Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Coffee pots and ironing boards

Sitting in my hotel room, drinking a cup of freshly made coffee. I wonder, who was the first person to suggest selling coffee pots to hotels? This place has probably about 300 rooms. Salesman walks in the door and asks for the manager. "Boy have I got an idea for you!!" Right. He probably got thrown out of more hotels than a $25 prostitute.

This pot is made by Mr. Coffee. It's relatively cheapley made. I'm guessing it would sell (in large numbers) for about $5. When they first came out, they were more expensive, competition drove the price down. So say $10 originally. That means the hotel would spend $3,000. Not a lot of money, but hotel margins aren't that high and why would they do it?

"Well, Mr. Manager, I was just visiting the hotel across the street and they are going to buy them. Do you want to be the only hotel in town without coffee pots?"

No, I'm not really a sales-person. But then, in a way we all are sales people. Some of us a little less direct.

One of my favorite stories growing up was The Man Who Sold the Moon, by Robert Heinlein. This guy arranges for companies to sponsor him in building a space ship. Sci-Fi sales. Very cool.

I think I'll go iron my shirt before my presentation....

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