I do not usually do street shopping. But this old lady caught my attention with her client-oriented skills in the best marketing sense. She was selling apples. Of two kinds. Yellow and red. 0.6 euro cents per kilo. It was +8Celsius outside and rather chilly. Her coat was too light for the weather that day. Her hands were half frozen and she had a difficult time with handling the scales and plastic bags she was putting her apples in for her customers. I offered to help but she firmly said she can do it by herself. When I asked for the price, she said „ten and ten”. Then she laughed. At my question ‚what made you laugh” she responded with one of her husband’s jokes: one day a guy asks his neighbor „what time is it?”. „10 and 10” was the response. „Hmm, you think you a smart –ass?, smirked the guy, „couldn’t’ have just said „20” ?!” We shared a good laugh in the middle of a busy urban street, with preoccupied people running and racing to their destinations.
This lady opened up many thoughts in my mind about poor people survival strategies, failure of public pension system, gender dimensions and other development issues we, smart-asses 🙂 tend to analyse, discuss and write about.
Still, I choose to keep in my mind this happy encounter for one reason: want to know what’s the best marketing strategy? Whatever you do, sell or need to get through, make the customer smile. Make the customer laugh and enjoy the process.
My family enjoyed the taste of her apples that day and this great lesson will stay with me for a while. My eyes are now searching for this lady every time I am on that busy urban street.