Keep a lot of change ready. Chai-wallahs hate to part with their much-loved hard earned coins. If it's four rupees a cup, keep five rupee coins ready. Based on your addiction to nicotine, you may or may not buy that quintessential cigarette that goes with the tea. Now casually start a conversation with the chai-wallah about the earthquake that took close to thirteen hundred lives in Nepal, in addition to rocking a few buildings in the neighbourhood. Here's a pointer: chai-wallahs are loquacious. Like all honest men on God's good and green earth, they love to talk about a bit of drama in their mundane and routine lives. Who doesn't? (Well, until of course they turn fatal for them, in which case they'd begin to complain. Or not.) You see, sentiment sells. Drama sells. The Chetan Bhagat novel you've been reading, you invariably wait for that sad turn of melancholy in the end. Something that leaves your heart a little emptier in the end. You are a sucker for that sadness in the end; you invariably want to believe that you've not been delivered the highest value (benefits - cost, ahem) until those tears don't stream across your face. Call it basic human psyche, but melancholy reaches more people. But I am digressing.
Now point towards that building that is under construction. Casually say, that the earthquake was something. He replies, eager to pitch in with his views on the crisis. Now tell him about the damage that happened to the buildings around you. Tell him how it looked like an exodus, how it could almost be mistaken for a festival in Kolkata - the window panes that shattered. He will talk of how the earthquake made his head go around and around like a teddy bear around the rose bushes. Feed his ego, and watch the fellow chai-drinkers join in. Let them, because now you are coasting towards your target. Then ask him about the damage that happened at that under-construction site. And watch him unravel, like the recently deep-fried onion. He'll tell you the start date, the project consultant, the builder, the problems that have been plaguing the site and the reinforcements that are stolen at night. The floodgates have just parted a bit.
You see, you've given him a new customer. And he's delivered information. You scratch his back, he scratches yours. Figuratively, er.
Just pray he makes good tea.
This, is the first step out of a million possible methods of prospecting. More to come.
This forum focuses on all aspects of B2B lead generation.
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