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Sunday, 28 November 2010 03:20


It wasn’t until college that I realized I, in fact, had an accent. Turns out, like most Chicagoans, I tend to pronounce my A’s as in the word “at” even when the preferred pronunciation called for a softer a-sound. Listening to all the different dialects of the English language really made me realize how much I took some Midwestern-isms for granted. How confusing it must have been for all the international folks trying to discern why I kept dangling prepositions when I’d ask if they “want to come with?” During my recent trip to Jamaica, however, I got a taste of what it’s like on the receiving end of grammatically questionable verbiage. Patois is an English-lexified creole language with West African influences spoken primarily in Jamaica. If you aren’t familiar, patios sounds like what would happen if the micro-machine man read your kids text messages word for word... with a Jamaican accent; it’s certainly English, yet remarkably difficult to understand. 

Published in Sapient Salesman
Friday, 19 November 2010 20:58

I Gotta Dollar

Perhaps second only to those “establishments” you promised your wife you stopped going to after you got married, the one dollar bill doesn’t get you nearly as much attention as it does at a bowling alley. The way dollars fly around my bowling league, you’d never believe we live in a world where plastic out popularizes cash. But when you look closer you realize, while the volume of transactions is high, the net amount wagered remains relatively low. But if the dollar is as devalued as people say, then why does everyone waive their winnings in their opponents faces with such glee?  Personally, I enjoy watching a grown man shamefully dig another buck out of his wallet cause some blonde chick beat him in 1-2-3-Bowl! ... again. Just like Sugar, my bowling mates create a high value environment with relatively low fiscal risk. 

Published in Sapient Salesman
Friday, 12 November 2010 19:50

When Push Comes to Shove

The Sapient Substitute: What happens when your tidbit-teer takes a week off.

It’s easy to sell a great product like Sugar to most people, but now and again you will run into the recalcitrant client that knows all the reasons why he or she shouldn’t buy. It costs too much... I can’t afford it. It doesn’t cost enough... if it was really good it would be expensive. It’s so easy... then why isn’t it free? If I knew anything about computers, I’d write the thing myself! These folks just need a bit of motivation to nudge them across the Sugar event horizon. I like to call this the Puzopush. So when confronted with any inane, stupid, ill-conceived, or unintelligible argument that is contrary to our chalking up another win in the old sales column, simply follow these three simple rules. 

Published in Sapient Substitute
Friday, 05 November 2010 20:45

Death by Swatches

Every so often Calvin and I browse furniture stores for ideas. Last week, while being stalked by a sales person named Fred, we stumbled on a couch that reminded us of one we liked online. So we paused to soak it in. I figured since Fred was hell bent on pointing out every couch in the store, without having a clue what our needs were, I’d ask him if it came in any othe r colors. The answer I got was a “yes,” but this yes came with 5 books of fabric. Yeah, I’m not that girlie! If and when Calvin and I buy a couch it’ll be either black or white, so the idea of sifting thru 100s of fabric swatches - not so much fun. Yet Fred sat there and every time I tried to give up he pulled the old: “Did you see this one?” 

Published in Sapient Salesman

Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

A "sapient salesman"?

 A sapient salesman is tasked with being a psychologist, technologist, empathist, humorist, conversationalist, and a dozen other “ists” in the course of practicing their salescraft. Most people can’t wear that many hats, and these tidbits are designed to minimize your millinery mandates. Read more

The Book

Look for The Sapient Salesman: Spinning Life into Lessons, One Tale at a Time on later this year!

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