The Pink Spoon

I was surprised to learn that Baskin-Robbins has been in business for more than 60 years. The ice-cream chain was a novelty when I was growing up. They offered 31 flavors (one for every day of the month) back when most others only served chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.

Baskin-Robbins also had the pink spoon, a simple plastic implement that was a brilliant marketing concept. You could sample those 31 flavors. In fact, they encouraged it.

“What flavor is that?”

“That’s chocolate marble nutty fudge flavor. Would you like to try it?”

“Please.”

Baskin-Robbins still goes through a lot of pink spoons and sells a lot of ice cream.

Others employ a similar sales strategy. In Seattle, the Great Harvest Bread Company offers free slices of fresh baked bread. Where I live, Chateau Morrisette Winery hosts daily tours and wine tastings.

In all three cases — ice cream, bread and wine — tasting is believing. And sales follow.

I cite food and beverage establishments as examples, but “the pink spoon” can extend to any business.

Service businesses can put their expertise on display by providing special information packaged in a variety of ways. And companies that sell high-ticket products can woo clients with demos, events and other engaging tactics.

The takeaway is to find creative ways to allow potential customers and clients to sample your products and services. When you do, resistance goes down and sales go up.

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