EXTREME MAKEOVER – Street Smart Edition

by Jay Wallus

Street Smart  – The Business Development Solutions Company – works with a New York City Street hawker making them even more sales savvy…!!

This month’s Feet On The Street brings us to the concrete pavement of 34th Street in New York City.  It does not get much more in the trenches than that and let me tell you people were selling everything from tickets to the top of the Empire State Building, t-shirts, hot dogs, and even magical “mojo” stones that bring about prosperity and good luck! (You know I bought three of those )

As I was walking around I happened to be approached by a ticket vendor – a young guy by the name of Moses – who was selling tickets to a local comedy show.  Now, because I sell for a living I wanted more than anything to be able to buy something from this kid.  How could you not want to buy something..?  Here is this guy in the middle of New York City running around trying to sell tickets, competing with about fifty other people selling “stuff”, trying to make himself a buck or two.  It was his first day on the job and I know how exciting it can be to make a sale. The problem was that I just was not going to use the tickets if I purchased them – no way, no how.  The last thing I was going to do in the day and a half left in the city was go to a comedy show.  So reluctantly I had to turn down the tickets and keep moving on with my journey in the Big Apple.

However, as we began to walk around, I couldn’t stop thinking of how I might be able to help Moses sell more tickets.  If I was not going to by the tickets, at least I could try to show him how to sell more.  My brain was spinning with a thousand ideas about how I would sell those tickets if I lived in the city.  First I thought of how he could change up his pitch, which definitely needed work.  That would be a good start but grabbing people’s attention one by one just was not going to be effective enough to move a large number of tickets.

Then it came to me.  If I was looking for an answer, or had a question about what to do on my vacation once I was unpacked and settled, I would ask the doorman or receptionist at my hotel.  Think about it.  If you wanted some information on what to do while you were on vacation who would you ask?  I bet you would give those two people a try – right?

Here’s the problem –  I was now a block away from where I left Moses. I just had to turn around and make my way back so I could tell him about this idea.  You know how it goes, you have to give, in order to get, and I wanted to help this guy out.  We went back to the area but I didn’t see him right away, luckily after a few minutes I spotted him and ran over.  He probably thought I was a bit crazy but I started telling him about the idea to get his feedback.

Well, it got his brain going and guess what?  I found out that his dad was a doorman/concierge at a local hotel.  Jackpot!  Half of the challenge is already solved.  I gave him a brief overview of what I thought needed to be done and left Moses there on the sidewalk of 34th.  I truly hope he took action on the things he and I spoke about. Let’s break down the necessary business development action steps that would see this idea to fruition (read: let’s be Street Smart!).

Step 1:  I would speak with his dad to see if he has friends or connections with other doormen or receptionists (remember, we’re looking for some connections to give us more leverage).

Step 2: I would sit down and think of how to compensate my future network of hotel greeters for each ticket sale. Remember, at Street Smart we build it once and then leverage the heck out of it!

Step 3: I would have his father put together a short testimonial explaining how visitors to his hotel absolutely loved the seats that they got from his son (everyone loves testimonials – they’re not hard to get – but nobody asks for them!)

Step 4: I would search for hotels on the Internet and map out territories from maps provided by Mapquest and only after exhausting his fathers contacts, make my way onto the hundreds of other hotels in New York City and the appropriate doormen. Are you thinking about the opportunities that I am here…? Lots of hotels, lots of doormen, lots of sales..!

Sure its going to be a lot of work to get the system going, but he could either spend his time trying to sell one ticket at a time, or spend the same amount of time bringing someone into his network that can sell ten a day.

Now I know this article was about a ticket vendor named Moses in New York City, but here is how it relates to you…

  1. Who are your “hotel doormen” and how do you get them on your team?
    In other words, who sees or talks with your target market on a regular basis that can provide you referrals and or sales? And most importantly – how can you help them in return?
  2. Are you teaming up with someone right now that provides referrals or other types of business?
    Can you get them to write a testimonial of how you have worked with them in order to attract other referral sources?
  3. Once you find these sources do not just say “hi” and forget about them.  Plan out a schedule of times you will call them, mail them something interesting, or stop by to say hello.
    Think of creative things to mail or leave after saying hello:  A red tube, an interesting book, fake hundred dollar bills, ideas that will help them make money, etc., etc…

Hey, by the way if you’re ever in New York City – stop by Moses and buy some tickets – tell him Ted from Street Smart sent you!

– Ted Wallus

Ted Wallus

Street Smart – The business development solutions company.


He can be reached by email at twallus@streetsmartbizdev.com

  • the industry is changing
  • I need more time in a day

If you’ve ever said these things, I’d like you to remember that famous saying: “You can fool all of the people some of the time or you can fool some of the people all of the time but you can never fool all of the people all of the time” – and  – most of all, you can never fool yourself. So, go out there and play big: with your family, your relationships and your career.

Good Luck

Jay Wallus

Jay Wallus is the President and founder of Street Smart – The business development solutions company.


He can be reached by email at jwallus@streetsmarttraining.com