This past weekend in an effort to teach my kids about fiscal responsibility and how to be active contributors to the tribe which is our family, I set them off with the task of selling our week's worth of excess accumulated chicken eggs.
Call it our backyard poultry version of the lemonade stand. Without any input from me, I wanted to see what they could do.
The six kids put their heads together to figure out an approach. They did a bit of preplanning at home and then set out to make the sales selling the eggs from a cooler by the side of the road.
Remarkably, all of the eggs were sold in a matter of 20 minutes. This is how it was done:
Signs – The kids made a big sign promoting what was important about their product “Fresh Local Eggs” it read in letters large enough to be read by drivers. The sign also listed the price and had a cute little egg with a smiley face in the corner. These eggs were indeed happy eggs. You wanted them.
Lesson learned – Draw attention to your product by emphasizing what is unique and “customer-worthy” about it. Put the important information up front, if price is relevant don't bury it. Also, if appropriate, there's nothing wrong with positive humor in your advertising.
Location – The kids stood by the side of one of the most traveled roads on Saturday morning when many in our town use it on their way to the dump. The spot where the kids stood had enough room for cars to pull off to the side of the road without interfering with other traffic.
Lesson learned – if the location is convenient, whether it's a shop or a website, people are more likely to pull over and look around. Make access to your product as direct as possible. If it's too much work for people to stop by, they won't.
Price – at 2 dollars a dozen, these eggs (fresh, organic) were competitively priced
Lesson learned – people are willing to pay money for a product but everyone (and I mean everyone) appreciates a fair competitive price. Organic eggs can be expensive but often times, organic eggs that are overly priced are also, in our house anyway, called dinner. Sometimes, it's better to sell at a lesser price thus ensuring the entire inventory quickly moves out.
Knowledge – when customers asked specific questions about the eggs the kids had the answers, why they were different colors, what the names of some of our breeds, was it tough to raise chickens?
Lesson learned – people want to know about what they are getting, they want the background. They want to know if you are qualified to sell what you have and if you are credible. Do the research and be able to answer their questions with authority and enthusiasm.
Not only did the kids sell of of our product but riding on the sweet success of this week they've asked me if they could sell eggs again next week. Like painting Tom Sawyer's fence, the kids think this work is fun. They enjoy it.
Lesson learned – a successful sales crew generates enthusiasm for the job and product which quite naturally carries over into future sales. Success feeds on success. Combine that with the ice cream everyone earned for a job well done and you've got a powerful win-win situation for all.
About the Author:
A features writer, interviewer, and columnist, Wendy Thomas has been published in national magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs.
Her current project is to blog about life living with 6 kids and a flock of chickens.