When I was at Sam’s Club, there were blue tickets distributed throughout the store “entitling me to a free gift!!!” Free is such a magic word! I fell for the pitch and went to claim my reward.

Before I could receive my “free paring knife – a five dollar value!” I needed to listen to the salesperson’s pitch about a set of knives that he was selling. I barely cook and I certainly do not need a 9-piece set of knives, but by the end of his demonstration, I was ready to hand over $50 to have them. (But I refrained!)

The combination of seeing P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman and then listening to a smooth-talking huckster caused me to pause and consider the value of an in-person sales message. I would not have spent five seconds, let alone five minutes, watching an online demonstration of knives, yet there I was, gathered around the booth at Sam’s. I would have even walked by a display in the aisles without giving it a second glance, but the salesman made the cutlery seem like both magic and a bargain.

Think about what you or your organization is trying to sell. Maybe the best way to accomplish this is to ask people to “step right up” and see what you have to enhance their lives.

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