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Business Marketing

Fresh Shrimp, Home Sales, And a Good Offer


I wish I had my camera to capture this bizarre offer. Actually, it wasn’t so much the offer itself as much as it was the context it was presented.

Let me set the stage for ya… I live outside of Phoenix, AZ. It’s a desert. Dirt, sand, shrubs, and what we call mountains (folks from the Rockies laugh at our mountains, we laugh at folks from the Rockies when they’re blanketed in snow). Emphasis on dirt, sand and shrubs. There’s really not much else.

The shrimp from nowhere

I was driving on my road through nowhere and I passed a handmade sign on the side of the road that said “shrimp.” Now, I’m a big guy so I didn’t take this personally.

A moment later I passed another sign that said “lobster.”

Here’s where it got really weird… just a ways down from the lobster sign was a van. Parked on the side of this road through nowhere. More signs, this time making offers of jumbo shrimp and lobster for $4.99 or something.

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What the…?

The context of “fresh”

The signs even used the words “fresh.” Out here in the middle of the desert on the side of the road? If I had come across this somewhere along the Pacific Coast Highway I would have had a different reaction entirely.

Needless to say, I didn’t buy any fresh shrimp or lobster.

The lobster was… fresh. Compared to all the other lobster being sold in the middle of the desert, I guess. And it may be 100% true… but without proof the claim heightens skepticism. The offer was just too far out of context.

How believable is it?

Now, you probably spend a deal of time thinking about how to market a listing… what are it’s most attractive features, is there history to the house that folks may find appealing, why is this one different than the one across the street?

Eventually you come up with the listing’s offer – the something special – but without a believable story, proof, or reason-why (the context of the offer) to give it legs… your offer certainly doesn’t stand a chance.

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Offer: “This home is priced thousands below appraised value!”

Prospect: “Really? Umm… what’s wrong with it?”

When folks encounter a claim that’s not backed up by context they make the assumption that everything you say needs to be taken with a grain of salt… if believable at all.

Do you have any examples of an offer that was totally out of context? What about ways to support and strengthen an offer?

In the meantime, anyone for some shrimp cocktail? I know this great place between a big cactus and a red rock. It’s fresh… really! The sign says so.

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Written By

Mark Eckenrode is a Certified Master of Guerrilla Marketing raised on comic books, punk rock, and Pepsi. He's also the chief marketing trainer at HomeStomper where AgentGenius readers can learn unconventional methods for winning with social media.



  1. Vicki Moore

    October 21, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Every time I look at that picture my stomach gets queezy. When it sounds too good to be true…you know the rest. Sounds like those guys who drive around in shopping center parking lots selling steaks. EWWWW! (I know that’s not the point of your post, but…)

  2. tiffany

    December 19, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    well i have a roadside company and i sell shrimp.. i live in florida and its always fresh!! fresh shrimp fresh lobsters and such.. So the man who was selling shrimp in the middle of the desert my hats off to you! He proably had a really good day. and hopefully he sold out:-) Support your fisherman!

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