6 Things An Amsterdam Drug Dealer Taught Me About Business




Last week, my business mentor and I were talking about travel (we both love to travel and exploring new places) and blocking out time to recharge batteries (he’s much better at that than me) so I have spent the weekend working on my Q4 personal and business goals.

During our chat, we were talking about places we’ve been and where we want to go to and as we talked I reminisced about a trip to Amsterdam and it reminded me of lessons learned from a drug dealer on the streets of Amsterdam " 

Let me set the scene…

This is back in 1995 and Sheena and I went away with some mates for a long weekend to Amsterdam for some culture 😉

For some reason, I decided it would be a great idea to bleach my hair blond (that’s probably why I have less hair now!!)

As it was winter when we traveled we packed winter coats and for some reason, I thought I would look cool in an orange ski jacket.

With an orange jacket and bleached hair, you can imagine I stood out.

And stand out I did!!

Each evening when we went out I think I attracted every street dealer in and around the City Centre. They were like moths around a flame. Shouts of ‘hey blondie, want some coke’ followed us everywhere.

My response, “no thanks, I’m not thirsty" – I was naïve back then 😉

One evening in a bar we got talking to a couple of lads and yet again, they asked if we wanted any gear. During our conversation, they told us about their business and I can now outline 6 things they taught me about business…

Don’t take your product for granted

1. Don’t take your product for granted

Do you think drug dealers get into war just over location?

They also get into fights over products because they all want the best stuff. They know that you’re only as good as your product.

And if you have a great product, you won’t have to work too hard to sell it.

So, with your business, don’t take your product or service for granted. Aim to create the best product in your location because people will get addicted to it.

If you create an inferior product, they may use it for a bit, but sooner or later they’ll dump it once they find something better from one of your competitors

Lesson About Business- Word of mouth is the best form of marketing

2. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing

Have you ever seen a drug dealer advertise his or her product through flyers, magazines or Facebook? Of course not!

And it’s not just because drug dealers don’t want to get caught selling. It’s because they know that the best form of marketing is through word of mouth.

If you have a great product that people love, they’ll talk about it and share it with others. Drug dealers know that having your customers tell other people about your product is the best form of marketing out there.

As a business owner, you’ll want to spend money on advertising. And you should. But don’t forget how your product can help market itself. Nothing beats word-of-mouth marketing!

3. Freemium models can be very lucrative

Drug dealers have been using the freemium approach way before the Internet was even born.

They love giving people a small taste for free because once you try the product, they know that you’ll want more. They may even give you a bit more for free after that, but once you're addicted, they’ll start to charge you and make a ton of money off of you.

If you are looking to get more clients, consider offering free trials to get prospects into your facility. Give away a bit for free, and once people want more, charge them for it.

It’s better to be the brain of the company than the face

4. It’s better to be the brain of the business than the face

Would you rather be doing grunt work or would you rather manage people?

Smart drug dealers aren’t the ones on the streets who are dealing. They are the brains of the operation. They figure out how to get drugs, to whom to supply them for distribution and how to keep a low-key operation while counting the cash.

They know that if they are the ones on the street dealing, there is a higher chance that they’ll get caught and go to jail. So, instead, they keep their distance from the dealers and just watch the money roll in.

If you want to be financially free, you don’t have time to do the grunt work. Instead, you have to delegate and focus on strategy and execution.

There are always people who you can hire to do the grunt work, but you have to focus your time and energy on the tougher stuff. It’s much harder to train someone to come up with your overall strategy than to train someone to do the work.

"If you want to be financially free, you don’t have time to do the grunt work. Instead, you have to delegate and focus on strategy and execution." - Andrew Wallis, CEO & Founder of Fitness Marketing Blueprints

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5. You can always upsell

Have you noticed that drug dealers never stop hustling? They’re always trying to figure out ways to make money off of you. Whether it is selling you a better product or new drugs, they never stop selling.

Just like a drug dealer, you should never stop selling. Just because someone is a client doesn’t mean they can’t spend more money with you. You can get more money out of your clients by discovering what else they want from you.

Whatever you do, don’t forget about upselling as it can start becoming a huge portion of your income.

It’s easier to keep your clients happy than it is to get new ones

6. It’s easier to keep your clients happy than it is to get new ones

It can be challenging to generate new clients. Even drug dealers struggle, which is why they do whatever it takes to keep their current customers happy.

From hooking them up with free drugs every once in a while to hooking them up with free equipment that lets them use the drugs they just bought, drug dealers try to do whatever they can to keep their customers happy.

You shouldn’t just focus on getting new clients. You should also focus on keeping your existing ones happy. If you’re losing clients and have a high churn rate, make sure you fix that before you waste too much money on acquiring new ones.

It’s all about maximizing the lifetime value of your clients as that’s where the true value of your business lies.

So there you have it, some tips to take your business to the next level, from lessons learned on the street.

And if someone offers you drugs on the street, just say no!!

About the author, Andrew Wallis

From two decades in the corporate world to finding my freedom in fitness, I'm known as Braveheart—a Personal Trainer turned marketing maestro for Fitness Professionals. I'm all about unlocking potential and empowering Fit Pros to grow their businesses. 'Finding Your Freedom' isn't just a mantra; it's a collective journey I embark upon with my clients.

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