Ice Cream and the Interaction of Sales and Marketing

A few weeks ago I spent a fantastic weekend in lovely Regensburg with my wife. It was sunny and hot weather, so we decided to buy ice cream from one of the street vendors.

There was a queue of five people and while waiting at the end of the line, we were not able to see all the flavors they offer. When it was our turn, the iceman pressured us with a nervous tone in his voice to choose quickly (there were 3 others in the line behind us). After the purchase was done, my wife told me that she only bought one scoop of ice cream, although she intended to buy two, because she felt overstrained.

This story tells us the basics of sales and marketing: Marketing should provide the necessary information about all available options to customers, while sales supports them in their buying decision.

Some tips for ice cream street vendors:

  1. Place a poster with color photos and names of all available ice flavors highly visible to those waiting in the queue.
  2. Make sure your sales personal provides enough time to customers to make a decision – sales will increase. You won’t lose those waiting at the very end of the queue, because they are already crazy for your ice cream after studying the poster with flavor options.

Someone wants to start a cool ice cream business with me?

The same two tips also apply to the software business, especially because costs are much higher compared to end-user ice cream purchases. The financial risk of making a wrong decision is higher for customers when buying software and related services.

Hence, provide enough information and don’t rush potential customers – otherwise they might only buy one scoop instead of two, or nothing at all.

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