Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some of the Best Marketing I've Seen

Coming out of Top Pot this morning, I came across a smiling gentleman selling copies of Real Change newspaper. Ever since I learned that the paper is a vehicle for homeless to get back on their feet while educating the rest of us on the issues they face, I make it a point to try to buy a copy whenever I run across a vendor. Heading into the doughnut shop, however, I hadn't seen the guy, and I said as much while locating a dollar to give him.

"No ma'am," he responded, smiling even more broadly. "The new issue comes out on Wednesday, so I had to get down there and pick up my copies." He thanked me as he handed me my paper, then asked, still smiling, whether I had last week's issue.

Great question - I'm actually not downtown that often so in fact I had not seen the issue before the fresh one he'd just handed me, and I said so. He sealed the deal by pointing out an important article he thought I might appreciate. I handed him another dollar and he flipped over the stack of newspapers in his hand, pulling out a leftover from last week to give to me.

Smiling that charming grin of his, he thanked me again as I walked off, one delicious Top Pot doughnut and two Real Change newspapers richer - I felt certain that the 65 cents he just made on each copy will make some bit of difference for someone who is clearly working hard to stabilize his life. And while I'm unlikely to know the outcome for him, I can say for sure that he exhibited excellent marketing and customer service skills and truly made my day.

What makes you richer?