Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

I celebrated Easter Sunday by helping Mrs. Winston hold a Spring Cleaning garage sale. We broke with garage sale tradition by starting at noon, so that we could attend Easter services as a family. Plus Mrs. Winston wisely anticipated we would get more foot traffic in the afternoon, as people left church or brunch and headed to egg hunts and family dinners. She also posted several ads, had the kids make colorful signs and place them in strategic locations around our neighborhood and of course, she added an incentive by offering garage salers a free gift—just for stopping by. I was proud my other half for coming up with such a clever promotional idea, until I discovered that the gift she intended to give away was my very first Business Card magnet. I had them made up twenty years and three phone numbers ago when I was promoted to Marketing Manager for the first time, so naturally I was quite attached. My wife is not a sentimental being so she didn’t see the inherent value in having two hundred fifty magnets with my name on them sitting around, “collecting dust,” but I was a little reluctant to part with my collection. She quickly reminded me that she had left the ten boxes of collectible imprinted sippy cups, key chains and paperclip holders alone, so I reluctantly gave my blessing to her giveaway idea. It was a good one after all.

The day was sunny and warm, making it ideal for selling out of doors. I rather enjoyed catching up with neighbors I hadn’t seen in a while and meeting the new families who had recently moved in. Mrs. Keller brought by her famous choco-chip coconut cookies and sweet tea and I even got my Phillips head back from Sam Brown at the end of the cul de sac. We sold a lot of stuff and donated the rest to the Salvation Army so we felt good about doing some good, getting a tax write off and making a little extra cash. My wife won’t tell me the actual amount, so I know it must have been a pretty good haul. I suspect she will soon replace the stuff we got rid of with a few new handbags, designer pillows or French lingerie…a man can dream can’t he?

Well, I’ve got to sign off now in order to prepare for a new seminar I’m giving on “Marketing in a Down Economy”. It’s a grim topic but I have some good jokes planned that are sure to take the edge off. Until next time, ask yourself this, “If you eat the ears off a chocolate bunny, can it hear you chewing?