separable phrasal verb: drum up

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Today, I have a good expression for all the business people out there. It’s the phrasal verb: “drum up”. It is used when we want to talk about doing something to obtain new customers for a business. For example:

If we advertise in the newspaper or on TV, we’ll be able to drum up some new business.

If we don’t drum up some new business soon, we’ll have to shut down our store permanently.

Our business has been doing badly recently because of the recession. We need to find a way to drum up some new customers.

Brad is our best salesman. He is constantly able to drum up new customers for our company.

I’m not sure why we say “drum up” in this situation, but perhaps a long time ago, people used to use a drum to advertise their products and to get people’s attention. That’s my guess anyway.

We can also use it in non-business situations. For example:

Paula is trying to organize a karaoke night. She’s trying to drum up interest in that now.

The president is trying to drum up support for his new legislation.

Nobody is excited about the camping trip this weekend. We need to drum up some enthusiasm for it.

In these situations, the person tries to talk to other people in order to convince them that the idea is a good one.

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