Love from a Street Hawker

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Love from a Street Hawker Credit: Sauders in Africa

A mouse ran across the head of a sleeping lion and woke him. With a quick swipe of his paw, the lion scooped up the mouse and roared his displeasure. 

“Please don’t eat me. I mean no harm,” the mouse squeaked. ”If you let me go, I’ll repay your kindness someday.”

The idea of so insignificant a creature ever being able to keep the kind of beasts so amused the lion that he good-naturedly let the mouse go.

Soon afterward, the lion went prowling for dinner and got caught in a hunter’s net. Unable to move, the lion let out a roar of frustration. The mouse heard and recognized the lion’s voice and he scampered to aid the captured beast.

“Your Majesty,” the mouse politely said, “let me now be of service to you.”

The mouse gnawed at the netting with his tiny teeth until he made a hold big enough for the lion to escape.

No good deed, however small, is ever wasted.

Last Saturday, my amazing wife was at Utako market shopping for food items. As she made her way to leave the market, an Hausa man selling suya pepper and garlic in a small basket approached her car. He requested her to patronize from him. Earlier on we had toyed with the very idea of having roasted chicken and grilled fish at our garden at home and always wanted to have suya pepper for the chicken. But at this point she was out of funds, and so she politely told him that she wished she could buy some, but had completely run out of money, so maybe next time.

After a bit of bantering, he gave her the pepper in a small bag for FREE and told her that whenever she's in the market the next time, she could pay for it. Now this man had no shop, he walked around the market selling his wares to shoppers. Yet he was willing to trust that a stranger would remember his good deeds and return the favour sometime. ‎

My wife was so moved by the kindness of this street hawker, so she kept talking about it for 2 days to everyone and anyone who would listen. I bet it was the bedtime story she told the kids before putting them to bed too.

She hasn't even tried the pepper, but I'm willing to also bet that when she does, she would vow it is the best suya pepper ever made! She had several complaints about the high prices of onions and tomatoes in the market, due to the rainy season, but the suya pepper was the high-point of her day.

Such is the power of practicing the Law of Free when marketing your products and services. The possibilities are endless and applicable for everyone. As a car dealer, you allow your customer have a free test drive of the new Lexus RX350 before making a purchase. As a business strategist like myself, I usually give the first 20minutes session as a complimentary to allow my client see if our services is a natural fit with theirs. As a perfumery, you give away free samples. As an electronics dealer, you let clients see what the new 72" 3D Samsung television feels like before making a purchase. As a suya seller, you give a free taster. A dry-cleaner can give a free dryclean of one suit for every new walk-in customer. A hospital or pharmacist can give free blood sugar test or blood pressure check to its visitors, as most times sick patients are brought in by a relative. ‎As I mentioned earlier the possibilities are endless and its application universal....

The effect of giving such a free giveaway is that you inadvertently trigger in the recipient of such favour, a need to reciprocate your kindness and purchase from you. ‎Otherwise they'll tell everyone about what a great person you are- free publicity is always good.

What free services can you offer to prospects you intend to convert into long-term customers and raving fans?

Never underestimate the impact of one small free deed on your organization.

Read 1126 times Last modified on Friday, 10 July 2015 08:11
Ebuka Anichebe

He is the Managing Director of Jean-Paul and Associates Consultancy - a business advisory and training organization. He is passionate about teaching and human capital development. He is a published author, distinguished speaker and business strategist. He also loves rice and beans. Reach him on . 

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