It wasn't until Nick Molina got desperate that he found out he was selling his product in the wrong places.

Molina, cofounder and CEO of Let's Talk Cellular and Wireless, a Miami-based retailer of phones and pagers, started out by hawking his products from a customized van. The concept of a store with four on the floor showed steady promise until one of Molina's big customers, which was some $200,000 in arrears, went under.

In a last-ditch effort to save his company, Molina set up a sales booth in the midst of heavy traffic--foot traffic--under a tent at an outdoor auto race. The impulse to sell there proved right. Customer response was overwhelming. He and his partners concluded that cellular phones might actually be an impulse purchase. They also realized that there are ready-made meccas for impulse buyers: shopping malls.

Armed with the discovery that Let's Talk Cellular had been missing out on the best market for its product, the company negotiated kiosk space in a Miami mall and rang up record sales there. The company now operates in 89 malls in 13 states and Puerto Rico.

Copyright 1998 G+J USA Publishing