I received a voice mail this past week
from a cart operator on the east coast.
He was selling a 'demonstration' product,
and was looking for ideas to increase his
Here are excerpts from that short voice
'I look at the nail cart doing the hawking,
they just do so well.'
'I feel like I can't hawk.'
'Once they [customers] come and look,
I do talk to people'
In our subsequent conversation, it was
clear that he felt he had only two options
to approach customers.
His first option was to use the relatively
PASSIVE sales approach he'd used up
He'd waited for customers to stop FIRST,
and only then talked with them.
At some level he KNEW he was missing
out on sales by using this method.
The other option as he saw it, was to adopt
the hyper-aggressive, hawking approach of
the cart down the hallway... knowing it might increase his sales... but knowing also that it might turn off
customers, and put him at risk of getting
booted from the mall.
(Hawking is not allowed in most malls.)
As we were talking, I was reminded of a
simple equation that I heard at a session
on demonstration-selling this spring:
Outflow = Inflow
OUTFLOW represents communication
you direct outward.
INFLOW represents what you get back.
When we use a passive approach, we
offer very LITTLE outflow.
The lack of outflow can LIMIT the desired
inflow of potential sales.
Limited Outflow = Limited Inflow
The other approach, hawking, offers a
lot more outflow and can result in a
greater inflow of sales... but also can result in unwanted and
unneeded inflow, such as unhappy mall
patrons and a ticked-off mall management.
Inappropriate Outflow = Unwanted Inflow
(Again... hawking is not allowed in most
In our subsequent conversation, the operator
and I talked about another approach..
An approach that might be considered
An approach that is 'active', but not
One of the simplest forms of 'outflow' is to
simply greet people passing by...
Now, I don't mean the just kind of 'Hello'you use after someone walks up to your
cart of their own accord.
But repeatedly, and repetitively greeting
people that pass by, 'Hello'.
When we greet a person hello.... 'something'
That 'something' is usually one of two
Either the person continues walking on
down the hallway... in which case we let
Or, they acknowledge us... by looking at
us or our cart.
More outflow = More inflow
When a prospective customer acknowledges
us by looking at us or our cart... we can proceed
forward another step... with more outflow...
'Have you seen this yet?'
(Or whatever phrase is most appropriate for
Again... 'something' happens.
That 'something' might be that the person
continues to walk on down the hall... in
which case again, we let them go.
Or that person might stop, and look at our
product... or they might look at us inquisitively...
....or they might ask 'What?'...
That's more inflow.
More outflow = More inflow
If people stop, or look, or ask, we proceed
to the next step in our presentation.
If we have a good product and a solid
.... a certain percentage of the people
we talk to... will BUY from us.
Want to boost your sales?
Increase appropriate outflow.
It's can be as simple as greeting
The Kiosk Expert