Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

M-m good--That's what Campbell's Soup is

On a cold, blustery winter day, there is nothing that conjures up a feeling of warmth and security like a hot bowl of soup--Campbell's Soup, of course. It is just one of those "comfort foods" that make you feel warm from the inside out.

Since they were predicting a major storm for northern Wisconsin (and they were right), it seemed quite fitting that a newsletter I get on marketing started today's message with the following:
The question for me is how do we convert business into a
form of fun and sharing and stretching and fulfillment that
is as touchable as graduating summa cum laude? That's when
you get the buy in. That's when people say 'I'm going to do
incredible things.'

-- David Johnson, former CEO of Campbell Soup

"Show, don't tell." How many times have you heard that? OK, let me show you how to have a bit of fun.

Last evening I was just sitting down to eat my supper when the phone rang. It was a representative from my health insurance company. He said they needed some information for their files on my current health condition, and did I have a few minutes to answer his questions. I said I did, figuring I could chew in between the questions. He gave me enough information that I knew he was legitimate, not just a telemarketer.

As he began to ask me a few questions, he yawned several times. I commented on the fact that he sounded tired.
"You are my last call of the day," he admitted, "and it's been a very long day."
I told him I would try to be easy on him, and when he came to the question, "Do you have any hearing problems?" I laughed a bit and replied, "Huh? What did you say? Could you repeat that please? I didn't quite hear you."
He began to repeat the question, a little bit louder, and I laughed. Suddenly he caught on and he laughed too and he said, "You're pulling my leg, aren't you?" I told him that was sort of hard to do through the phone.

The whole feeling of the phone call changed at that moment. He began to ask me more questions, and I decided to have a little more fun with him, so when he asked me, "Do you have any indication of Alzheimer's or loss of memory?" I answered, "I don't think so, but I can't remember for sure." Again, he laughed.

"Are you always like this?" he asked.
"Like what?" I asked, sounding oh-so-innocent. Again, he laughed. I noticed that he wasn't yawning any more.

When we finished the question and answer session, he said, "Thank you. You really made this fun. I wish I could take your entertainment home with me."

"Oh, but you can!" I said quickly.


So, I asked him if he was sitting by his computer. He said that he was, and I asked him if he could get onto Amazon.com. He said he could, but why should he do that? I asked him if he trusted me to show him how to continue letting me entertain him. He said, "After this long, I guess I can trust you." He chuckled and said, "Besides, I see here that you are old enough to be my mother."

He pulled up Amazon and asked, "Now what?" I told him to do a search for Janet Elaine Smith. It pulled up all of my books (including a few that are from rotten old publishers that are out-of-print but that will probably still be on Amazon years after I'm dead and gone).

"Wow!" he exclaimed. "Did you really write all of these?"
I told him that I had, and he asked me which ones were the most fun. I told him my Patrick and Grace Mysteries have a wackly old couple of sleuths from New York City and the first one in the series is a great read for right now, with St. Patrick's Day just around the corner. He was silent for a few seconds, then he asked, "What's this Pampers one."
I laughed. "It's not a baby book," I explained. "Pampas is a region of Argentina and the book has a lot of intrigue and mystery and adventure, with a sort of out-of-place cowboy who is sort of like the sauce in the Pace Picante Sauce commercial." He asked me what I meant, and I said, "Well, he looked like any other Argentine cowboy--called a gaucho--but he was really from New Yawk City."
Again, he was laughing.
"OK," he said, "I had better get going or I'll be late and miss my dinner when I get home. My wife doesn't like to keep it waiting in the oven too long. I ordered all four of them. And thank you for making me laugh. What a great way to end a very long day."
I said, "You're welcome, and if you want to contact me in the future, my e-mail address is at the end of the books."
"I think I'll give the mysteries to my wife as a surprise for St. Patrick's Day." Again, he laughed. "She'll wonder what the deal is. I never gave her a St. Patrick's Day present before."
"Just tell her you are starting a new tradition," I suggested.
"Great idea. Again, thanks for the fun."

I think that's what the Campbell's Soup CEO was talking about.
Now, get out there and sell your books--and have fun while you work at it.


  • At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Tim Fleming said…


    I'm going to try out this strategy on my financial adviser when I meet with him tomorrow. If he doesn't buy my book, I'll close out our accounts with him. Just kidding.

    Tim Fleming

  • At 10:12 AM, Blogger Linda Austin said…

    Ha, ha, you're great, Janet! Maybe I'll tell the next telemarketer "Buy my book, then I'll send a little donation."

  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger Katie Hines said…

    I want some soup, too!


  • At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Only you could pull this off, Janet! I'm going to have to try being more 'market savvy' with my own books.

    Kristie Leigh Maguire

  • At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great story, Janet. You not only turned the agent's blah day into a gem, you sold books doing it. You made someone's day brighter and got an instant reward--in addition to the psychic one. And it's a great object lesson.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger zxcvbnm said…

    Chicken Noodle was the soup I loved when I was a kid and ate hardly anything.... I can still recall the taste...
    I love your blog.


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