How to avoid leaving money on the table.

Your leadership example.

Your leadership example.


There are 2 gas stations within a half mile from my home.

One to the north – Thornton’s

One to the south – Bucky’s.



Over the past 2 days, these 2 unremarkable fuel outlets displayed some basic point-of-purchase sales techniques the construction supply industry could well learn from.



Sunday morning we woke to find no leche in the house.

No milk.

No good.

Sunday is cereal day at the Red Angle house.



I grab Kid 1 and we head to Thornton’s to buy a galón of overpriced Vitamin D leche. It was $3.49.


At checkout, the employee informs us of a daily special: 2 softball-size chocolate chip cookies, 2-fer-1 for $.99.


I instinctively say no.

“Ooooh Daddy yes Daddy please Daddy Daddy Daddy can we Daddy Daddy!”


I cave.


Cookies for breakfast.


Just so you know…” Thornton’s employee starts up again, pointing to the back of the store, “we also have a sale on Vitamin D Chocolate Milk.”



“Oh wow Daddy sweeeet Daddy please Daddy Daddy Daddy can I Daddy Daddy Daddy!”



Kid 1 grabs the chocolate leche.


Thornton Employee averts my eye-rolling and rings me up:

$3.49 + $.99 + $1.19 = $5.67 without tax.



His 2 little FYI’s increased Thornton’s revenue 39%.

A bump from $3.49 to $5.67 isn’t fantastic in total dollars, but as a percentage of sale… 39% is dreamy.



Result: My son is happy.

I’m happy my son is happy.

Presumably, someone watching this Thornton Employee is happy.


Caffeine: the most popular drug en el mundo.

Caffeine: the most popular drug en el mundo.


Next day I drop by Bucky’s to buy 8 ounces of overpriced sugar-free Red Bull. It was $2.99.

At checkout, the Bucky Employee informs me of a daily special: overpriced sugar-free Red Bull… 2-fer-$5.



I instinctively say no.

Then I consider how angry I’ll be the following day if I return to the same place and buy the same thing at a $.50 premium.



I reconsider.



My purchase jumps from $2.99 to $5.00.

40% increase.



As I bring out my wallet, Bucky Employee says, “You came in here a few weeks ago and bought that super orange gum, right?



I have no idea.



The same brand came out with this new flavor right here. You should check it out. I heard it’s good.


Impressed this person remembered me and personalized my experience… I bought the gum.


$5.00 + $.99 = $5.99


From my original intended purchase of only $2.99, I was now at $5.99.

50% jump.



Now what did these employees do?

(Aside from dramatically increasing my purchases.)



They both informed me of in-store sales.

And one recognized me (or pretended she did).


That’s it.  


When I visit my favorite construction supply stores, these point-of-purchase sales tactics are absent.



They work.


Sure, I may be more gullible than the average customer, but these low-dollar impulse buys at the sales counter are not restricted to mini-marts. They’ll work for you too.


You should recognize your customers.

If you don’t recognize them, ask them their name.



When selling to Hispanics, forming relationships will lead to positive word of mouth, often orders of magnitude larger than your Anglo clientes.


Print this out & bring it to your next meeting.

Print this out & bring it to your next meeting.




Because most stores still regularly ignore their Hispanic customers. The language barrier (perceived or real) annoys them or freaks them out… so they generally ignore them and sell via pantomime.


Don’t speak Spanish?

No worries.


Increasing revenue is worth the translation effort.


Say this:

Hay una venta.

(eye OOH-nah BAYN-tah)

There is a sale.


Then point at something on the counter.

Preferably low in price, common in need.

Gloves, safety masks, Jarritos… whatever.






Do this with every customer – regardless of language preference.

It works.



Call attention to sale items on the counter… and you’ll avoid leaving money on the table.





Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (, a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry.

Categories: Construction Spanish

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