Living in NYC interning this summer has been quite the eye-opening experience. Compared to our loved college town we call “Harvard on the Hocking,” NYC has made my jaw drop countless numbers of times the past five weeks I have lived here. Regardless of the awesome shopping and amazing food I have seen more selling in any city than I have previously visited.
Whether I am sitting down with friends at a restaurant and the waiter is pushing a “special” on us; or walking around Time Square where people are on the streets dancing, singing and showcasing their talent to get money, these people are all trying to sell something, constantly!
I have learned from these people on the streets, tourists will not look at you unless you are doing something interesting or out of the ordinary. One group of men were performing in a crowd and then promised us an amazing stunt with four people lined up which one of the men was going to flip over. Before he performed the stunt, he used humor and said, “show your love not your booty’s after I tackle this phenomenal stunt.” He was almost bribing us with the fact that he will perform this stunt and everyone will walk away without giving money, or showing appreciation. I must say, it worked on many of the tourists but as for my friends and I, thanks for letting us see your stunt.
You have to sell something people really enjoy and display you love what you’re selling. People came over to the large crowd because they saw people were interested in what was going on inside. If you pity them into appreciation it may not end well and almost shows a lack of confidence. I could see this stunt going over better if they really pulled it off and didn’t ask for money in the beginning. It’s all about reading the people and seeing their interest. If they are amused, keep it going, if they are backing away, throw them a curve ball to bring them back in.
New York has shown me that street selling can be the best way to learn how to grab people’s attention. You don’t want to sell it for just the prize at the end of the day, but actually enjoy what you’re doing and others will praise you in return. Selling can almost be considered a talent, or hobby, not always technically a job!