“Great job,” Jason West, D.D.S. gave his young patient a lollipop then turned his attention to the boy’s mother. She sat in a wooden chair against the wall in the small exam room. “He did well. No signs of any cavities, but he had some more debris than last time. He could benefit from brushing his teeth more often.” The boy’s mother released a light sigh.
“I know, but we can’t find a toothpaste he likes,” she complained. “And I was just going to pick one and make him use it, but there’s so many choices. Which one do you recommend?” She asked.
“We have our own custom-made formula, nothing but the best for my clients. The receptionist can give you a free sample on the way out. If you like it we sell tubes,” Jason explained.
“Thank you!” She thanked him and led her son out of the examination room. Jason returned to his office and sat down to work on his computer while he waited for his next appointment. After several minutes a voice came from his intercom.
“Doctor, the Bright Clean rep is here to see you. Again,” one of the receptionists from the front desk explained her interruption. Jason sighed, the pressed a button on the intercom to reply.
“That’s fine, send her in. Thank you.” After a minute a young blonde woman walked through his door with a blinding smile.
“Doctor West, thank you for seeing me again.” The woman made herself at home in a chair across from Jason’s desk.
“This is the last time. I’ve already told you I’m not interested in recommending your product to anyone,” Jason said. The woman shook her head with a knowing smile and reached into her small purse.
“I’m here because we changed the formula a bit.” She pulled a thick envelope from her purse and handed it to Jason. “Maybe this new information will sway you?” Jason opened the envelope and flipped through the several dozen 100 dollar bills within. He closed the envelope and tossed it back at the woman so that it landed in her lap.
“Still not interested. Thank you for your offer, but I’ll stick to endorsing my own brand.” He glanced from her to the door to hint that she should leave. Instead, she scooted up in her chair and stared at Jason.
“Why not? Did you even count how much money is in there?” Jason shrugged at the woman’s question.
“Looked like 10k more or less?” he asked. custom-made was surprised at his answer, but she nodded that he guessed correctly. He smiled at her.
“Why am I going to recommend your toothpaste and give Bright Clean more money when my own toothpaste clears nearly that much every month on its own?” He asked, and she seemed to genuinely rack her brain for an answer. After several minutes of silent thought, she shook her head.
“But how do you produce that much toothpaste here?” she asked. Jason smiled and winked at her.
“Obviously we don’t, you’re very poorly informed about your competition for a representative. We order from a third party manufacturer that produces bulk toothpaste and they brand it for us.”
“So you found some low-end factory to sell bottom shelf toothpaste to your clients?” Jason laughed hard enough to make the rep uneasy.
“Lady, we use the same manufacturer Bright Clean does. We’re getting the exact same toothpaste, but I’m putting it in a different container.” Jason continued to laugh. The woman’s eyes widened but then narrowed to slits. She leaned forward.
“So what you’re saying, in a roundabout way is that you DO recommend our toothpaste, but we can’t pay you enough to get you to admit it in a commercial?” she asked. Jason kept laughing but he began to nod his head as well.
“Excellent!” she said. She sounded far more chipper than she did moments ago. “Now then.” She grabbed the money-filled envelope from her lap and tossed it on to Jason’s desk.
“Technically you missed your chance, but I’m just too kind-hearted for my own good. Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to keep that money, and Monday morning you’re going to show up to film a commercial for Bright Clean.” Jason stopped laughing, but something told him she was very serious. He built up enough courage to ask one question.
“If I don’t?” The woman reached into her purse, then Jason heard his own voice. “…Bright Clean is really good toothpaste, but I’ve got a condo to pay for.”
“If you don’t, you’ll have a hard time finding clients to help you pay for your condo.”