Today’s Colorful Expression – Conversational Marketing

I heard the following while eavesdropping on a salesman that was trying to sell a used tractor to an elderly farmer,

Farmer: “I don’t want all the technical mumbo-jumbo, I juss wanna know which a’ them tractors pulls best”.

Salesman: “Well sir, that International on the end there pulls like a mule that’s had his backside doused with turpentine”.

That simple country expression clinched the deal. I also thought it was a perfect example of a conversational sales technique. Speeds and feeds can be boring and confusing. Nothing boring about a mule that’s had his backside splashed with turpentine.


  1. Is that a real story?

  2. DG

    Yes indeed. Heard it yesterday at the tractor show. One of the joys of living in Tennessee is being able to listen to the older farmers talk and collecting the wonderful expressions they use.

  3. What got you to go to a tractor show in the first place?

  4. DG

    Steam powered tractors. The ones with steel wheels, no rubber, etc. I love old machinery, and in particular, old steam engines. The farmers that were fortunate enough to be able to afford one of those old steam tractors were also real good at building other devices that could harness the steam power.

    They built everything from chicken pluckers to cane presses to walnut crackers.

  5. Yoav

    You haven’t lived till you’ve been to a country show. The sights, the sounds and even the smells are incredible and listening to farmers talk is like discovering a whole new world.

  6. Kirby

    Not quite Tennessee, but not bad for my neck of the woods –

  7. DG

    That’s a pretty respectable show regardless of what neck the woods it happens to be in.

    >>listening to farmers talk is like discovering a whole new world

    Sure is, I was in the Northeast and heard,

    “He nailed all his sap buckets to oak trees”.

    If there’s a better expression to convey ‘pointless endeavor’ I’ve never heard it.

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