Business Magazine

Marketing Lessons From a Fruit Vendor

By 2centsricher

Marketing Lessons From a Fruit Vendor

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Pike Place in Seattle. Among all the cool things they have there, one of their most common features is the fresh produce vendors. As I was making my way through the sea of visitors (it was a Sunday), one particular vendor caught my eye for several reasons. First, he was standing next to a big mountain of peaches. He was standing almost in the main corridor with a peach in his hand and a knife in the other. As people walked by, he would slice off a piece of the peach and offer it to them. When my turn came, I ate the piece he gave me and it stopped me in my tracks. It was probably one of the best peaches I have ever had in my life. I HAD to buy more for later. Conveniently, he had some paper bags next to the peaches. I chose four peaches, paid him and off I went. Our entire interaction lasted no more than one minute.

It seems simplistic. It seems basic and very “Marketing 101”. However, as technology advances and plans and objectives become increasingly complex, we sometimes forget about the basics. I still think that there are some great lessons that can be drawn from the fruit vendor.

Make yourself noticed. I could have bought my peaches from one of the many other fruit vendors in the market. However, I ended up buying fruit from the one that dared to be different and the one who caught my attention.

Go where your customers are: He was standing right next to the main corridor where most of the people were walking. Sometimes we passively wait for new leads to come through or for someone to recommend our product to someone else and we forget to actually get out there and actively looking for new business.

Provide value for free. By giving away a small sample of his peach, he provided his potential customers with value (in this case, a delicious piece of healthy fruit) for free. This vendor knew that his fruit was great. He knew that his peaches, even if they were not better than the competition, would at least measure up and he conveyed that with his actions. By giving me a free slice of his peaches, he gave me the opportunity to try something that I wouldn’t necessarily have tried and showed that he was confident and believed in his product.

Make it easy to do business with you.  Once I had tried his product and decided to do business with him, he made it easy. I didn’t have to go inside his stand, I didn’t have to buy another fruit to get a good deal. Everything was then and there. I wanted his peaches, he gave me the opportunity to pick the ones I wanted and put them in a bag and it was done.

I didn’t go to Pike Place thinking “Oh, I hope they have some nice peaches that I can buy”. I didn’t even want any peaches. But when I was there, the fruit vendor mixed the perfect combination of factors needed for him to get a piece of my business. And he did. Good for him.

What is left now is for you to think if you are creating what is necessary to increase your business.

How about them peaches?


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