As a home based business owner, I am always striving to improve my business but lessons need not be learnt from the very top experts in the field, very often, great lessons can be learnt from paying attention to the little things.
As I got off the train and headed home, there was a nice old lady selling ice-cream by the roadside. That’s not a very uncommon sight in. For some reason, I decided to go over and buy myself an ice-cream.
“Hello, Auntie” said I. “I’d like to have some chocolate-chip ice-cream”.
She went on to ask me how I wanted it – in a cone, in a cup, in between slices of bread or between two waffle biscuits. I chose the bread. She opened a compartment in her cart and her hand disappeared into the compartment, only to appear a few seconds later with a big chunk of chocolate-chip ice-cream.
As she was preparing it, another customer came along and wanted to buy a drink. She pointed the customer to a styrofoam box on the side and the man fished around for a drink of his choice.
She finished with my ice-cream. I paid and I walked off. She then attended to her next customer.
As I walked and enjoyed my ice-cream, I realized that she did something remarkable. She’s making good money, yet, she’s not educated – I could tell in that short little interaction between us. It’s so simple but to me, it’s something that many people don’t understand.
First of all, she had positioned herself correctly – good location with a good product. She placed herself in a location where she had traffic and her sign was very obvious to the people heading towards her direction.
Second, she dominated her market with relevant products to sell to her customers. She also offered a variety of options for her customer to choose from instead of having only one format of delivery – same product, different delivery method.
Third, she focused on the customer in front of her instead of trying to please all customers. She focused on the one thing that was in front of her and served him (that’s me) to the best of her ability before dealing with the next one.
Lastly, she was non-intrusive and always present. She never once approached me to buy her ice-cream but nevertheless, I approached her to make a purchase. It had been because she had always been there and did her business, quietly “marketing” to me whenever I saw someone eating ice-cream right beside me.