Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sales Tales 2: Pancakes in Paramaribo

Big Mo.

Momentum is the best friend a sustainable enterprise can have. Organizing your business model and your sales channels to encourage repeat orders is your goal. Work hard once. Reap repeated benefits.

This isn't always possible, and not all customers will behave, but the more you can build in repeaters, the more sustainable your operation becomes.

Case in point. For many years we sold banners to local service clubs through their parent organizations. Users out at the end of the food chain saw value in what we offered and built in repeat purchases of our stuff for their special events, come rain, shine, or revolutions.

One of our best examples of this was a rush order we were asked to produce for a pancake breakfast in Paramaribo, Suriname, located in the remote northeast corner of South America. The only problem was that it had to be delivered by air express that Saturday. Seems that a revolution was underway. Insurgents were expected to control the airport by Monday and no one knew what would happen by Tuesday.

What do you do if you're in a besieged capital with armed conflict and political chaos all around you? Momentum. Same thing as last year. Throw another pancake breakfast and order the banners.

Friends, wherever you go in your sustainable work life, try to invite Big Mo.

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