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The Salesman With A Bow Tie

(Continued from last week's post on bragging)

So now we know the most effective way to brag requires that the person we're talking to bring up the subject we want to brag about.

But how do we get people to regularly bring up the topic of our band without goading them?

I knew a salesman who wore a bow tie in an office with an (understood) dress code advocating a normal tie. And he wore that tiny, audacious little bow tie all day, every day.

I was puzzled, to say the least. If the whole point of being a salesman is to become liked and trusted, why a wear a beacon like a bow tie? It's all I could focus on when I was talking to him, like one of those 600 pound pumpkins in a stack of regular pumpkins. I don't trust giant pumpkins.

So I asked.

His explanation, "It's makes my sales easy. It's different. People notice it and, since almost no one wears them, they always ask the same question. 'How do you tie that thing?' Since I know what they're going to ask before they ask it, I have a planned conversation where I guide them into asking me questions about my products. Once they ask, it's clear sailing."

Whoa. That's deep.

So the message is wear bow ties.


It's about the idea of the bow tie. You want to have something, either physical or verbal, that people have predictable responses to so you can build a well-crafted response that is effective at promoting your band, while still not coming across as uncalled for bragging.

  -Talking to a coworker who wasn't aware you were in a band.
       Coworker: "Hey man, how're you doing today?"
       You: "Meh, alright. I've got a little writer's block is all, but I just got my TPS report in on time so I'm happy about that."
       Coworker: "Writer's block? About what?"
       You: "Well, my album..."
They asked, which gives you permission to brag. Score.

It could be something simple as when you open your wallet to show your ID at a bar, having a guitar pick placed precariously so it falls out on the bar counter. Neat!

UPDATE: This just happened to me. There's a chain around Dallas that touts itself as a "good 'ol hometown diner", the kind of place where you envision every waitress is named Flo. Awesome, love it.

Anyways. I'm idling while my friend gets his wisdom teeth eviscerated so I'm studying my copy of Tour Smart coated in sticky notes.

As the waitress brings my waffle, "Hey guy, so what are you studying?"
"Eh, we're going on tour this summer and I'm kinda scared about how complex this whole thing is, so I'm studying this."
"Oooh, sounds tough. So you're in a band? What type of music do you play?"
"Heavy metal."
"I love metal! Metallica is my soul!"

Whoa. Flo knows how to party.

Me: "Right on, that's awesome! Here, let me give you my card. We've got our album coming out this summer, and I think you might like it!"


 NOTE: The trick is in the subtlety of your delivery. If you go overboard, like have a guitar tattooed on your face, it'll be too obvious that you're fishing for comments. That's exactly the same as a badly executed brag. Don't be a wanker who brings an acoustic guitar to a small house party. You want it to seem as if you've just casually mentioned something band-related without harping on it. Remember, if the other people believes they were the one who asked, you'll have a good brag.

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