Marketing Lessons from the Beer Booth at the Sanford Fireworks!
OK, every year Tim & I volunteer OUR 4th of July to work a beer-booth as a fundraiser for the Sanford Rotary group. Every year, we work our tails off, because EVERYONE loves an ice cold Bud on a hot July day.
Except this year. Our booth was DESERTED!!! No buyers! Lots of Sellers (us volunteers)! Felt kind of like the real estate market. The ironic thing? Out of 3 couples assigned to our booth (6 people), 4 of us are in real estate! Ha Ha :) :)
At first we complained a little, (ok, a LOT) and blamed it on our location. They had intended to put 2 beer trucks right next to each other (they're like u-haul trucks with beer taps sticking out the side) but our truck actually got put kind of BEHIND the other one, so nobody knew we were there. It was frustrating because we would see 10 people waiting in line at the OTHER truck, and we had no customers. After a while of moaning (and sampling our profits!) we decided to take control! Here's some of the lessons that might be transferable to real estate in today's market:
- Location! Location! Location! It is very hard to overcome a bad location (but not impossible!). If you have a listing that is in a bad location, have the discussion with them EARLY in the process.
- Acknowledge your weaknesses and counteract them. In our case, I asked "WHY" our truck was positioned so badly and the BUD guy told me it was because he had to put it there so he could tap into the power pole. You see, the other truck ran on a generator to keep it cool. So my new "unique selling proposition" was that our beer was colder because we were hooked straight into the power grid of Sanford and didn't need to worry about a generator kicking off and on every time the temperature got above a certain point.
- People do business with people they like. We were very friendly, smiled at the customers, wished them a happy 4th, chatted with their children, made jokes, asked where they had come in from, sound familiar? like every sales course you've ever taken? Anyways, we had several people tell us they came back to us because they liked us better! One guy was FLOORED when he came back for a refill, commented on the great band playing, and I said "They don't have anything like this in Winter Park, do they? you have to come to Sanford!" He was shocked that I had remembered where he said he was from!
- Go Make Customers...Shout it from the rooftops if you have to! We even sometimes walked out in the crowd and drove them over to our booth, and I went to some of the other vendor booths and DELIVERED them a cold brew!
- Don't cut your marketing budget. We found some BUD flags and zip-tied them to the front of our tent to get people's attention. They can't buy from you if they can't see you there! Give the People what they want. We quickly found out that the OTHER truck didn't have Mich Ultra, which is the low-carb beer. So that gave us an edge, and we made sure to mention it to EVERYONE!
By the way...we didn't drop our prices. Not until the show was over and people were leaving and we realized we only had ONE LAST CHANCE to sell off the inventory we had. At that point, you cut the prices to a Buck and call it pure profit, because the beer is already paid for either way!
Hope you've enjoyed my little story...next year you'll have to come visit me on the 4th!