Selling Salt


Selling Salt

Our town of Fishers, which has recently become a city, mayor and all, has the best Farmers Market. (We also now have an Ikea and Top Golf, so, our little city has finally “arrived”). The Farmers Market is close enough to our home that we can ride bikes to it on a Saturday morning, or take a quick drive and park in one of the five parking garages near the activities. Of course, I love to park in one of the garages that are equipped with our Falcon Vision parking guidance and lighting solution. 

Along the path at the Farmers Market, you can purchase everything from a breakfast sandwich from a couple of entrepreneurial high school girls, to the most amazing waffle creations where you can’t believe how much you just shelled out for a gourmet waffle. You can grind up a pound of organic coffee and get a courtesy free cup to walk around with (enticing others to stop by that vendor). You can purchase the freshest corn on the cob and vegetables from an Amish family. There are hand-dipped candles, local honey, and free giveaways from a real-estate broker and a State Farm agent. 

One of my friends has the challenging task of selling his product from his small table. He sells red worms, worm tea (not for human consumption), and worm composting. If that intrigues you, check out Keith would love to tell you about his product. By the way, what the heck is Kombucha?

One Saturday morning this past fall, Ruth and I were walking along the market, seeing the familiar vendors. We have a game where we guess how many people we will know. Living in the same community for over 25 years, you get to know a lot of people, and of course, there is always the worm guy Keith who is someone we know. 

On this particular morning, we ran into some old friends, Tim and Deanne. Tim taught me how to juggle about 25 years ago one evening at his house, and I still remember it like it happened yesterday. I keep a set of juggling balls on my desk at my office yet today. 

The women began talking about what they talk about, kids, school, etc. Tim and I were asking each other about what most men talk about, sports and work. Tim is also a salesman like me and we love our craft. As we were talking, we both noticed the booth that was right beside the picnic table where we were hovering. 

The guy wasn’t selling anything. No-one was stopping by his table. We looked at what he was selling and wondered if anyone could have success selling his product. He was selling smoked salt. Person after person walked by, hardly a glance his way. I said to Tim, “Feel like giving it a try?” 

Seconds later, I found myself behind the salt vendors table, ready to try to sell the impossible. I introduced myself and said, “Do you mind if I give it a shot?” He said, “Why not, it’s not going so well for me as you can see.” He gave me a 30-second lesson on his product and now I was ready to be put to the fire. 

The first group walked by, I reached out to them, they ignored me. Next, a group of three women, what looked like an older mother with her two grown daughters passed near the table. I said something to them, but they kept moving without looking at me. Then I said, “You are going to seriously regret this on Wednesday.” 

One of the daughters looked back and said, “What do you mean?” I continued to explain that come Wednesday, when she was wondering how best to prepare that nice piece of Pacific, line-caught salmon (none of that crappy farm raised stuff from China or the garbage fish, Tilapia. Stay away from that stuff), if she doesn’t purchase the smoked salt today, she won’t have the perfect preparation for Wednesday. 

On a dime, the three of them turned around and walked back to see me and proceeded to buy one of each of the two salts I was selling. A $30 sale within two minutes of manning the booth. The guy just shook his head and invited me back any time. 

What are you surrounded by and can’t get others to see? This guy was up to his eyebrows in salt and just couldn’t get others to taste it. Take a minute and re-think your story. Is your story fresh? Do you see the value in what surrounds you? Paint a new picture for your clients and explain to them why they can’t live without your product or service.

Article contributed by:
Jeff Pinyot
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