Steve Jobs, the best salesman ever, changed my life

Thomas Marks brings years of marketing experience to his blog "It's All About Content" as the President and Managing Partner of TMA+Peritus. Prior to starting the agency in 1983, Tom was the VP of Marketing and Advertising for Bally Corporation in Chicago. He was also President of Bally's multimillion-dollar in-house ad agency FFC Advertising.

As I get older, I give “stuff” the cold shoulder. I’m not about accumulating things, except my most improved swimmer medal from 1959. I just get a little creeped out seeing a lot of stuff stacking up. In fact, my wife and I ditched a car a few weeks ago and are a one-sled family – the jury’s still out on that decision. And truth be told, there are things I do accumulate: weight, art, glasses with various prescriptions, and products from one of America’s most fertile minds, Steve Jobs.

How can it be that someone who is giving most of it away can’t resist stacking up the Mac-ware? Let me run down my list. MacBook Pro, check. iPad2, Roger. iPhone, on my second. iTouch, ibid. Nano, op. cit. Shuffle, ditto. New touch-screen Nano, affirmative. And what about accessories? Sleeves, Velcro jogging straps, chargers, earbuds; wait, I actually have enough earbuds to fill Ross Perot’s ears, and that’s saying something. I’m not including the kids, the office, even my 87-year-old father, who has a MacBook Air.

Good sales reps sell to the need. Great ones can sell to those who aren’t in need. I’ve never felt so good buying something I didn’t need. No, strike that. I never felt so good buying something that I knew would be obsolete in six months. Now, I’m not saying that if you send me out for some mac and cheese that I’m coming home with a Mac and cheese, but hey, everything’s open to interpretation. Yes, Steve – you are the only one to have changed my personal-accumulation-of-stuff rules.

But it doesn’t end there. I love music; in fact, I love it so much I can’t listen to it. Everyone in our office listens to music while they work. Can someone please answer the damn phone? I find myself doing more listening, that’s not a bad thing, you know – than working, that’s not a good thing, you know? I can’t remember when I got my first Shuffle, but I could walk and walk forever listening to music. And let me tell you about the treadmill – intolerable made tolerable by Mr. Jobs.

We didn’t just lose our greatest technologist, our greatest industrialist, or even our greatest futurist. We lost our greatest salesman. Now, it’s off to the Mac store to pay (literally) my respects.

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