#BigIssueAsks begins! Vendor Dean is answering questions about selling the magazine…
@kktwinsuk “How many magazines do you sell a week?”
Dean: I’d say anything up to 60 per week, but I know others sell more @kktwinsuk
#BigIssueAsks also from @kktwinsuk “What do you do with leftover mags at the end of the week?”
Dean: I don’t get credit for those I don’t sell so very rarely do I have any left. I plan ahead, but any extra get recycled.
#BigIssueAsks How long have you been selling The Big Issue?
Dean: Time has flown by so quickly, but apparently it’s been five years. It doesn’t feel like that.
#BigIssueAsks Why did you start selling The Big Issue?
Dean: It was a slow process. I was self employed and the business went under. I lost everything...
Dean: Linda who still works at Vauxhall says she remembers the day I showed. She said I was freezing. I don’t remember at all
#BigIssueAsks What business were you in?
Dean: I was a photographer; weddings, family portraits, even the MOBO Awards with 50 Cent. My equipment got stolen & I became homeless
#BigIssueAsks from @rowenanews "is it difficult to get / keep a patch? Eg do shop owners complain or you get moved on?"
Dean: I've had a few shopowners not understand how The Big Issue works & think I'm begging but I stand my ground & explain the bylaws!
#BigIssueAsks from @gingeelox does it offend if people pay &don't take the mag? I Find it awkward to take change x
Dean: The last thing I’d want is the exchange to be awkward. You don’t sell your products by making customers feel awkward...
Dean: ...We don’t want charity but if someone wants to give me £1 million I’m not going to turn them away @gingeelox
#BigIssueAsks from @MISHEL_L "Hi Dean, What's your best sales technique? Xxx"
Dean: Saying to ladies "Now there's a lovely smile" or to their male companions "doesn't she have a lovely smile" cheesy I know but works
#BigIssueAsks from @benjshem "What would you change about The Big Issue?"
Dean: The biggest complaints I get are about the price & that it's too left. I suspect these people haven't read it recently
#BigIssueAsks from @_INSP Hi Dean, do you have any advice for fellow street paper vendors around the world? (There are 13,000 at any 1 time)
Dean: They say ppl in London don't talk to one another so my advice is to be approachable & get know your local area to help with directions
#BigIssueAsks from @adamtomforrest "Hi Dean - any famous customers recently?.."
Dean: I used to have a pitch opposite Nobu so often I saw Noel Gallagher and Chantelle from Big Brother @adamtomforrest
#BigIssueAsks from @envirovegan "hey dean, who's your average customer? what do your customers say about the big issue?"
Dean: It varies, those who know the magazine have good words to say about it. But there's no such thing as an average customer @envirovegan
#BigIssueAsks Where do you sell the magazine?
Dean: I mostly sell at Sainsbury’s in Chelsea Harbour or outside Tesco’s on Royal Hospital Road. Both in the Chelsea area.
#BigIssueAsks Are you a Chelsea fan?
Dean: Just a tad yes. I grew up in Battersea, the only thing that separated me from them was the Thames
#BigIssueAsks from @trendinglindsey "To Dean; What's the kindest thing anyone's ever done for you?"
Dean: On one occasion a drunk lady came & started snogging me. But these experiences are few and far between @trendinglindsey
Sorry for the questions we couldn't get to but we have to end our #BigIssueAsks session! You can follow Dean on Twitter - @realdeanporter
Dean is taking part in the London to Paris bike ride for @TBIF. To sponsor him go to justgiving.com/Dean-Porter0