The Beach Vendor Sales Cycle

There are certain fundamentals of business that can be observed in almost any environment. Today, at the beach in Manzanillo, Mexico, a wide variety of vendors walked passed us, each selling wares that were quite varied: donuts, candies, mangos, tamales, blankets, wooden statues, bathing suits, jewelry, temporary tattoos, and even rubber chickens. All day long they pace the beach hoping for a buyer. Typically, they pause for a moment and briefly give their best pitch. Most, by default, respond “No, gracias” or simply ignore them. The sellers continue their pacing.

Eventually, they sell something (though I do have to wonder who buys a bathing suit at the beach). The process is an acceleration of the typical sales cycle. The first time the vendor stops by, it’s mostly marketing. The buyer isn’t even aware rubber chickens are for sale, now they are. As the vendor walks away, the buyer now considers who they might give a rubber chicken to or whether they would really like one for themselves. The seed is planted, time passes, and the seller comes by again to see if the harvest is ready.

It’s interesting that the same cycle is reflected both in small decisions (maybe a mango does sound good) to more complicated sales processes. First we build awareness, second we allow the buyer to evaluate/educate themselves, and finally, a decision is made. We can do it with intent even though I’m guessing most street vendors are not spending their time pacing, thinking about their business cycle, but who knows, maybe they are.






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