Friday, August 12, 2011

No Salesman Sundays

There is a car dealership in the GTA (that’s Greater Toronto Area for my American friends) that has blitzed the radio airwaves with a new campaign. And if the goal of such a blitz is to create chatter about your business or product, they win! Everybody is talking about this ad—and the concept behind it.

This car dealership has introduced No Salesman Sundays. The dealership will be open and there will be a skeleton staff on hand to distribute keys and the like but they promise not a salesman will be found. They won’t be lurking behind SUV’s, jumping out from between cars in the parking lot, offering a coffee and their friendship, or any of the other things one pictures when they fear the gauntlet of buying a new car.

But you will be able to roam the lot and sit in the cars, look at materials, and take test drives, all at your leisure and all without the hungry eyes of a salesman following you around the joint. Come and go as you like, stay as long or as little as you like. I’m almost tempted to go just to see if they garner a crowd or not. Even if they don’t, the pitch is certainly the hot topic of mid-August.

What would this look like at our schools? Do we throw out some pastries and coffee on a Sunday morning, unlock all the buildings and classrooms and labs, and then walk away? Maybe we staff some teachers around to answer questions but we promise prospective families nobody will be asking questions of them, not the least of which is their name and email address.

We have 115 CCT cameras on the 108 acres of Ridley. I foresee some sort of prep school version of “Sell This House”. We secretly record their reactions and commentary on the security cameras, play it back for all to see, and then run around trying to fix what we think were legitimate criticisms. And then invite them back.

Could be fun I suppose. But who has time for fun?

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