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I was at an outdoor concert in Miami and noticed, no, was mesmerized, by the beer vendor.  He  had a wheel barrow full of ice cold beer, wine, and water (his products). He was dressed in an outfit that stood out.  He had a light on hat and a string of lights around his neck.  He was "singing" his offerings of beer, wine, and water and he had a steady stream of patrons - either running up to him or sending cash down the aisle to him.  

He went up and down EVERY aisle - over and over again - offering a consistent and clear message, with his unique selling proposition being his attitude.  And, he was grateful...for every sale!

I noticed him because of his attitude and work ethic.  Neither the heat nor the crowds deterred him. His attitude was infectious.

We will call him Going-For-It-Guy.

LATER…I noticed the other beer vendor. He had jeans and a t-shirt on. He looked very put together and neat. But, other than that, nothing stood out. Although, he also had a wheel barrow full of ice cold wine, beer, and water- he did not have the same crowd calling out to him to purchase his product. He too walked around the sections, a little slowly, never once calling out his wares.

The only reason I knew what he was selling was because of the sign on the side of his wheel barrow - he did nothing to bring attention to his product.

He never came down my aisle, ever. He seemed to just walk around aimlessly, hoping someone would come up to him and ask to buy his products. In other words, he had no plan. Actually, it appeared he would rather be anywhere but there.

We will call him Maybe-Someone-Will-Buy-From-Me-Someday-Guy.

The difference was obvious, noticeable, and financially more lucrative for Going-For-It-Guy. The difference in the amount of business they were each getting was huge. After a while, people in my section would call for the Going-For-It-Guy, even though Maybe-Someone-Will-Buy-From-Me-Guy was closer. And Going-For-It-Guy happily obliged and would run from 2 sections over to give someone a $3 beer.

So here it is-what I learned from the Beer Vendors:

  • My message needs to be loud and clear
  • My message needs to be relevant and timely
  • Follow up, follow up, and then follow up some more
  • Stepping out of the box and distinguishing yourself makes a big difference
  • The working hard part is okay and necessary. It pays off and your clients feel the difference…

So, in your business, which beer vendor are you?

  • Do you go out of your way to get the word out about what you are selling or providing?
  • Do you know what it is that makes you unique and do you flaunt it?
  • Do you work harder than the other guy and go that extra mile?
  • Are you willing to follow up over and over again, so they remember you? They may eventually buy and you want it to be from you.
  • Are you grateful for your clients and for the opportunities?

Although the Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot were awesome that night, the real entertainment and learning was from the beer vendors. Who knew?

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