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March 02, 2004

Street Corner Selling - Lesson #5

Today’s topic: Angel Customers and Demon Customers

Sometimes your most loyal customers are not your best customers. Many business books from Angel Customers and Demon Customers to Driving Customer Equity have tackled the issue of how to select a company’s most profitable customer base and how to nurture a relationship with those customers to fully maximize sales. Drug dealers must do the same.

Bruce Jacobs writes in Dealing Crack about how street corner sellers in St. Louis would many times leave the gang-infested north-side of the city for highly profitable sales in the south-side.

Any opportunity to go south and sell to consumers who were not dependent on public transfer payments was welcome.

Jimmy Hat [street corner seller] claimed that every Saturday his brother would take him to the south side. He spoke highly of these sojourns, claiming that transactions there were for fifties and boppers [$20 rocks], that “there are a lot of people over there with more money to spend, and that police ain’t too hot.”

Jimmy Hat describe his strong desire to focus his selling efforts on the south side only, “South side, ohh man, I wish I could be there seven days [a week]! They ain’t comin with no five, ten dollars over there. They comin’ with twenty, twenty-fice, thirty, fifty dollars. Money be comin’ like this. I makes ‘bout eight-hundred fifty dollars [over a week] in the south side.”

Street Corner Selling Curriculum:
Lesson #1: Customer Acquisition
Lesson #2: Ten Minute Rule
Lesson #3: Procurement
Lesson #4: Merchandising
Lesson #5: Angel Customers and Demon Customers
Lesson #6: Developing Enthusiastically Satisfied Customers (pt. 1)
Lesson #7: Developing Enthusiastically Satisfied Customers (pt. 2)


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