I was proud of my designation as QVC’s home run hitter. I was “put in” whenever they needed to sell a bunch of something. I loved the job and would still be there if I didn’t realize that I could make more from one successful infomercial than I did during 15 years at the Q. And I was right. I was fortunate to do several successful infomercials, many with one of my closest friends, Ron Popeil.
I also turned down quite a few infomercials. One of my favorites was for a product that had clinical studies proving that it made your penis bigger and ensured you of solid erections all the time. They wanted to send me sample so I could give a testimonial during the spot. I can just hear me saying, “Hello, I’m Steve Bryant and I used to be impotent and have a small penis.” (That always proved to be a really ineffective pickup line.) I am kind of “proud” that they got Ron Jeremy to host to show after I turned it down. Hey, when I’m replaced…
All that being said, I have noticed that none of the shopping networks have what appears to be a long ball hitter. There’s a sameness with most of their hosts and the seasoned ones seem to have just given in the mediocrity of conformity.
I’m proud that my $11,000,000 hour has never been topped. I’m also not happy about it. Records were made to be broken. That record was set in 1999 when QVC had about half the potential viewers it has today. Today’s shopping hosts don’t seem to want to put in that kind of work. It is fairly certain that they are not rewarded for it.
In interviews, I am often asked how I was able to sell that many computers in an hour. The answer is simple. Preparation. I prepped for over 2 weeks, practicing for hours every day with the machine we were selling. It was a sacrifice. My already limited social life disappeared. But I comfortably hit it out of the park, using a lot of new sales and demo techniques that I would continue to use and teach to my peers.
I can only think that this kind of innovation and initiative is frowned upon in today’s televised shopping world, especially at the new hybrid QVC/HSN. Evine will always have my respect as the only shopping channel today isn’t afraid to ignore established paradigms. Last night, I heard a fun but serious conversation about female orgasms on “Evine After Dark.” No giggling, just a group of serious and entertaining women talking about improving your sex life and offering products that could help to do it.
It is with sadness that I bid farewell to the long ball hitter in televised shopping. I’m sure many knowledgeable people have forged the current unremarkable business plan for QVC/HSN. It’s about as interesting as watching spackle dry. Possibly, they are the descendants of the designers of the Edsel or producers of the ill-fated TV game show “You’re in the Picture.” Or maybe they’re just idiots.
© 2019 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.