01568 609800 mike@day10.com

Market trader salesmanMany years ago when I was a kid my parents used to take me round the local market in Doncaster on a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t remember much about it except the fact that I used to gaze in awe at the stand-up salesman usually selling household goods such as crockery or cutlery.

The Salesman’s Pitch

Standing on a soap box behind a stall, and in front of his van, with an eager crowd round him he would make his pitch.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is what I’m going to do today, because it’s my birthday” as he pulls dinner plates, desert dishes, cups, saucers and the like from under the stall and carefully balances them on his arm.

“I have here a 50 piece dinner service. Go to Lewis’s (a well known department store) and you’ll find the exact same dinner service for £50”.

“Now I’m not going to charge you £50 today, I’m not even going to charge £30”. At this point the crowd starts to lean forward in anticipation. “I’m not even going to charge £20”.

“I’ll tell you what. I’ve only got 20 of these dinner services left so I’m not even going to charge £15”. By this time a hushed silence has come over the crowd.

The salesman bangs the table. “Not £15, not even £10”. Bangs again. “£5 to the first 20 people who give the money to my assistant here.

People from the crowd scramble to hand £5 to the assistant.

Gene Fowler American journalist and biographer, 1890-1960
I am the world’s worst salesman, therefore, I must make it easy for people to buy.

Now Let’s Analyze Our Salesman’s Pitch.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is what I’m going to do today, because it’s my birthday” as he pulls dinner plates, desert dishes, cups, saucers and the like from under the stall and carefully balances them on his arm.

As he talks and jokes along with the crowd, he is creating a product in front of his customers’ eyes and a rapport with his customers.

“I have here a 50 piece dinner service. Go to Lewis’s (a well known department store) and you’ll find the exact same dinner service for £50”.

He has now positioned his product and established value (£50) and credibility (Lewis’s)

“Now I’m not going to charge you £50 today, I’m not even going to charge £30”. At this the crowd starts to lean forward in anticipation. “I’m not even going to charge £20”.

He is now creating a special offer to entice his customers.

“I’ll tell you what. I’ve only got 20 of these dinner services left so I’m not even going to charge £15”. By this time a hushed silence has come over the crowd.

He has now created scarcity. Only 20 left so customers know they could miss out on a bargain if they delay.

The salesman bangs the table. “Not £15, not even £10”. Bangs again. “£5 to the first 20 people who give the money to my assistant here.

This is the clincher. His customers are so wound up that they don’t even think about it. Getting their money out and getting it to the assistant has become an impulse, almost a reflex, action.

Classic Marketing

What I’ve just described above is a classic piece of marketing.

  • Create a product.
  • Establish value to the customer.
  • Create an offer.
  • Create scarcity.
  • Make the sale.

Snake oil salesmen were probably using this technique back in the days of the wild west and it still works today. It’s just as applicable to your website as to anything else. Doing this from the back of a van on Doncaster market is one thing, applying it to your website is another.

But that’s why you need to employ an expert who understands how to make it work with your website. Many so-called web designers can make a site look pretty but that’s about all.

And what about the 50 piece dinner service? The first time we used it the handles fell off the cups!

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