Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A masterclass in sales from an Ancient Culture...

Recently I was in Morocco where I was taking part in a charity event running 100k over four days for Motor Neurone Disease. Not only was this a great week spent with some truly inspirational people from the UK, my eyes where also opened by some wonderful sales techniques employed by a Berber gentleman in a Herbology store.

As we entered the store, Khalid, our guide introduced us to a staff member who ushered us upstairs to a separate room full of jars and bottles of all sorts of dried herbs, roots, bark etc - we were an instant captive audience. It was a fascinating place, some of the products were recognisable but many were not.

What followed was a masterclass of salesman/customer interaction! We were sat down on benches while he demonstrated many products some at first hand to a us unsuspecting viewers; he was humorous, witty, intelligent and a little risque (which surprised me! - the benefits of Ginseng to those with a certain male dysfunction were very cleverly highlighted).

After a thoroughly entertaining 20 minutes or so, he very quickly handed out some woven shopping baskets whilst we sat and very quickly, but clearly, ran through the prices of everything he had shown us and more - including the Buy 2 get 1 free offer!

His personable approach and product knowledge left you feeling almost obliged to buy something! We all bought something whether we intended to or not. These products aren't cheap and some of us had spent the best part of £40 ($60) without realising. But because of the way the sale was done and the nature of the presentation no of us felt like we'd been ripped off.

The whole experience was interesting, educational and entertaining - and therein lies the crux for any of us involved in sales.  There was no "hard sell", but it certainly wasn't a "soft sell" either - the saying that People buy People was never more true than during our visit to this highly successful Herbology store in Ouarzazate, Morocco.

In any retail business I think many are missing a trick or two, but for those who own or run a flower shop we have all the tools to hand! A highly emotive product, the ability to put on a bit of a show, encourage customer interaction by using unusual or highly scented flowers, offer a choice, up sell and close the sale in a neat, friendly and entertaining way.

The possibilities are endless - go for it!

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