A couple of friends, and Jessica Curry and I went to see a test show for Jimmy Fallon’s Late night show. On the way out of the NBC studio’s Rockefeller Plaza we were walking down 49th Street. As you cross the Rock Plaza where the Rink is, there are often shows being filmed. Last time I was there we were stopped for a episode of “30 Rock”. It happened again last night. A guy in usual Production Assistant gear halted our crew for their crew. We thought nothing of it. The kind guy started talking to us, which I thought was very professional of him. He threw us a few hats and asked us about the show. This was my first flag. Usually PA’s are at the bottom of the poop stream, and when let out on the public with a smidgen of power, release the poop on the first stranger they encounter.
Then I looked at the badge and saw it was Soup Kitchen credentials. These are certified panhandlers. I let him keep going until the man came to the part where he asked us for $10 for the 50 cent stocking hat he had thrown to us. ( Yes he tossed them to us because New Yorkers instinctually will not take things handed to them but humans can not refuse an airborne throw.) We all went to the standard, I only have plastic routine before handing the I Heart New York Hats back and moving on our way.
Mi Amigo Mat, commented on the quality of the pitch and how perfectly positioned the fake movie mogul was.
Then , coincidentally, this morning I read in Seth Godin’s Blog about a similar experience. He made a very valid point that we all know, that we have to engage before we we sell. However in this age of rapid information, Twitter, and Social Media I otern forget that these are all instances where a marketer must first interact then sell. Interaction is not presenting ourself or our servces in at the right moment. It is bridging the gap between now and the right moment. All of our sales, internet and marketing tools are there for that reason. In my opinion, the best way to keep the horse before the cart is to genuinely care for those you want to hop in your cart. Then you will understand them and reach a meeting of the minds. In essence, is that not what sales and marketing is all about?