From market stall trader to multimillionaire. Every salesperson loves this kind of tale.
Here’s a five-minute clip of just this.
With Steve Smith. He went from the most mundane of markets, in (cradle of industry) Black Country Bilston, to ‘inventing’ an entire branch of retailing. One cheap price the lot. Famously selling up ten years on for £50m.
He began helping his Father. General household knick-knacks.
They tried many positions to find the pitch where they took the most money.
Yet the market inspector then put someone opposite them selling exactly the same products.
They complained for about a year, before health problems saw the competition leave.
But when he went, their turnover went down, “so competition is good really”.
His Dad eventually retired too. Off to Spain.
The 18-year old son, Steve, with £50,000 set up his first shop proper. Opening day (13 December 1990) it took an amazing £13,000. And the rest…..is history.
“There’s no bad products, only bad prices”
This seems to be his key wisdom taken from selling on the market.
“If a price is cheap enough things will sell.”
I can’t help but think here’s where the worlds of mass budget discount retail and the tailored unique solution sale diverge.
Back on the market for a day, he created a stir by slashing prices.
If the footage is anything to go by, forget poundland, welcome to ten-pence-place.
Perhaps the message to bespoke selling, is do the same. No. Not discount. But the opposite of slash. The proudland hike.
Where the stall trader drops through the floor, we must smash through the ceiling.
You have a distinction about your wares. Let the price show it.
…& as a postscript, how about the first ever draft Poundland logo…I do love a good sales scribble…