I’m a big fan of leveraging your status as a rideshare driver for business & networking opportunities. I think everyone should be doing it or at least thinking about it. Today, RSG contributor, Joe Strandell does a follow-up interview with the The Uberpreneur of Forbes fame.
You may have read about this story on Forbes recently: Gavin Escolar earned $252,000 as an Uber driver last year. Originally from the Philippines, Gavin immigrated and now serves the San Francisco area with his high end jewelry business. Gavin has managed to set up a mobile jewelry store with his vehicle and what started as a family business is now a fast growing luxury profession.
Forbes has coined Gavin as the “Uberpreneur” to describe someone who uses the Uber platform to promote his or her own business. Gavin’s sales approach is what I think makes him and his story special. It’s my goal (Joe) to get to this point so I wanted to pick Gavin’s brain a little bit more and see how he does it with a few questions.
1. You say that you made roughly $18,000 a month from jewelry sales last year. That’s awesome, congratulations. What percentage of that was from being an Uber driver?
My average gross is $3,000 a month driving for Uber. I try to get in around 20-30 hours of driving in a weekly basis.
2. What is your approach to closing the deal? After a ride, do you go back and give them a call or email? How does it usually go from Uber ride to jewelry purchase?
I don’t have any intention of closing any deals while I am driving. I am already getting paid driving them while talking to them. Passengers want to know who you are, not to be sold to. I inform my passengers on what I do. I also want to let them know what my inspirations are. I let my passengers pick up on my signals and make my jewelry the focal point of the conversation.
I usually display my jewelry where my passengers see it and observe if they take notice on my pieces. Then I start my conversation with it. I keep on passing my business cards and make sure they remember me. Remembering you in a positive way and making sure they have your information will eventually lead to a sale. Don’t rush it. It will come.
3. Is it effective to have marketing materials in your vehicle? What are the best materials and the best approach to handing them out?
It is absolutely necessary to have marketing materials in my vehicles. I have my portfolio, business cards, and pamphlets including select pieces for my passengers to experience the quality of my bracelets. If they take a look at my portfolio, I always ask them their thoughts to keep them engaged. It also helps me to know what they think about my pieces.
4. After doing my taxes this year, I’m realizing that the margins for having your own taxi business are not very high. What things can drivers do to grow their business and grow their profit margins?
I am also dealing with the same issue. I know that driver margins and earnings fluctuates due to price cuts and promos. I am also learning from this, but I really think that drivers should always start saving a little bit in every paycheck and invest in something else or in themselves. With this discipline, drivers can pursue their passions in life and their dreams while having the flexibility of driving and marketing their brilliance.
5. Any finals pieces of advice for the aspiring Uberpreneur?
Always make your passengers smile while holding your card before they leave your car. They will always remember you.
Be sure to check out Gavin Escolar on his:
What are your goals as a rideshare driver? Do you have another business that you are promoting with Uber? If so, what is it? What have you learned from Gavin? Let us know in the comments!
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-Joe @ RSG