4 Key Marketing Lessons I Learnt From A Local Grocery Vendor.

4 Key Marketing Lessons I Learnt From A Local Grocery Vendor

__Lessons You May Never Learn from a Professor at Harvard Business School.

As usual I left my home to the local market to get some foodstuffs during the weekend to prepare my favorite soup; unfortunately, the market was scanty due to the holiday (Ramadan Kareem).

A thought came to mind; why not check other markets within your vicinity, I got to the other market (not the other room), fortunately, some market women were available, but the major ingredients for my favorite soup were not available.

Another thought came in form of a quote; “when the desirable is not available, the available becomes desirable”.

I went inside a stall and was warmly welcomed (with a smile) by a young lady; then the following conversation occurred.

Lady: good evening sir, how may I be of service to you?

Me: good evening, do you have fresh tomatoes

Lady: no sir, but we have dried tomatoes

Me: I need fresh tomatoes to prepare Fried Tomato Stew with Vegetable

Lady: Sir, there is not supply for fresh tomatoes due to the holiday, why not try something new, try to explore other options, you would enjoy it.

Me: so what other options are available.

Lady: we have Melon Seed (Egusi), Ogbono, Okro, Ugwu etc

Me: thinking (hmmm, let me go with Egusi), ok Egusi would do

Lady: How many cups.

Me: how do you mean by how many cups; one would do.

Lady: you need more than one, the soup would be delicious and you don’t want it to finish on time.

Me: ok, make it two cups

Lady: let’s make it three, I promise to add a gift if you buy three or more.

Me: ok, give me three cups.

Lady: let’s make it three, I promise to add a gift if you buy three or more.

Me: ok, give me three cups.

Lady: are you buying any other thing.

Me: no, am good to go, egusi would do.

Lady: Sir, add Ugwu (pumpkin leaf) to it, the combination is out of this world you would enjoy it, combining egusi and Ugwu (pumpkin leaf) helps with good eyesight (improves the quality of your eyesight)

Me: (at this point, what she said about the eye-sight got me, because am always on my laptop and sometimes it cause hitching) wow, thanks add ugwu leaf (a type of vegetable)

Lady: Sir, to spice up your delicious meal, you should consider adding (buying) stock fish, crayfish, egg (to make the egusi stick together).

Me: Wow, I never believed I could be up sold in a local market, ma you really did a great job (lady already laughing at this point)

Lady: packed all my items together and added the gifts she promised (you want to know the gift, ask me privately, lol)

Me: I collected the well-packed items and paid her, I was so impressed, and I promised her am going to write an article on what I learned during the transaction.

The End…


1. Sell Benefits not features: tell your customer the best benefit of your products or services, not the features. Does your benefit solve a problem? Doing this singular thing would trigger the desire and interest in the customer to buy your products.

Remember: “People buy results not products”.

Case Study: If you combine Egusi (melon) with Ugwu Leaf, it improves eye-sight

2. Customer Experience: a warm welcome smile would get a customer easily than any available discount, make the customer the king/queen and he/she would accept your bidding with little or no questioning, also know your customer (KYC), and attend to their needs and over deliver beyond their expectation.

Case Study: Sir, why not explore other options since the ingredients to your favorite soup is not available, you would enjoy it.


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