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  • Writer's pictureTony

Orangutan or octopus: which are you?

Why, when offering an item for sale, you should not tell a story about a dance club.

Last night at the Toppled Bollard dance emporium, situated in the hinterland between Northants, Leicestershire and Rutland, a woman asked me to dance.

At the end of the dance she said, “Dancing with you is like dancing with an octopus.”

I said, “Last week a woman called me an orangutan.”

She said, “Well she’s an idiot. You’re definitely an octopus.”

Now the fact is that I dance jive, and in jive one can do left handed moves, right handed moves, or two handed moves. I choose the latter, for the simple reason that I write a lot of my own moves. Clearly my dance partner won’t know them, and so it is safest if I use two hands to guide her through a move she won’t have danced before.

But generally ladies don’t want to know all this. They come to dance clubs to dance, not to have a lecture on why one is dancing this way or that way. So I just accept being called an octopus.

Which reminds me of selling things to teachers. They don’t want to know that yours is a small friendly company that has been around for 30 years, nor indeed anything else about your origins. They want to know the benefits of having what you sell.

Of course, if you have an amusing aside to offer (like being called an orangutan) that can help you be remembered, but otherwise in the sales letter talk about what the teacher wants to know, not what you want to say.

And if you are trying to be remembered by doing something a bit odd in your advertising, lay off the storyline about going to a dance club. It’s been done.

If you want some more tales from the Toppled Bollard they are here. If you want to know about selling to schools then this is the place. And if you want to call, it is 01604 880 927.

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