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January 13, 2008

What a brilliant strategy

Filed under: Freestyle — Fei @ 10:28 pm

Some time ago, I made a connection at Los Angeles airport, having only two hours to catch the next flight with another airline at this foreign airport… Even though I checked the floor plan in advance, I felt quite nervous. Fortunately, my plane arrived on time.. so I rushed out of terminal 4 with my carry-ons, figuring out the way to terminal 2. That was quite a bit of walk… needed to cross half of the terminals… well… far it was… I had to start my first step…

When I walked half way there, I wanted to take a break… so I was kind of distracted, looking for a place to sit down… just at that moment, a voice came to my ears: do you have a question? I followed the sound, a man standing at the edge of the side walk, looking at me. Well, that’s really nice, I thought. Even though I knew my destination, it didn’t hurt to ask again… so I asked him the question, again. His answer confirmed my information. So I thanked him, started walking again. But he asked me at my back: may I just ask you one more question, just one more? Yeah, sure… he just helped me… I noticed that he held a folder in his hand, and he opened it towards me. well.. it was a flyer asking for donation. Would you donate some Christmas gifts for the children? damn… I was ambushed… I told myself… it was a trap from the very beginning… but at that time… what could I say? I gave him some cash even though it was against my rule: never donate in the street, because you never know whether the money will go to the right place.

Later I figured that the person was really smart… and the donation collection strategy was great…

No. 1, position, position, position. It is the number one rule in sales. He chooses airport, a place with a large throughput. He can meet lots of different people… at the same place… in a short time….

No. 2, strategy: if you want to get, you need to give first. He doesn’t ask for donation at first. In fact, at first sight no one can tell his real intention. Instead, he asks: do you have a question? It seems that he is a nice person offering to help (and he indeed is). It again goes back to rule No. 1, the position. At airport, lots of people are from other cities, or other countries. Many of them are not familiar with the place and in deed need help from locals. He first offers his help to other people, making them feel obliged to give something back in return. And then, he goes directly to rule No. 3.

No. 3, get to the point. After he offers help, he asks: can I ask one more question? Just one question, and that question directly ask for donation… no reasoning, no description… just ask for money… Most people will stop when he shows his intent to ask a question… because he has already offered help and the receiver would like to give something back… Remember, the receiver is in the mood of giving something back… so he catches the chance and ask for donation immediately… doesn’t give the other person a chance to jump out of the mood. Also, most people at the airport are in a hurry to catch planes. Nobody has the time to listen to long stories… the longer it takes the less the people is likely to give… it’s another reason to get to the point.

This strategy plays much better than the money for information trade… it is indeed very smart…


  1. nice writing…really smart strategy..hummm…

    Comment by tpslele — January 13, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  2. nice writing…really smart strategy..hummm…

    Comment by tpslele — January 13, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  3. nice writing…really smart strategy..hummm…

    Comment by tpslele — January 13, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

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