Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Something Amazing

Hat tip: Stam

There's a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal which takes a closer look at the growing phenomenon of Israeli kiosk salesmen in the US, particularly during the holiday season.
At malls across the country, shoppers are being besieged by a determined crop of salespeople: young Israelis who man mobile carts and have a no-holds-barred selling style.

Amid the grimmest holiday season in years, these workers are approaching passing mall shoppers or calling out from their stations, pitching body lotions, irons, toys and knickknacks. They demonstrate their wares by flying remote-control helicopters, steaming shirts and applying makeup. Instead of charging American-style fixed prices, they harness the culture of the bazaar and often quote numbers based on what they think a customer will be willing to pay.
While I have somewhat mixed feelings about how some of the Israelis tend to do business, most of them tend to be eminently respectful (if a bit pushy) and admittedly great salesmen. Their attitude and self-confidence is amazing (in the article one talks about being able to sell ice to Eskimos), and they certainly get the job done. It's a good piece, check it out. Below is the music video the article mentions by Rami Feinstein, a well known Israeli musician who wrote a song about his annual stint as such a salesman.