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Make new Friends But Keep The Old :One Is Like Silver The Other Like Gold

                                                                                  Chapter Fourteen : Spruiking

 

                                                                        Chapter Fourteen

                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                      

                                  

One day in 1992, (when singing with my band Monkey Business at The Junction Markets, here in Adelaide,) on a very sunny Sunday afternoon, I met someone I knew, and that meeting changed my life. When I asked him what he was doing he replied 'spruiking'.


 

I asked him what that was, and he told me that it was the gentle art of persuading people to come into a specific shop by using your

own skills on a     microphone.

 

He also said to me that he thought it was right up my alley and it wouldn't interfere with my Quiz nights or Singing gigs, so would I like him to introduce me to his boss, Nigel who ran a spruiking agency by the wonderful name of 'Noiseworks'.



I went to meet Nigel in his office upstairs in one of the many      arcades, here in Adelaide.

 

We had a quick chat then he pointed over to a table that had quite a few items on it. There was a       small amplifier and a microphone right next to it. He said turn the microphone on and imagine you are standing at the entrance to a store and describe the items on the table. Well I'm very experienced with microphones etc., so I just talked about what was there. There were marked down prices on most things, so I highlighted them. 'Sell the sizzle not the sausage' is something I had learned along the way. (Have you ever tried selling a band out?)



After a few minutes  Nigel, said “What are you doing for the rest of the day, are you free?” I said I was and he asked me to go to a

 

store called      Dollars and Sense which was downstairs on the main shopping strip in Adelaide, Rundle Mall. Within just a few minutes I was down at the store introducing myself to the manageress,, Jodie, and informed her that I was to be her spruiker for a few hours. So less than half an hour after meeting Nigel I'm actually working in the biggest Mall in this fabulous town, and that for me was the start of something big.

 

Not long after I started my own spruiking agency and reached the dizzy heights of about 60 Spruikers on my books!! (Including Nigel!!) Over the next few years Des O'Reilly Spruikers were just about everywhere and worked at some twenty different shopping centres and many many individual stores, in and around Adelaide. Spruiking has been good to me over the years.

 

What follows is a list of stores where I've spruiked. I've highlighted my personal spruiks in this colour, and those not highlighted were covered by my agency spruikers. These were all 'single spruiks', where the entire session takes place at the one store.



 

Rundle Mall Shopping Centre

Dollars and Sense

Ren.Tower Restaurant

Woolworths

Goldmark Jewellers

Edments Jewellers

BBs Cafe

Bedroom Mazurka

Great Discoveries

Bookworld

Faulty Towels

Black Magic Jewellers

Haus FX

Shiels Jewellers (two stores)

Just Jeans

Zippys Snacks

Zamels Jewellers

Speed’s Shoes

 

Arndale Shopping Centre

Sheils Jewellers

Great Discoveries

Grahams Jewellers

Goldmark Jewellers

Zamels Jewellers

Castle Plaza

Bookworld

Zamels Jewellers

 

Centro Colonnades Shopping Centre

Athletes Foot

Betts and Betts

Spendless Shoes

Strandbags

Jeans West

Michael Hill Jewellers

Cheap as Chips

Copperart

Angus and Robertson

Bakers Delight

Rita Louise

JR Surf and Ski

Goldmark Jewellers

Rabbit Photos

Handbags International

Zamels Jewellers

Fruit Villa

Sheils Jewellers



Craigmore Shopping Centre

Cheap as Chips

Dernancourt Shopping Centre

Handbags International



Elizabeth Shopping Centre

Strandbags

Rabbit Photos

Target

Goldmark Jewellers

Great Discoveries

Shiels Jewellers (two stores )

Bedroom Mazurka

Edments Jewellers

Grahams Jewellers

 

Elizabeth South Shopping Centre

Cheap as Chips

 

Westfield Marion Shopping Centre

Rabbit Photos

Bookworld

Brashs

Goldmark Jewellers

Sports Lover

Di’s Leather Shop

Edments Jewellers

Sheils Jewellers (two stores)

Campbells Newsagency

Grahams Jewellers



Modbury Post Office

 

Northpark Shopping Centre

Zamels Jewellers

 

Parabanks Shopping Centre

Sheils Jewellers

Woolworths


Payneham Shopping Centre

Cheap as Chips

 

Port Adelaide

Cheap as Chips

 

Prospect

Cheap as Chips

Salisbury Shopping Centre

Zamels Jewellers


Sefton Park Shopping Centre

Target

Westfield Tea Tree Plaza Shopping Centre

Goldmark Jewellers

Charlie Chan Restaurant

Sportslover

Edments Jewellers

Bookworld

Great Discoveries

Zamels Jewellers

Rabbit Photos

Grahams Jewellers

Bedroom Mazurka

Brown Sugar


Hindley Street

Timezone


Wayville Showgrounds

The Boat Show



 

The following is a list of what's referred to as 'multi spruiks', where the job is to work around the entire Shopping Centre, going from store to store.

Aldinga Central Shopping Centre

City Cross Shopping Centre

Centro Colonnades Shopping Centre

Myer Centre, Rundle Mall

Fisherman's Wharf, Port Adelaide

Port Mall Shopping Centre                                                                 
                                                                    
                                                  

 

                                                                                                 I definitely had a passion!!



I ran the agency for about three years, then carried on spruiking myself until 2006 before taking a break after 14 years. It's a funny thing Spruiking, it can be very tiring because you have to keep up the 'performance', and make no mistake folks it is exactly that, a 'performance', for the duration of the spruik which is normally for three or four hours at a time.

Does it work? I think the body of work which was constant over the 14 years, states very clearly that it does. If done correctly a decent spruiker can increase the traffic flow in a business immeasurably, you simply have to create the desire and atmosphere where the good folks are feeling comfortable, and at this point I will add 'happy'. It has been my belief all along that a happy shopper spends money, and a not happy shopper doesn't. I also noticed that in the main, people don't read signs. Many a time I would hear people say "Hey, he just said there's a sale on", and I would be standing underneath a giant sign saying 50% off Sale.

 

From the performance point of view, it's brilliant. You don't get much more 'live' than this!! You operate right on the ground amongst the people, and quite frankly I found it to be a 'buzz'. I loved it and I'm happy to say I was able to generate decent money for the stores I spruiked for over the years.


When spruiking at the same store regularly, everybody gets to know you. There was another plus, for example I spruiked at

     Zamels Jewellers at Colonnades Shopping Centre for about 8 years, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 11.00am till 2.00pm. It became clear to me that quite a lot of people, mainly older people, used to stop and talk to me and very often they would tell me that they hadn't actually talked to anyone at all since they last saw me!! Now that could have been a day or two or indeed a whole week... That used to happen a lot and of course it shouldn't have. So folks please be aware that if you happen to see an older person regularly on your daily travels, please acknowledge them. Ask them how they are and smile at them. It takes seconds and you have no idea at all what that sort of contact really means to a lot of people.

 

                                                                                                


Spruiking plays an important role.                                          

             

To Be Continued   ....................

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