Weird Ways

What's the wildest thing you've ever done to grab a client?
This story first appeared in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Read these three strange tales of salesmanship, and ask yourself if you would go to these lengths to secure business-it sure worked for these entrepreneurs.

  • "I match qualified tutors with students. I arrived at a home for a consultation, only to hear the potential 'client'--a 6-year-old boy--screaming and yelling something totally unintelligible. The mother ushered me into the dining room to interview [the child]. I asked him, 'How are you today? You seem mad about something. What's going on?' He [climbed] on top of the dining room table and jumped up and down, shouting, 'I don't want a tutor!' This went on for about two minutes. So I removed my shoes, jumped up and down on the table with him and shouted, 'Why not? Our tutors are great!' Suddenly, he was quiet and said in a small voice, 'Really?' It was my first big sale, and the family stayed with our service for three years."

    -Laurie Hurley, 49, president of Bright Apple Tutoring Service in Newbury Park, California, started in 2002, and Home Tutoring Business, a service selling turnkey tutoring businesses to other entrepreneurs, started in late summer 2005

  • "A headhunter called me out of the blue about interviewing with a company. Thinking I could pose as an interviewee, I decided to go [and pitch them]. When I got there, they were instantly wowed--they brought in their executive staff, and I started in on an almost boardroom-style presentation on how I could help their business. It got me a long-term contract with the company."

    -Chris Consorte, 32, president and CEO of Integrated Direct LLC, a lead-generation marketing firm in New York City, started in 1999

  • "While going after a major account, i had a large cake made by a local bakery and delivered to the executive team during lunch hour--with the middle of the cake missing, except for the letters S and S. The next day, I had the middle of the cake delivered: It said, 'Here's the missing piece of your -ucces-!' and matched the cutout. We got the account!"

    -Chip Cummings, 43, CEO of Northwind Financial Corp., a mortgage lending firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, started in 1998

View Comments (0)

Related Articles