Campaign Strategy

There are two extremes of strategy in meeting people.

The first strategy suggests that you reveal yourself slowly, over time, so they like you and are open to knowing more about you.

This is the strategy of the salesman, who actually learns to reflect new people, showing himself to be like them first, in order to gain trust.  He builds agreement and sameness, using techniques like mirroring and NeuroLingusitic Programming.

It’s certainly a good technique when you are one-on-one with someone, and when you have a specific goal in mind.  Its one reason I like being one-on-one; I can adapt my focus to an individual and touch them.

The second strategy suggests that you be boldly yourself in every moment, so that others can see and be attracted to the unique you.

This is the strategy of the evangelist, building attraction & interest, drawing people into his world, his realm, his circle.

It is a marketing strategy rather than a sales strategy, using a qualifier to weed out those who aren’t ready for your proposition, whatever it is. If they aren’t going to engage, best to know that first and not waste time on them.  You can always pick them up later as your circle expands.

I read Vickie’s response to my post on relationships, where she details her strategy of sales.  She joined groups, pitched in, used her limited resource to expose herself slowly over time while giving others what they wanted.  She let people get to know her.

Her results, both she and I are sad to say, were limited.

How much do we invest in building relationships in order to find commonality when we know from long experience that there is a very limited market for connection with us?

Is it better to be bold and unique up front, assuming that we can attract the pool of people who are attracted to us and then focus on them, even if we don’t connect with the masses?

This is a sales versus marketing question.

For people who do good in sales, having lots of commonalities and being able to maintain those over time, being bold and brazen seems like a counter-productive strategy to build relationships.

But for people who know that more knowledge often queers the deal, maybe being queer and unique up front is really the only choice.  Being bright and bold and qualifying lots of prospects (or, more precisely, disqualifying lots of prospects) is really the only way to make connection in the world.

It is a strategy question for which there is no clear answer, because even after you meet someone who is interested, you have to build a relationship, sell yourself over time.

For those of us who are queer, though, classic sales personal strategies,  even those tested over time, may not be productive.

We may need, I fear, marketing.

Go big, or go alone.

Once A Year Talk

I went to Rhea’s Cafe and I did my tranny talk.

I pulled out the old stories, rehashed the old chestnuts, did the old bits.

It was fun, both for the two who had heard them before and for one or two to whom they were new and revelatory.  A couple more didn’t really get them, since they were in their own “should-be” world.

Twenty years of memories, I have some good stories.

But I did them.  And I really don’t need to do them for another year or so.

I know that some are still doing the pieces that they did the first time I saw them.

I admire them for that.  This is real missionary work that needs to be done, telling the same story over and over again.  There are always new audiences who need to hear it, or hear it in a new way, and old audiences who find comfort and delight in reinforcing the stories they find powerful.  The oral tradition demands repetition and perfection, demands storytellers who perform the classics, even their own classics.  It is so important.

I just have never felt that is me, which is a problem.   I much prefer applying the basic premises to today, to new situations, which ends up with new invocations of old revelations.  I’m best not in polished pieces, I’m best in questions and in questioning, taking the zietgiest and connecting it up.

This is, of course, why I loved television.  Regis is always Regis, but his walking in the world creates fresh stories that illuminate Regis, that illuminate our shared world.  He doesn’t do the same bit everyday while also doing the same bit everyday.   Old stories may come up, but only once a year or so.

It’s just who I am and the way I approach life, with fresh eyes and old lessons.

But it means that I’m not very good at missionary work.