Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On selling

Some months back, we were waiting at a bus stand, Ernakulam to be precise and there were these hawkers who try to sell stuff ranging from maps to candy to bus routes to magazines just before a bus leaves - pretty standard stuff - you see that in Bangalore too even today. Most of them did a bit of advertising on what they were selling. One of them stood out.

He came in with a few books and took his position at the front of the bus and began to ask questions. Questions for which nobody had any answers (unfortunately, I dont remember them now). Challenging the denizens of a 100% literate state on their "knowledge and awareness"? . Then he distributed at almost one a book ratio and even as he did so continued to rattle some more questions, which stumped almost everyone in the bus. No, he did not give a single answer out, because that was in the book. "You want the answers to those questions, get the book."

In between his narrative he also mentioned that these questions are trivia - for timepass or for kids to sharpen their knowledge. What a broad range! And at 10 rupees, he promised a storehouse of knowledge.

Needless to say, his compelling narrative found him quite a few buyers - from then to the destination, you could read this thin book. Most people will never take a second look at that book - I have one that my mother picked up on "natural health" or something like that. It lines the oily dabbas in the kitchen now. Sometimes, the compelling narrative of a salesman makes you buy stuff - in this case try and buy it and you never use it again...


Shubham said...

Well that is great salesmanship, better than spending on advertising, companies should hire such people :)

Nice article

Kavi said...

All of us sell ! Some people sell for a livelihood !! And do so very well !