Lessons learnt from selling nettle soup
None of us are 1 dimensional and one of the things you may not know about me is that every Spring for the last 10 years I have been making nettle soup. I make it for family and friends because nettles are amazingly nutritious.
Then last year I realised no one was selling it, not surprising really as it is very labour intensive, not to mention painful! So this year I got together with my friend Catherine and we decided to test the market. At the weekend we had a stall at the north west vegan fest and sold 2 kettles of soup in 1 hour! It was so much fun, mainly because of people’s reactions. Many were understandably quite nervous about it, so people were offered little taster cups and were amazed to find that they really did like it!
And that’s how we sold out in an hour.
There is a great honestly about selling ‘home made’. We pick the nettles, we know where everything is from and how it was cooked. We felt totally at ease in giving away tasters and educating people on this rather odd product. The result was people saying, “I’ve been told to come and buy your soup” Sales by referral in less than an hour! That’s got to be exactly what every business owner wants.
The honesty of the process is a delight. There’s no ripping people off, nothing hidden or underhand. Just a product speaking for itself and a joy of sharing something new with people. But what really worked was engaging with our audience in light way with humour and human interaction. Giving a sample and being ok with what ever their response was. We knew it wouldn’t suit everyone and that was not personal, just fun and good market research.
I have heard speakers from Brompton bikes and Green & Black’s chocolate and the message is the same. Make a product that you love and believe in and it will sell.
I’m a trainer and most of my work comes from referral in the same way. I don’t claim to be a social media guru but I love to work with people and show them something new that will add value to their lives and their organisation. I keep it light, human and make people feel OK about themselves.
Not everyone is honest and upfront, and people get hurt as a result, so experiences like that on Saturday reminds me why I do what I do and who I do it for .
My friend Mary-Rose Selman sent me this tweet the next day
It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. ~ Tom Brokaw
That is true indeed, but for those of us who want to run a sustainable business, it is making a difference that grows our reputation and keeps us motivated.
What do you think? If you have any thoughts on this issue I’d love to read them, so please leave a comment below 🙂