Stop Interrupting Your Cust (MOO) omers

Michael Hume - Word Play logo

May, 2023 * Volume III, Number 5

Dear Patient Reader,

We’ve all heard the old joke that’s become one of my granddaughter’s favorites: “Knock knock!” “Who’s there?” “Interrupting Cow!” “Interrup-“ “MOO!”

In this month’s edition of Word PLAY! – your favorite news-free email newsletter – we explore a subtle and often-overlooked trick of the marketing trade: Patience.

Wait for it….


Joking aside, THANK YOU for reading, and for making Firewords Creative Copy your go-to source for the words that win and the funny that makes money. I am humbled by your support, and seriously grateful for your business.

- Michael

Michael D. Hume, M.S.
Senior Author and Head Waiter
Firewords Creative Copy

Meanwhile, in this edition of Word PLAY...

Stop Interrupting Your Cust (MOO) omers

Word PLAY… Playful Monthly Commentary
On Persuasive Copy For YOUR Business

I was a professional stage actor in my youth, which means that, like all professional actors in cities across America, I made most of my money waiting tables.

So I remember a different time, when a waiter would come over and refill your beverages and then WAIT PATIENTLY for a lull in his customers’ conversation to ask them any questions that needed asking.

Those days are FELIX WILL BE YOUR SERVER AND HE’LL BE RIGHT OVER over. Nowadays, if you want to HI I’M FELIX WHAT CAN I GET YOU TO DRINK carry on an intelligent conversation at a restaurant, good luck. Because these days, servers don’t wait for a lull. They dive I’M SORRY WE’RE OUT OF UNSWEETENED TEA right in whenever they are ready to talk to you.

This usually happens when you’re about 30 percent into a complex THE MENUS ARE AT THE END OF THE TABLE AND I’LL BE RIGHT BACK TO TAKE YOUR ORDER thought you’re trying to convey.

It’s possible that you are SO WHAT CAN I GET YOU doing approximately the same thing to your own customers.

Companies spend a fortune on marketing their products or services, and in many cases, their customers need DID YOU WANT BAKED POTATO, MASHED, OR FRIES some time to evaluate what may seem (to them) to be a AND FOR YOU SIR complex selling proposition.

When you dive right in and insist they make I’LL GET THIS RIGHT IN a buying decision when you are coming up on the end of the month sales quota, you’re essentially interrupting I’M SORRY WE’RE OUT OF BAKED POTATOES HOW ABOUT FRIES their thought process.

People buy when they are ready to buy, not when you are HERE WE ARE ONE STEAK MEDIUM RARE AND ONE CHICKEN CAESAR ready to sell.

Consider whether you need to be more patient with your customers. Do more to stay in front of them, on a consistent and welcome basis, and they’ll HOW IS EVERYTHING buy when they’re ready.

For instance, you might consider publishing a lightly Hume-orous email newsletter every 2-4 weeks – something your customers and prospects will enjoy reading, but which WILL THERE BE ANYTHING ELSE also makes the selling points you need to make – and back off the hard sell a bit.

The other cool thing about an email newsletter is that your prospects can read it whenever they want to. You won’t be PLEASE SIGN THE TOP COPY AND THE BOTTOM COPY IS FOR YOU interrupting their day by pitching your wares on your schedule instead of theirs.

Servers have a job to do, and we’re all busy these days. I get it, and I don’t mean to disparage hard-working restaurant personnel. But you are not restaurant personnel. You own a business.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, don’t treat your customers like diners in a modern-day restaurant. Treat them like busy people who will appreciate the opportunity to choose the timing of their interactions with your firm.


Key Take-Aways From This Edition

  • We are out of baked potatoes.
  • Your best customers will need time to evaluate your marketing proposals.
  • Servers don’t have time to wait for you to stop talking. They have a job to do.
  • People buy when they’re ready to buy, not when you’re ready to sell to them.
  • When you publish a funny email newsletter that touts your firm’s selling points, you give your customers and prospects a chance to read your message on their schedule.
  • The bottom copy is for you.

How about those for Key Take-Aways! And just think: Next month’s Take-Aways could be even MORE Key. Wait for it….


Discussion Questions

  1. 1
    Who would order a baked potato with a chicken Caesar anyway?
  2. 2
    Calculate the number of complete sentences you could utter before the waiter – oops, too late
  3. 3
    Are you ready to publish a lightly HUME-orous email newsletter once or twice a month, so your customers can be in touch with you on THEIR schedule?

Send your answers to The most creative, inspirational response will be eligible to win a PRIZE! *

(* Prize is at the sole discretion of Michael Hume, his heirs and assigns, and a select committee of busy servers who need to get their side work done quickly because they’re running late for a major audition and they really NEED this gig because they’re PERFECT for it and you and your unsweetened tea are all that stands between them and the possibility of theatrical glory. This month’s Grand Prize is a big secret, but it’s likely you’ll want fries with it. Deadline is 90 seconds for a prepared monologue, and no more than 16 bars of whatever you choose to sing. No, the accompanist will not choose your 16 bars. Boring, lackluster, or unimaginative entries have no chance of winning, and the judges are far too busy to read the boring ones anyway, so keep it lively. Good luck!)

Last Month’s Grand Prize Winner: Marcus J. of Erie, Colorado won by NOT entering, since what he would’ve contributed would likely have been overly unkind anyway. Thanks Marcus! Call to claim your prize. If the line’s busy, we’ll call you back. Heh heh. Sure we will. But for the rest of you, a REAL prize awaits the winner of next month’s contest… which could be YOU!

Not yet subscribed to Word PLAY? (HORRORS!)

I write HUME-orous marketing copy for happy clients who take their professions very seriously… but whose customers like and trust them because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Want more info? Get in touch…

Call me: (303) 478-8702
Email me:
Investigate me:
Prepare a 90-second monologue: 195 South Rancho Vista Drive, Pueblo West, CO 81007

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Copyright 2022 by Michael D. Hume, M.S. All rights reserved.
Word PLAY! should be taken with food
FireWords Creative Copy, 195 South Rancho Vista Drive , Pueblo West, CO 81007, United States

Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a freelance writer, singer, and songwriter, and author of The 95th Christmas. He's an honor graduate of the Defense Information School, and holds an M.S. from the University of Colorado School of Business. Michael is the author of hundreds of online articles, including the popular series Great Leadership Requires Inspiration, The Conscience of a Restorationist, Appreciate Your Adversaries, and Take Care of Your Business.

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