At first glance, it is difficult to discern what is most disturbing about this Associated Press article posted in the Miami Herald. The idea of a Taser combined with an MP3 player, or the misogynistic comments at the end of it, which include - "don't taser me, ho." (I only quote it because I imagine, or hope, that the Herald might remove it at some point).
The part that is relevant to this blog, however, is the concept of intimate gatherings or parties used to sell a pretty dry, technical and somewhat scary product. Employed with great success by companies like Yankee Candle and The Pampered Chef, a lone freelance saleswoman in Phoenix, AZ has been selling Tasers at a fast clip by hosting in-home get together's to demo the product and give what seems to be a powerful testimonial to the need for it. A single woman, Dana Shafman kicks of a gathering with the following:
''The worst nightmare for me is, while I'm sleeping, someone coming in my home,'' Shafman says, drawing a few solemn nods from the women. Shafman, 34, of Phoenix, says she knows how they feel. She says she used to stash knives under her pillow for protection.
Welcome, she says, to the Taser party.
Although Taser is not actively recruiting or training salespeople in the model of Ms. Shafman, they did create a living room set at the Consumer Electronics Show, featuring Ms. Shafman and her unique (to that industry) sales style. The company clearly is targeting women with a product line featuring fashion colors and animal prints - yes, pink is called out as a best seller - but cites in the article that they don't expect their dealers to start imitating her approach. We wonder, why the heck not? The woman should be offered a position training sales people across the network and some sort of bonus for her success.