“Sales is just a good conversation.” That is what someone told me when I began my career in sales and marketing 49 years ago. And I kept that common sense advice in mind over the years whenever I wanted to motivate folks with my copy or presentation. Along the way as my graphic design talent developed I realized that no words have to be spoken at all to make a sale.
When assigning projects to my artists at Merrill Lynch I would often remind them that the graphic is only meant to capture the reader’s attention. Then in less than a millisecond the reader should be absorbing the headline. If that doesn’t happen, you’ve lost the sale.
With the marketing of One Can A Week at Sprouts I decided to not say much more than “hello” and let the display, graphics and copy get into peoples’ hearts. They read, they feel, they make decisions and then they act. All in silence. I’m just the person there to make it real. The food bin is more important than I because it makes things happen. The food goes in and folks get fed. How simple. How easy.
And the unspoken truth is community service personally feels very good. When they talk themselves into participating once, many decide to give something every week just to experience that same good feeling week after week.
For some time now I have been publishing pounds collected along with an approximate number of people fed. With the Sprouts signage that comparison is prominently displayed and it is playing an important role in motivating donations. Poundage is a significant result but actually thinking about the people who are being helped is very humanizing.
Jazzing Up One Can A Week
After the first number in the second set at Wilbur’s Grill, Pete Swan, the drummer and manager of the Sunday evening musical event, took the mic and asked me to join him on stage.
“For a while now I have been collecting food for the Community Food Bank at the different venues I play,” Pete began. As I was driving down Broadway on my way to the food bank, I came upon the One Can A Week truck. Then I got an idea and called the number on the tailgate.”
Pete went on to explain that we stopped, talked about SwanRise Productions, his music company partnership with
and collecting food. While continuing our conversation, we placed the 118
lbs. of food he had in his trunk in the back of my truck and he handed me a
$25.00 check. Before going our separate ways, Pete suggested we might join
forces and create a real One Can A Week program for the jazz community
here in Tucson.
Pete then handed me the mic and I spoke for maybe three minutes describing One Can A Week and how they could help by bringing a food donation to Pete’s Sunday night Jazz event at Wilbur’s. When I mentioned that 25% of
Tucson’s population is in need of food the
room fell silent. So I said it again.
Before I handed the mic back to Pete, I suggested they check out One Can Week on the web and then help Pete in his effort to feed as many folks as possible.
Pete asked another drummer to sit in for a song or two and we talked outside. We discussed his collection bin which I suggested should be a big Conga Drum and he liked that idea. (Now where the heck am I going to find a big Conga Drum?)
We both think his endeavor—to feed hungry kids and their parents with his unique One Can A Week program—will ignite and unite the jazz community. Now we just have to create the right kind of signage for his gigs and the food will begin to roll in.
On a different note: Back in high school and college I was a jazz musician who played the string bass in modern jazz and Dixieland bands. Of course, the evening became a little nostalgic mostly because the musicians were top notch and the atmosphere upscale. Even my $14.95 angle hair and garlic shrimp dinner—the most expensive item on the menu— measured up.
I’m going back next Sunday to Wilbur’s Grill at the Viscount Suite Hotel on Broadway. Why not join me there at 6:30 pm for drinks, dinner and no cover. You know if I can enjoy an evening out someplace the prices are quite reasonable.
12th Truck Load
Burger King called again and donated 44 lbs. of buns. And just by chance
Bill Carnegie, the Community Food Bank
CEO was in the warehouse as I made my delivery. When he saw the buns he told
someone to immediately take them over to where the sandwiches were being made.
Such speed is nothing new at the food bank. Food goes in and out of there like lightening. That’s why I love the place because they feed hungry folks NOW.
A total of 508 lbs. was collected this week: Burger King, 44 lbs.; SwanRise Productions, 118 lbs.; Sprouts, 150 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 196 lbs.
Happy Birthday, Anna, and thanks
Today is Anna’s tenth birthday but she celebrated it Saturday when more of her friends would be available for a party. She’s smart like that and always gets more presents. Anna also asked her friends to bring a donation for the Community Food Bank. That’s pretty smart, too, because this week her
donation was at least 30 pounds heavier than usual.
We collected a total of 196 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $30.00, a $25.00 check and $5.00 in cash.
See you Sunday,