Cars Passing By The Lemonade Girl.
by Chris ElliottFirst I want to say that this story can be the most powerful device in turning your mind into an advertising power system. The $500-$1500 copy writing courses don’t cover anything this powerful so listen up.
Midnight, July 5th, 2002.
Today, I was driving around running errands and taking in the beautiful Alaskan summer.
Many children setup the classic lemonade stands and I sometimes stop for a cup to patronize them. Most of them use the same white, construction board sign duct taped to the front of their table reading “Fresh Lemonade 50 Cents” in black marker.
I passed many of these stands and didn’t stop because I had a Mountain Dew with me. But when I was coming to a stop light I saw a young girl, maybe 9 or 10 years of age standing on the side of the road waving a sign made of pink construction board with flashing Christmas lights running around the outer edge of the sign.
As the light turned green, nearly every car, truck, van that passed slowed down and read the sign reading “Cool Off With Lemonade Fresh Squeezed Right In Front Of You!” in red marker and many stopped to get a cup including me.
I was truly amazed at this young girls advertising wizardry.
I went up to the table to get a cup of lemonade and had to actually wait in line! I was really in awe simply watching this young girl work her magic with the customers, smiling, saying “Do you like your lemonade sweet or sour?”
As I approached the table she said “Do you like your lemonade sweet or sour sir?” I said, “a cup of sweet lemonade please”, and she went to work by grabbing a ripe lemon out of her wicker basket, gently laying it on a small wooden cutting board and quickly slicing it right down the middle with a steak knife.
Then she palmed one of the halves and pressed it with a twisting motion into her juicing wedge then three other halves in the same fashion. She then carefully scooped 3 spoons of sugar into my cup, gave it a quick stir with the spoon then dropped in three cubes of ice and said “That will be $1.00 sir”.
As I rustled into my pocket for four quarters I asked her, “What sparked you into creating such a bright sign and such and catchy headline?” She then replied, “I had a white sign with “Lemonade $1″ written on it taped to my table and no one was stopping so I went home and asked my mom to get
me a pink construction board and I took a strip of Christmas lights that uses a battery and stapled them around the edge, then I wrote that I would squeeze it right in front of you, because that’s what I was already doing. Then I took out the price because my mom said it was a little high and I thought if I got the people to stop then they would pay it if I squeezed their cup right in front of them and then asked for the dollar and I waved the sign to make sure the cars saw it”, I said, “that’s great, keep up the good work”, and she said, “I will, hope to see you again and smiled”, as I walked back to my Ford Explorer.
I sat there thinking about this whole situation for a minute or two looking over at this line of people waiting to get, “Lemonade Fresh Squeezed Right In Front Of Them”, and watched even more people pull over to get a cup seeing this big line and thinking to themselves, “That must be some good lemonade”, as I tasted the handmade beverage, it was very good, very.
Here’s the genius in this young Marketing Mastermind.
First she started a business, selling lemonade..
Noticing that she wasn’t selling much she re-organized her efforts with a new pink construction board surrounded by Christmas lights drawing people to read her headline that did nothing but convey something everyone in a car burning up wanted, to “Cool Off” and adding something that enticed them even more by adding “Fresh Squeezed Right In Front Of You”
She states a solution people want to a problem they already know they have and makes their mouth water with an enticing benefit. She also makes the message a personal note by including “You” in it, making every driver think she is talking to them them individually.
This story should open your mind to really see the simplicity of starting a business, testing your sales message to entice your customers, and then servicing your customers in a way SO superb that they’ll remember you and come back again.
You can be sure that a lot of the people who bought lemonade from this young girl will tell their friends and they’ll stop by to get a cup of lemonade as well.
What happens when the line dies down?
She grabs her sign and starts another commotion that get’s even more people to stop, by waving it around.
Do you see all the things here that get people to stop and how she closes the sale?
1. The headline – This is actually the first headline even though it doesn’t contain words because it’s what GRABS the peoples attention along with her waving it around.
2. The second headline/The sales message – This is actually the sales message that conveys a solution to an existing problem to everyone in their car, cooling off and an enticing benefit, “fresh squeezed right in front of you.”
3. The Close – She caters to your needs by asking “Do you like your lemonade sweet or sour sir?” and then squeezes the lemonade right in front of you and as you watch the whole procedure your mouth waters conveying the quality of the product.
4. The call to action “That will be $1.00 sir”. This is a great call to action. It doesn’t leave room for anything but a payment of one dollar. These people waited in line creating a burning desire watching other people getting their fresh squeezed lemonade and they’re not going to say “A Dollar? No way, I’m outta here”.
That’s the sales process she put together and it’s sheer genius.
Here’s a few more of the strategies in her business.
Credibility – She also boosts her credibility by having a big line in front of her table urging others to stop and see what the fuss is about.
Viral Marketing – These people will definitely remember this experience as it’s so original and they will refer their friends by telling them making them want to check it out when they are around that part of town.
Customer Service – She was very polite with her “Do you like your lemonade sweet or sour sir?” and her warm words as I left making sure I remember her stand.
Value – She made the lemonade right in front of me with her bare hands with fresh ingredients making me feel like I was getting a real value and I didn’t even know the price yet.
I could pull out 100 other strategies, but you get the point and you see how you can apply the strategies of “Cars Passing By The Lemonade Girl.”
Take this information to heart as it’s the key to business, focusing every effort you put into you business toward your customer and satisfying their needs and testing, tweaking and creating a relationship with your customers.