Lessons From The Good Humor Man

I heard the first ice cream truck of the season last week. It brought back childhood memories of calliope music making me salivate like one of Pavlov's dogs. As a kid, when I heard it I'd search for spare coins in the couch cushions and beg mom for dimes...


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Rotate inventory. Keep it clean. Avoid clutter

The ice cream man's inventory system also helped him keep his truck fully stocked. If he was out of something, he could mark it on his menu before you got your heart set on a Bomb Pop or a Push-up, only to find he's sold out. Try to do the same for your customers. 

Be patient

Sometimes it takes a little more time to make a decision. Be ready to wait. Nudge without being pushy. Pushing won't close a sale, persistence will.

When making a big-ticket decision, many customers want to do their homework. Help them. Pull a flyer from your files or print one from the the Internet for them, then try to close the sale using it. If they still don't buy, make sure they know you can have it to them shortly after they pull the trigger, even if they call you midweek instead of waiting for your next regular stop.

Thank your customer

People appreciate being appreciated. Even the smallest sale deserves a thank you.

At one of the most popular restaurants in my town, the owner personally comes to your table to greet you, When you leave he thanks you for coming. He knows there are a lot of other restaurants competing for his customers' business. He's willing to go the extra mile to keep customers coming back. His gratitude has paid off with a loyal following. The same can work for you.

Drive off into the sunset

Don't rush your customers, but don't lolligag making small talk either. Once you're done, get back on the road and get selling again. Your customer wants to get back to earning. Their boss wants them to get back to working. And you need to get on to your next stop. Think of it like being a house guest. Keep each visit short enough that they'll welcome you back next time.

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