One of my first jobs, one of those horrible first jobs you get when you’re just out of HS and no one else will hire you, was working as a telemarketer for a questionable charity that raised money for veterans selling flags and trash bags.
They also sold a box of pens. I sold quite a few of those boxes of pens and was pulling in a steady $120 or so per week in commissions. I was going to be the Pen King of the greater Chicagoland area one box at a time.
So one day, the delivery guy was carrying out a case of these pens for that day’s deliveries and I overheard him ask the manager “What’s with all the Bozos?” There was a quick, hushed conversation and I saw a nod in my general direction.
Curiosity got me, and later that afternoon I asked my boss “So… just what is a Bozo?” He grinned and told me “An item so easy to sell that any clown can sell one.” My dreams dashed, I forced myself to go back just twice more, but I had lost my touch. I never sold another box of pens.
That lesson stuck with me through the years, and I realize the benefit of offering a “Bozo”. It gives your potential customers and clients and easy, low-cost way to begin working with you, helping you build your relationships. For you, it can help with cash flow and boost your confidence!
If you’ve ever watched A&E’s American Pickers you see how they use a small purchase, even if they overpay for the item, just to break the ice and get things flowing. The first deal has been made, there’s money in the sellers hands, and things usually pick up from there.
Another good example of a Bozo is my friend and glass artist, Patty Pulliam, who brings her handmade cell phone charms to any art or craft show she does. These are small and can be attached to almost any mobile phone. They’re so popular, even though they are lower priced she often pays her booth fees from these items alone.
A lot of people offer a “free report” or some other type of giveaway, but no one believes the inflated value put on these items from the people offering them anyway. Find something tangible and real to offer, and charge actual money for it. Its purpose is just to break the ice with a potential client.
Another benefit of the Bozo is to separate the wheat from the chaff. You don’t want to waste your time with Brainpickers. You want actual customers! Offer something worth a few hours of your time. Think about your products and services for those with the most upsell potential and use it to get your foot in the door.
You may not end up being the King of Pens either, but using a Bozo can help you find new customers and grow your business without spending a lot of time or money.