Dynamite Marketing Tactics in Action
by Joe Gracia
One of our most favorite activities while on vacation is eating! Here are a
few marketing observations related to that universal need, during a recent
1. WHICH HOT DOG VENDOR?
After completing a morning tour, we were ready for a quick bite to eat
before moving on to our next destination. We saw a row of street food
vendors a short distance away.
As we walked past the first hot dog vendor, I noticed that he was absorbed
in reading his newspaper. He didn't even notice us walking by. I knew that
there were a few more hot dog vendors along the path so we continued
As we approached a second hot dog vendor, he looked directly at Maria and I
and asked with a big smile, 'How are you today?'
'Fine,' we said.
Then he said, 'Are you ready to try one of the best hot dogs you've ever
I smiled and looked at Maria, she nodded her head enthusiastically, and a
sale was made.
Why did we walk past the first hot dog vendor, and why didn't we walk past
Because the second knows a lot about effective marketing, and the first
knows very little -- or is independently wealthy and doesn't need the money.
The hot dog marketer knows something about Give to Get -- our marketing
philosophy and strategy. He gave a little bit of attention to us and made us
feel important. The first one made us feel -- invisible.
Were they the 'best' hot dogs we've ever eaten? Probably not. But when
you're hungry, and they're served with a smile, they sure taste good.
People buy things they want from people they know, like and trust! If you
want your customers to like you, and buy from you, then treat them as though
they are the most important people in the world. You don't have to go an
extra mile. Sometimes just an inch will do.
2. HOW ABOUT A PRETZEL?
Now, this didn't happen, but I wish it would have. Our savvy hot dog
marketer still has room for improvement.
Also available at his hot dog stand were delicious looking hot pretzels. But
he never asked us if we would like one to go with our hot dogs.
Now, you may say, he probably assumed that if we wanted a pretzel, we would
have asked for one. Or you may think he would have been pushy suggesting
Folks, if you have such thoughts, please listen carefully, because those
thoughts are costing you thousands of dollars in lost sales.
The only way you can know if a person wants something you have is by making
an offer. Then they will have to make a decision -- yes, or no. You are not
being pushy by offering your customers something else that you know they
will enjoy or benefit by. Customers want you to suggest.
Your customers are not always thinking of your products. They have a million
other things on their minds.
For instance, once I had ordered our hot dogs, I had to think about what we
wanted on our hot dogs; what we wanted to drink and how I was going to hold
everything and pay him at the same time. Plus, I had to think about a place
for Maria and I to sit down to enjoy our meal. I wasn't thinking about his
pretzels at that time.
But, I can guarantee you, that if he had said to me, 'I can give you a
special price on pretzels today -- fifty cents off! How many would you like
-- one or two?' I would have said, 'Sounds great! Give me two!'
Maria and I would have been happy, and he would have been happy.
But he didn't offer, so I didn't buy. Oh well, nobody's perfect. There's
always room for improvement.
There is no better time to sell your customers something more, than when
they are already in a buying mood. Give your customers a special offer on
another related product or service that will benefit them, when they are
already in the process of buying something from you.
You may wonder, 'Why should I give them a discount on this second product or
service? Shouldn't I make them pay full price?'
You can test it and see. But, more often than not, by giving your customers
a 'special' deal for the moment, you will get many more accepting your
offer. Keep in mind, that the profit on this additional sale is profit that
you wouldn't have had.
3. DO YOU KNOW OF A GOOD RESTAURANT?
On another day, at the end of a tour of a colonial home, we asked our guide
if she could recommend a local restaurant.
She did better than that. In addition to her hearty recommendation, she gave
us two coupons for the local eatery.
Pretty impressive. This is called a Joint Venture.
The local restaurant owner obviously knows something about Give to Get and
knew that tourists get hungry after a morning tour. So he approached the
tour guides and asked if they would like a supply of discount coupons to
pass on to their tour groups who might be looking for a casual, but
comfortable dining experience.
And why wouldn't the guides want to provide their guests with
recommendations and coupons to a restaurant that they enjoy themselves?
Perhaps the guides get a free meal once a week for their recommendations.
Joint Ventures, where two or more companies help one another, are an
excellent way to attract business that you would not have otherwise gotten.
4. YUMMY! YUMMY! GOOD FOR YOUR TUMMY!
I'm not making that line up. We must have heard the owner of a Cajun Chicken
franchise repeat that line a hundred times as he handed out samples of his
delicious Bourbon Chicken.
We've mentioned in past articles that a bourbon chicken vendor at one of our
local malls attracts the lion's share of lunch customers by simply handing
out free samples of his bourbon chicken. It is so delicious, that it is
difficult to keep walking past his stand without buying.
Well, apparently, bourbon chicken vendors across the country are aware of
the power of samples too. Because as we searched for a place for lunch in
the huge mall food court, we could hear in the distance, 'Yummy! Yummy! Good
for Your Tummy!'
We were so hungry by this time that we were drawn like a magnet to this
unusual and hilarious chant.
It was difficult to see where this chant was coming from because there was
such a large crowd surrounding the stand. You can imagine our surprise as we
edged our way through the crowd to see a smiling, enthusiastic bourbon
chicken vendor passing out sample after sample of bourbon chicken while
repeating his slogan.
I feel sorry for the other vendors in his vicinity, because they hardly
stand a chance. The only bigger crowd than the one around him and his
samples, was the one at his cash register ordering the full meal.
Samples help you sell. Give people what they want. Think of how much easier
it is for a person to decide if they want your product of not, when they can
We provide hundreds of marketing samples on our Web site and in our
Newsletter so our potential customers can get to know, like, and trust us.
Ice cream stands provide free samples, America Online provides hundreds of
hours of their service for free so you can sample it.
How are you using free samples to help sell your products and services? With
a little creative thought, you can use this powerful technique to explode
Copyright (c) 2002, Joe Gracia
Give to Get Marketing
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