Whaddya want from me??
We can learn something from everyone.
I live in the upper 90′s on Madison Avenue in NYC and it’s definitely diverse. An constant stream of doctors from Sinai Medical, nurses, med students, delivery men, construction workers and the homeless. There’s one gentlemen who begs daily near where I get my morning coffee and I wanted to share his strategy with you.
- Show up everyday, rain or shine. (be consistent, get impressions, in time get what you want)
- Ask everyone for something. (see above)
- Ask politely (‘Sir’ or ‘Mam’, say ‘please’) (most well off people in NYC don’t even do this)
- Personalize your message. (let me explain….)
Now I don’t want to bastardize the difficulty of the man’s predicament; I do feel for the guy and I typically help him out, almost daily. I don’t like giving cash because for all I know he’ll be getting high later, on my dime and conscience. However I typically offer to buy food. This guy knows that so I usually get him a soda or a doughnut.
Recently there was a day where I refused his ask. The next day he asked for quite a big thing: breakfast sandwich (a very specific one) and a coffee! The 3rd day he just wanted a soda and I gladly obliged. It wasn’t until later I realized that he tailored his ask based upon the notion of contrast. He just wanted a soda so he asked for more (perhaps knowing that next time the soda would seem relatively small in comparison) initially and later got his soda. In the context of marketing this is much more powerful a concept in 1:1 conversations and relationship building but there is some applicability to the web. You can steer people to an outcome by positioning one that’s too complex/costly or premium next to it, while the moderate choice (seemingly inexpensive or practical) is still valuable for your firm.
I joke with him sometimes and tell him, “soda for breakfast again?” to which he’ll reply, “better than nothing”. Indeed…
Be thankful for everything you have and for those around you. If you’d like to help the homeless or impoverished (NYC) here are several sites: