Home > Features > Exec Seat: Steve Volponi — The Devil You Know • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

FEATURE

Exec Seat: Steve Volponi — The Devil You Know

Exec Seat: Steve Volponi — The Devil You Know

May 21, 2013
Text size: 
View in Digital Mag
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
  39.66%
Yes, but in a few years
  36.87%
No
  23.46%
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.

" Don’t underestimate the customer’s knowledge of quality product. You can only fool them so many times before they leave your store and head to a competitor that actually has what they want. —Steve Volponi, Director of Sales, Devil’s Film. "

Devil’s Film Director of Sales Steve Volponi has been closing deals for more than 20 years. “It’s not as easy as it used to be, but it beats tarring roofs,” he quips, an example of the shoot-from-the-hip manner that has endeared him to buyers in the industry, many of whom call the wise-cracking former piano salesman a friend.

XBIZ caught up with Volponi to discuss his career, the art of the sale and why it may not be a good idea to download porn onto one’s personal computer.

How did you get started in adult sales?

I started at Le Sex Shoppe. A buddy of mine was the manager there, and he’d hire me when I was in between tours with my band. Before that, I had a job at Korg Pianos.

When did you know adult sales was right for you?

Well, I immediately liked it when I opened my first paycheck. But, I knew it was the right decision because I hated unloading 40-foot containers filled with keyboards and baby grand pianos.

What was the first valuable lesson you learned about sales?

I was fortunate enough when I crossed over to the one-stop side of things to be in a phone room filled with some sales vets. I just listened and learned — learned to throw my own Philly spin onto things. There’s something about the back East accent that just got me through to the buyers all the time. It helps that I’m really fucking funny and kinda cute too!

How important is personal touch?

It’s very important; I kinda don’t like the hard-sales aspect. I consider the buyers I deal with to be personal friends on different levels. When I’m out with them for dinner or drinks, I don’t talk about business with them. I think it’s kinda tacky, and would rather just enjoy the hang-time.

How is sales more difficult today?

The fact that there is so much product out there and companies are fighting over shelf space — competing with other people’s pricing and explaining why my products are sometimes more expensive — is the grind.

How do you convince a retailer to purchase your product without bending on price?

Well the work is halfway done for me by the time he gets to me. I know when they call and ask about my pricing and then start telling me that they can get this guy’s stuff for this price and the other guy’s stuff for that price — which is way lower than mine.

I simply respond “Well, be my guest and call them because I can’t sell you at that price.” I already know by the time they break down and call me that their customers are either coming to the store asking for my stuff, or they’re simply checking its current stock and walking out the same way they came in — empty handed.

Don’t underestimate the customer’s knowledge of quality product. You can only fool them so many times before they leave your store and head to a competitor that actually has what they want.

Internet: friend or foe?

Well, it’s the best of both worlds right? We wanna hate it, but then a VOD check comes in the mail… then DVD sales decline. But, we still say “that fucking Internet!”

So … is DVD really dead?

Absolutely … not! There is always gonna be the collector; the guy that wants to own, and hold in his possession the item he wants. The young people today are the ones stealing, sharing and downloading shit off the Internet. The older, more experienced fans aren’t so computer savvy, and/or are smart enough to not want Big Brother watching over everything they download onto the computer.

It’s all fun and games till the cops kick your door in because you download some creepy shit. Buy DVD’s, guys and gals. It’s safer, regulated and we won’t send you a bill from our copyright informant peeps for illegally watching/downloading our movies on the Internet.

Devil’s Film produces a lot of successful fetish lines. Is there a difference between selling fetish and standard porn?

We kinda made our bones in the niche genres: tranny, teen, MILF, gangbang, strap-on and so on. It’s what we do best, and that’s why it sells. It may not be for everybody, but those that want it know we don’t half-ass it. But, new things are on the horizon.

One of Devil’s most brow-raising lines is “Mothers Teaching Daughters to Suck Cock,’ but what should dads teach their sons?

It’s gotta be shaving … the face, and how to trim your pubes with the clipper and not cut open your sack.


BUSINESS ANALYSIS

Sexperts Tout Men’s Wellness Benefits of Pleasure Products

Sex, more and more, is being discussed not only from an erotic standpoint, but also, from a health and wellness standpoint. MensHealth.com, MensJournal.com and many other mainstream websites have been... More »

Male Sex Toys Get Creative With Non-Anatomical Designs

Male toys are becoming more and more popular for both straight and gay men. While the emphasis has long been on women’s toys, today men’s products are a burgeoning market. Channel 1 Releasing... More »

Manufacturers Recreate Lifelike Sex for Male Masturbation

Sex is sex, even when you have it with yourself. Wherever that little love dance goes, sex toys are sure to help guide you on the journey. When it comes to men, the industry appears to have thrown its... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Latin America Adult Business Expo

Jul 10 - Jul 12
Cartagena, Colombia

ANME Founders Show

Jul 16 - Jul 18
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

QWEBEC Expo

Aug 03 - Aug 06
Montreal, Quebec

XBIZ Berlin 2017

Sep 11 - Sep 14
Berlin, Germany
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!