One of my fondest memories from my early jobs was “Ice Cream Clerk” at Frusen Gladje in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn circa 1983. They had a Ms. Pac-Man game there. I used to play with the “nice” boss after work.
Then there was another boss. Let’s call him Bill. (His name was Bill.)
Bill was a bit of a jerk. Way into body building. Physically intimidating.
Anyhow, it was Bill who taught me a lesson I never forgot.
He said, “Whenever anybody asks for a flavor we don’t have, never say ‘we don’t have that.'”
He said, “If somebody asks for Mint Chocolate Chip, you say, ‘We have Rum Raisin.'”
I thought that was kind of ridiculous. If I want Mint Chocolate Chip, what makes you think I would eat Rum Raisin?
I don’t even like Rum Raisin.
But I did what he said. Was it effective? I don’t remember. But I do remember feeling good about keeping the conversation positive.
Why am I telling you this?
1. I’ve always liked that story.
2. I got an email today from a major company who might have sponsored my 10x Conference. She wrote:
At this time, we are considering sending our Minneapolis based Account Executive to the event. We would like to evaluate the event first and will consider sponsorship for future events.
I replied, “Makes perfect sense to me. Have him/her register soon because the price goes up each Wednesday.”
Is there any possibility of getting a free registration pass or discounted one so we can evaluate the show for future sponsorships?
As I considered my reply, “Rum Raisin” came to mind.
“I can assure you the event will be worthwhile. Read this.
I lead the world’s largest medical device community and am making a point to know every single guest personally. I will broker introductions as well.
You have much to teach our members. I look forward to your participation!”
Will they register and pay? I don’t know yet.
But it inspired this post. I hope you enjoyed it.
And perhaps the next time someone asks you for the Mint Chocolate Chip of your business, you’ll know what to do.