Sunday, July 10, 2011

Grassroot Marketing

             My husband was profusely thanking with utmost sincerity,hand to heart - well you may be wondering whether he has landed himself a plush lucrative job with an MNC or he is being awarded the prestigious trophy for his excellence in the field of education-No you are absolutely wrong and you will know the reason why, shortly, as you read this narration on buying and selling at the grassroot level !
              The small time street  vegetable vendor selling items like  coriander and curry leaves , ginger,lemon etc on the footpath is all smiles not because she had made a huge profit on the sale but the heartwhelming ''thankyou'' with a wide smile from my husband said it all . Well, this was the first purchase from that lady -the beginning of a  series of buys.After a week or so , while on our regular walks , this lady beckoned us with a broad grin. She managed to sell her fresh local type coriander leaves which makes wonderful green chutney , at a discount even though I had no intention of buying on that day.
              Her selling tactics, no marketing warfare this, subsequently resulted in us buying more frequently- the small discount making our day and the vendor , her prized customer . An intense bond  was established that from ''person loyalty '',it boiled down to ''person insistence'' to such an extent that we  would scout  for her presence on that road  and end up  not buying anything , even though there were scores of people lined up trying vociferously to out do one another. Such a rapport was struck, that  when the vegetables were not fresh she would dissuade us from making a purchase, only to see her selling them to other gullible customers with great ease and aplomb that no marketing giant can boast of!!
             This relationship further progressed and apart from discounts, we even managed to get few things  for free. But one day when I had to go alone to buy at the market, this very same lady appeared to me, a total stranger- the smile was gone, curtly telling me,as it was summer time,she  could give only two lemons for a rupee.I tried smiling , cajoling but all in vain!          
           That was the  moment when it struck me like a bolt from the blue- marketing was not only about the umpteen P's that I learnt in my B-school.The lessons of Philip Kotler telling us how to sell refrigerators to eskimos just went down the drain!
             When I told my husband about the strange behaviour of the vendor with all seriousness, my husband just gave me one of those  flashy grins which seemed to say , watch me in action next time at the market!

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