Business Strategies from a Street Vendor?

A couple of weeks ago, while vacationing in Maui, I came across a business that is making a killing, hand over fist. The funny thing is that this business is so unassuming you’d never imagine that they would be so well organized.

One afternoon my wife, Diana, and I took our son, Andrew, on a walk through the shops down Front street, in scenic water front old town. Since I’m always interested in how other businesses operate I tend keep my eyes open for sales and marketing greatness to study.

One of the smaller shops (so small that it could have been a stand) was selling pearls in an oyster. You may have seen these stands before in touristy areas. Basically for $13.00 you pick an oyster and they pry it open for you – and out pops a beautiful pearl.

Now here’s the best part…

They know their customers really well. See, they know that women are more likely to wear pearls than men. And they also know that men are more likely to buy pearls for women.

Lesson one: Have a niche. For the Pearl Factory their niche is pearls and their niche market is couples.

Their marketing method is actually simple and clever. See, they let all types of people walk right by their stand.  But when they see a couple walking down the sidewalk they make them this offer: “Would you like a beautiful pearl fresh from an oyster for only $13.00?”

Now how could I say no to that offer in front of my loving wife 🙂
Within minutes Diana picked her oyster and out popped a beautiful pink pearl.

But that’s not how they make their money. Nope. See, $13.00 to them is a pittance.

Instantly the nice Hawaiian woman behind the counter offered to put the pearl on the setting of our choice (another $187) Then she asked if we would like an 18 inch or 20 inch necklace for the setting (another $100).

Ten minutes and $300 dollars later we walked away from this pearl stand with a beautiful pearl necklace.

Lesson two: Have a systematic back-end and up-sell in place.

For the Pearl Factory that up-sell is a setting, necklace or ring that adds up to a lot more than the original $13.00 I paid for the pearl.

Now let’s put your business under the spotlight.

Do you have a niche or niche market?

If so, do they know about you?

And do you offer systematic up-sells and back-ends that would compliment your client’s desire to achieve their fitness goals? If not, then chances are you’re leaving a whole bunch of money on the table – which is never good for business.

Next week I’ll show you how a chain of fast food burger joints uses a simple marketing strategy to grow their business like wild fire. Interestingly this same strategy works even better for the personal training industry.