I love the Royal Show spruikers – not the ones who bark for the boxing tent or the Ghost train – the ones who sell window cleaners and potato peelers in the Silver Pavilion. They are on a platform with a pile of vegetables or dirty windows and stand there touting their wares for 10 hours a day. That’s tough work.
And the interesting thing about them is they are selling products to people who already have potato peelers or window cleaners at home – people who are perfectly happy with those possessions until they come to the Royal Show. And then – the magic of the showmanship makes them happily part with $ 6 to peel more potatoes.
I was drawn to this reflection while watching a sales demonstration for a different class of product. It costs $ 60,000, and is probably worth it to people who need the ultimate performance*. They too, in their lives, have lesser devices of the same sort, but might be cozened into finding the money for the new object. $ 60,000 is a large bag of cozening.
I could only wish that the sales pitch had been left to the potato peeler man – he might not have understood the technicalities or have been able to make the $ 60,000 device perform but he would have reached out to the ears and the emotions of the crowd. I don’t suppose any of them came to he show with that much cash in their pockets, but then I must reflect that little plastic cards carry a lot more of the commerce of the world…
Ah, well – I shall not pine. The Royal Show comes in the spring and I am saving up for a new peeler. If I put an extra bit aside each week I can afford a potato as well.
*It doesn’t peel potatoes.