ASH AMBIRGE

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Sales Strategy #5810: Charge for the Pleasure of Doing Business With You

In: WTF to Selling Yourself

Leather, cigars and sex—that's the way the men smell as you walk into The Arts Club.

It is a members-only affair, and there is a dress code, which means that (a) You will wish yourself dead almost instantly (b) YOU WILL BE TERRIFIED TO FART.

Except after about eleven minutes of teenager-like awkwardness you will suddenly look around and love the place. Because there is something about being surrounded by extraordinary money and power that makes a person curious—or maybe it’s the $10,000 dress draped over the ass of the woman sitting next to you.

Like any members-only club, however, there's one critical component: actually being a member. Or, in my case, being the friend of a member who enters and feels exactly like she’s just driven a car straight into Hugh Grant’s dining room. Can they tell I'm from Scranton?!?!

Membership for this sort of thing typically costs several thousand of dollars a year, and I couldn't help but think to myself—on all three glorious occasions that I've been there as a guest, since arriving to London—what a great sales strategy.

Because you know what happens when you pay to become a member of something? You don't want it to go to waste. So anytime you're headed out for dinner, where are you going to want to go? The Arts Club. Anytime you're headed out for drinks, where are you going to want to go? The Arts Club. Anytime you've got a business meeting, where are you going to want to go? The Arts Club. (Just ask Client #4—we took her there yesterday for our afternoon brainstorming session!) After all, you paid for the privilege—might as well use it.

There is something to be said about the British pomp and circumstance from a sales perspective. In this regard, exclusivity is strategic; after all, everyone likes to feel special. And yet, most of us are still treating all of our customers like they're just anybody.

But the truth is, not everybody’s dollar is equal. And in some cases?

Your customer doesn't want theirs to be.

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