Guerilla Marketing

We usually go to my mom’s for Thanksgiving, and we did so again this year.  As always, Nicky is particularly keen on the ritual whereby each person takes a turn telling what they’re grateful for.  After everyone’s usual maudlin pap about family and the great country in which we live, when it was my turn, I said, “I’m grateful for my own chutzpah.”  And it’s true, as it’s been a whirlwind of a week.

First of all Mercury is still retrograde, which should have been my first clue.  When I mentioned this to Denis, he asked what that actually meant.  And this from someone who reads Scientific American!  I said, “Well, it’s when Mercury turns and faces, um, or it opposes Earth, and then, um…..” Anyway, I realized that this is all too complex for Denis so I just began listing the frustrations I’d encountered.

I’d been e mailing the Cookbook Company in Calgary, and hadn’t received a reply, so I phoned.  It turned out the person I’d been trying to reach was off on a maternity leave!  I told the person on the phone that by this time last year they’d ordered.  However, the person said they were currently heavily stocked with other product and would call me when they were ready.  I tried ever so gently to explain that Calgary customers had already been e mailing me, but to no avail.

As I’d received no reply to e mails I’d sent to Quality Greens in Kelowna, I went in.  There’s a new manager there, and he told me to call Leslie or Lisa, as they had apparently not received my e mails.  I did that, and was told that they’d perhaps start ordering mid-November.  I felt apoplectic as I have local customers phoning me and asking when the fruitcakes will appear in local stores.

G and H Foods in Westbank is a good customer, so a couple of weeks ago I’d e mailed the manager.  No reply.  I phoned and was told that he’s off for two weeks due to surgery!!  I couldn’t believe what was happening to me, and as Marilyn and I were baking that day I told her that I should just quit this idiotic business and get a job as a waitress.  I said, “This was a stupid idea.”  She tried to be sympathetic, but could tell that I was in a deep funk.

You know that old joke that goes something like a guy is praying “Dear God, please let me win the lottery.”  This goes on for years, and finally God says “Buy a damn ticket!”  So, I ‘bought a ticket.’  I e mailed every past customer and got some orders that way.  I phoned some new Buy-Low Foods, and got the stores in Vernon and Grand Forks willing to sample, and made an outright sale at the Lillooet store.  I e mailed Quality Greens with a firm message that now is the time to stock the product.  I called the Bench in Penticton and said the same.

Well, wouldn’t you know it?  That broke the spell.  The Bench ordered, Quality Greens e mailed back that I was right and should bring in a case of each ASAP.  Both the Osoyoos and Oliver Buy-Low Foods ordered.  I felt so relieved, and happily packaged my orders so we could deliver them on our way south for Thanksgiving dinner.  See?  Chutzpah works.

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