Sticky Notes - Let's play ball.

"It's a clusterfuck." 

If you missed last week's edition of Sticky Notes about my beloved Army Green '89 Range Rover going kaput, I'm doing a re-run here

However, if you caught it (or are just a psychopath that gets a sick pleasure out of starting shows 2-3 episodes in) keep reading. 

So, late last week I got a call from the mechanic evaluating the damage done to this great beast and his exact words were... 

"It's a clusterfuck."

Apparently, something went haywire with the Drive Shaft. Please don't ask me what that is. It broke, went rogue, crashed into the transmission which caused the transmission to throw a rod, which, due to expensive British engineering, came out to a fat price tag of $7,371 to repair.

Being that I bought the sonofabitch for $8,600, I couldn't justify spending damn near that to fix it. So, I paid him for having a look at it but turned him down on making the repairs. 

I was so frustrated with the vehicle that I seriously considered hauling it off to the dump.

But, upon voicing this, the mechanic talked some sense into me.

He said I should mothball it and stick it in storage for a few years because it was only going to go up in value. 

All that to say, I've spent the last week looking for a new mode of transportation which has made me realize just how goddamn annoying it is to car shop.

It's exceptionally difficult at the moment because all the car manufacturers have run completely out of chips, which means there are fewer new cars, which means there's a higher demand for used cars, which means if you're someone like me and believe it makes not a lick of sense to buy a car new (considering it loses a good chunk of its value the moment you drive it off the lot), you're negotiating in a cutthroat used car market.

To walk away without losing your ass, you have to have patience, you have to have some fire in your belly and you certainly have to know exactly what it is you want. 

After quite a bit of searching, I realized I wanted a 2010-2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser because 1). they're kind of weird and I like weird, 2). they run forever, 3). they're fairly cheap to unfuck when the Drive Shaft decides to fuck the transmission and 4). they should keep their value being that Toyota doesn't make them anymore. 

Yesterday, I was damn close to buying a stunning white 2014 FJ. But, when I tried to negotiate with the guy selling it, he wasn't looking to play ball. 

Now, I'm no wheeler-dealer but I do like to play ball every now and again, especially when I'm coughing up a good chunk of change for something.

Not because the small savings makes much difference. But, because I feel a hell of a lot better spending twenty times that when I know I'm getting it cheaper than the next guy.    

So, when the car salesman said he wasn't willing to negotiate under any circumstance, I came back at him and said...

"Okay, I respect that. But, can you at least coordinate and cover shipping to Nashville, Tennessee?"

His response was absurd. He said...

"We've never shipped a vehicle for a customer during the 25 years we've been in business and we're not going to start now."

If tomorrow I were to teach a class at Harvard Business School on customer service, I would use Bob at XXX Dealership in Redding, Connecticut as a case study in what not to do. 

I don't have any business teaching anything business at Harvard. So, you and the other 16,700 folks on this list will have to do. 

Something salespeople need to remember about negotiating is that, a lot of times, you're not negotiating for yourself but for the customer. 

Losing a grand or two on a $40k vehicle doesn't make much of an impact on your bottom line. But, it can heavily determine whether the customer decides to buy from your or the next guy. So, losing $40k over $1k can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line. 

All Bob would have had to say to me is...

"You know, Cole. We never do that and I can't cover that expense. But, I'd be happy to help you find transportation."

If Bob would have said that, I probably would have written him a check. 

I remember when I wrote a letter to the guy who owned my home before me and that letter persuaded him to sell me the place for $1,000 less than the highest offer. 

When you're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, a thousand dollars doesn't make any sort of difference. But, I can tell you, despite this, I felt a hell of a lot better buying the place knowing I got it for less than what the highest bidder would have gotten it for. 

We don't negotiate (and offer deals) for ourselves. We negotiate (and offer deals) for our customers.

About a month back I offered my freelance guide for 50% off, which saved folks about $48.

People reading this newsletter can afford a $99 course and them saving $48 is, ultimately, not going to have much impact on their lifestyle. 

But, when you offer your customer a deal you're showing them that you're willing to play a bit of ball and while I might be bat shit crazy, I think everybody likes playing ball. 

By Cole Schafer.

P.S. As a small caveat, I might still buy the damn vehicle from Bob. So, maybe he knows exactly what he has and isn't willing to give it up for anything less than a premium (which might be a sales strategy too). 

I'm tired of telling you to follow me on Instagram.

Shut up and buy my shit. 

There's something about old-school ads that make my trousers taut. I don't know if it's the worn-out colors or heavy grain or the big claims that, today, feel nothing short of ridiculous.

Whatever it is, they get me hot and bothered.

Anyway, down below I've written some ridiculous claims about my own products here at Honey Copy.    

How to write words that sell like a Florida Snow Cone Vendor on the hottest day of the year is like purchasing a tiny money printing machine that fastens to the mouth of your pen. 

Freelancing your way to $100k basically shows you how to make a whole of money doing what you love, in your sweatpants. 

One Minute, Please? will save you thousands of dollars in therapy (or cost you thousands of dollars in therapy). 

After Her will help you finally get over that awful wretched good-for-nothing sonofabitch.

Chasing Hemingway will make you fall in love with email and believe in the human race again.

Buy me a Moscow Mule will make me write more ridiculous claims like the ones above due to my lack of sobriety. 

I'm trying to sound smart on Twitter.

Speaking of selling cars... 
Did you ever hear about the time David Abbott crawled underneath a Volvo?

David Abbott was one hell of a copywriter and creative director that once put his life on the line to sell a Volvo.

The ad was bloody brilliant, featuring a photograph of a cherry red Volvo 740 hanging suspended above a gray-haired gent in a suit lying on his back.


The gent was of course Abbott.

Looking at the photograph elicits complicated feelings of both anxiety and awe –– feelings I’m not for certain were intentional by the creative team but without a doubt are effective.

At first glance, our eyes are drawn to the floating Volvo in the air. Then, as if a jaguar has taken hold of them, we’re forced to drag our gaze down the page to a calm David Abbott lying underneath this hulking mass of steel.

And, finally, we end up exactly where Abbott wants us to, on his headline that reads...

Keep reading (or don't).

Or, the time David Ogilvy wrote an absolute banger of a headline for Rolls Royce... 

David Ogilvy was a Rolls Royce fanatic.

This was primarily because they were one of his clients and this brought about a fierce sense of loyalty from the late, great advertising wizard.

And, because, let’s face it… they sell a pretty badass car.

Having worked with them for a fair amount of his career, the brand is home to some of Ogilvy’s “best” advertising.


His words. Not mine.

In Confession of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy dedicates a gracious chunk of his book to writing headlines, where he fesses up about what he considers to be the “best” headline his hands ever touched...

I'm not giving it up that easy.

P.S. If this newsletter made you weak in the knees, you can share it with the world by selecting one of the four icons down below... 

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