[rescue] manual typewriters

john jferg977 at aol.com
Fri Mar 9 14:05:38 CST 2018

When we were Sun VARS, I took a course in guerilla marketing ... no, not 
selling primates.B  One of the better ideas was to discover the name of 
the CEO's at marketing targets and send a hand-typed letter in a hand 
typed envelope with the CEO's name, no title, and 'personal' typed on 
the lower left - underlined.B  It was recommended that a Selectric not be 
used, but rather a beat-up old manual, one with crooked keys.

The idea was that the result would look REALLY personal and the usual 
mail interceptor would be reluctant to open it on the chance that it 
really was personal.

The letter inside apologized for the hoax, and then went on to describe 
how it had been done and invite a phone call to see what the sender 
might do to contribute to the target company's success.

It didn't work on everyone, but on the ones to whom it was either funny 
or otherwise appealing, it brought us business.

But the hand typing was a little much. It was 1987 and envelopes were 
already being addressed by dot-matrix printers.B  We had an old (even 
then) Diablo Hytype I daisywheel printer for which I'd made an ascii to 
ebcdic translator and a 110 vc power supply.

The manual typewriter effect was achieved by carving up a courier 
daisy-wheel with a razor blade and bending some of the petals with a 
needle-nose pliers. It was veery convincing.

Along with the Sun equipment we sold by this means, we sold two revived 
Diablos with our custom daisywheels.

One other idea which came out of that course was NEVER to put a title on 
your calling cards, especially if it might have been "President".B  
No-one is impressed to meet the president of a ten person shop.

If your card says President it is a lot harder to modify anything you 
have committed to in person.B  If it says "Sales" and you come to your 
senses when you get back to the office, you can call the client, and 
tell him/her that you can offer them a different combination of benefits 
but not exactly what you discussed, because the boss won't bless it.

Besides, if you are really impressive, the client will assume you come 
from a really class outfit. If a sales person can be that good, the 
officers must be incredible.

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