By David Helwig
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Patreau (shown in both the foreground and background of our photo) is sales manager at Superior 7 Advertising Inc., a company that's itself known for considerable mastery of the persuasion game.
But convincing the Sault's Lori Franklin to marry him stretched even Patreau's prodigious selling abilities.
After five years of dating Patreau, Franklin was well aware that her beau had once worked as a wedding planner for the Verdi Hall.
So when it came time to pop tbe question, she might reasonably expect Superior 7's Sultan of Sales to do something a little different.
Patreau didn't disappoint.
Saturday night, Lori finished her shift around 3 p.m. at Great Northern Retirement Home (she works there as a personal support worker) and Matt met her at the door.
He drove her downtown, pulled off Queen Street into the RMH parking lot, and stopped under the Superior 7 billboard shown in our photograph.
Lost for words
And there, one of the Sault's smoothest talkers suddenly found himself sputtering and lost for words.
"Look up!" he finally managed to blurt out.
"She said yes right away."
Immediately after closing the biggest sale of his life, Patreau heard a tap on his car window.
There stood his beaming future in-laws.
He'd let them in on his proposal plan, never dreaming that they'd invite themselves to share the moment.
How to get free billboard advertising
But that's not the end of this tale of Matt Patreau, the lovestruck wheeler-dealer.
There's also the story of how he also got Richard Rosset to say yes.
Renting a billboard for a month sets you back about $800.
That's if you pay full price, which Patreau doesn't.
But to recoup his costs he approached Rosset at Savoy Jewellers at Cambrian Mall.
Patreau's billboard was obviously going to get a lot of attention.
If he featured the Savoy logo prominently on the billboard, would Rosset be willing to cut the cost of Lori's engagement ring by, say, $700?
"He said yes right away," Patreau says.
Sweetening the deal
And to sweeten an already very sweet deal, Patreau's also been talking to Gateview Realty.
They're interested in doing another outdoor advertising campaign, featuring Matt and Lori again.
The concept is that once you've convinced her to marry, next you need a house.
"It's not only the biggest sale of my life," Patreau tells SooToday.com. "It's also the best return on my investment."