Monday, September 01, 2008

Marketing 101

On a dark rainy night, the grubby owner of a wayside tea stall taught me my first ever lesson in Marketing - Be nice to everyone because everyone is a potential customer.
This is what happened. Me and my roomie decided we wanted to eat some pseudo chinese dinner and so decided to visit one of the many impromptu noodle stalls you can find in Hyderabad. We barely reached the spot when the skies ripped apart and it started pouring.
We huddled close to the flimsy roof the cook had over his head and I was about to order two plates of noodles. I heard a voice behind me and saw a man who was probably in his 40's asking me to come into the adjacent tea stall. I walked in and told him I wanted two plates of noodles. His answer surprised me. He said, "Give your order to the cook there. It is a different establishment. However, please feel free to take shelter here until the rain passes over." I kept staring at him and he repeated himself. I must've looked like a moron with my mouth a little open. My roomie came to my rescue, thanked the chap and we gave our order to the cook. We sat down to wait. To be frank, I was uncomfortbale sitting there without ordering anything. It was a cold night so we ordered to cups of chai(tea). Pay attention folks. The man asks me, "You want to drink tea before you have your noodles? Later would be better." He was not even forcing himself on me(and I do mean that in the most decent way :| )! I insisted on having the tea. After a cup of diabetic tea and piping hot noodles, we made to leave. We got up to go and noticed some butter biscuits in the counter. Roomie decided he wanted some. We bought two packs and left the place. Later in the room, we thought about what transpired and we were quite surprised. Let me summarise in my roomies own words. "We spent 40 bucks t take shelter from the rain and he didnt even ask us for it!"

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