Close Encounters of the Marketing Kind

It really started innocently.

We were with friends at our local coffeehouse and Diane asked, “Did you see that funny light over the dunes last night?”

And faster than you can say “Beam me up, Scotty,” a fella with a bad comb-over materialized at our table clutching fuzzy photos of flying saucers and alien autopsies.

Breathlessly, he rattled on about “Majestic 12” and “Hanger 18.” He said he’d worked 30 years at the U.N. as some kinda interstellar liaison. He told us he writes a UFO newsletter.

So we did what you’d expect.

We refused to make eye contact with him, and he eventually went away.

Here’s what’s ironic, though.

Since fifth grade, I’ve devoured books by ufologists like Jacques Vallee, George Adamski, and Frank Edwards. I’ll chat for hours about the famous Barney and Betty Hill “abduction.” And I still catch my breath during the closing scene of Close Encounters.

I was a perfect audience for this guy.

But he “blew the sale.”

First, he made himself a pest, not a welcomed guest. If he’d approached with a polite question, we might’ve invited him to join our conversation. But he didn’t.

Second, he was too anxious. He made us uncomfortable.

Finally, his “sales pitch” was a mess. Was he interested in Diane’s UFO sighting? Was he promoting his newsletter? We couldn’t tell, because he swamped us with info.

I’ve stressed this before, and I’ll stress it again…

Know your audience.

Know what you’re selling.

Then act accordingly (and appropriately).

And remember that often a simple phaser serves you better than a high-velocity photon torpedo.

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