crazy idea of having customers call me Jay The Bald Guy. It became fun, no matter how many times I saw people laugh it never got old.
I would greet a customer who walked in during my turn and I would say “Hi, I’m Jay The Bald Guy” and then I would usually get a laugh and immediately break the ice and tension they felt walking into a retail establishment..
People forget names and in this company if a customer didn’t ask for you by name you wouldn’t get the commission. Thats why I had to make my name memorable. Customers would come back in the furniture store asking for the bald guy, it was fun for them too. They got to call some bald guy, bald to his face.
I became top salesman every month and broke every record that any salesman had achieved in all of its sales history. I also became the number one hated salesman to ever work there, but loved by my employer.
So whats the moral of the story?
1. Don’t be afraid of the competition… I’m proof that little bald guys can win too! I wrote a blog about how the little guys can compete with the big gorillas. You can read that article here
2. It’s OK to get ridiculous. If you want to stand out in your market you should create an attention getting sales and marketing approach. Most owners will play it safe and never do anything too unorthodox. Doing something really out of the ordinary will make you stand out and get more business than the others who are just too conservative.
3. Its OK to make fun of yourself. I found it was hard for people to make fun of me, I mean I already was making fun of myself. My customers would have fun with me because I made them laugh at my insanity. Somewhere in your conversation make them laugh, it will break the ice and make selling easier for you.
4. Build brand identity, not many people remembered just Jay but I created a brand of myself as Jay The Bald Guy. Make yourself memorable!
5. Have some fun. If you’re bored at what you’re doing then you’re probably not doing something right. Break out of your normal marketing funk today and have fun with it!