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  • Street Smart (er)!

    Street Smart (er)!

    Chhavi included me in the lunch meeting with her friends at the Press Club, last Saturday. Both of us had agreed to meet a bit earlier and were first joined by Piya – her friend & business partner in their exciting – new radio venture. Don’t know when the talk shifted towards discussing street kids, selling stuff at traffic junctions – their challenges, their smiles, their lives.
    Chhavi and Piya had bumped into a group, the evening before, and had an heart-warming account to share. The kids and their smiles were captured on the hand-phone. Both, back in the country fresh after many years overseas, agreed that the kids were ‘wise’, besides of course being street-smart.
    I have watched these kids go about their work at traffic crossings and, other than admiring the survival instinct, have often thought about jumping in to conduct training sessions, to help them sell better.
    Sometimes I roll down the car window and share tips that I think ‘might’ work:

    1. Whenever I see this one happening, I can’t help getting upset.
      Either you beg, or you sell! If you are not begging, then why is your tone that of a beggar? If you have CHOSEN not to beg, then important that you don’t. Don’t disrespect your work and yourself by ‘begging’ the customer to ‘buy’. Sell with dignity!
    2. Last week, I was approached by a young boy selling paperbacks at the Bhikaiji Cama Place crossing. He had 16 or so books, spread like fans over his two hands, and ONE book he had somehow managed to keep out of the pack as his ‘star’.
      With barely a few seconds to see which ones he was holding, and the ‘star’ of no relevance to me, I advised him to try holding fewer and change his ‘star’ based on WHO he was approaching- management books for those who looked like executives; fashion for women etc. Am sure he had practical issues, like time, to worry about, but I thought it might work.
      He said he made Rs. 200+ a day! Not bad at all, already!
    3. I have told them that I will never buy that rose for my gf, if they hold it out to me crying and scratching their head, but might do so if they asked me with a smile to take it back for ‘Memsaab/ Didi’, that she would love it/ love me for it.

    Don’t know if these or any of my other tips would actually work, but there is no way I would find out until I try. So, if you are reading this and you happen to belong to an organisation working with street kids, I would like to participate.
    On the other hand Chhavi, Piya and I agreed that us executives and corporates could actually LEARN from these kids. Now how about these kids conducting training!!?? You agree??

    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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