I just returned from a two week trip to Greece. It was fantastic BTW (thanks for asking). I traveled from Santorini to Paros to Athens spending roughly three days in each spot. All of them had very different sites, highlights, and low-lites. Here’s a very abridged rundown:
In traveling to all these spots, I visited a number of markets, downtown areas, and tourist spots. Every time I did this I observed different sales and marketing methods that you can learn from.
METHOD #1: Look! Look! Look!...Very Nice!
This sales method was the first one I came across in Santorini. Santorini gets a ton of visitors every day from cruise ships that dock nearby and ferry in passengers for day trips. When this happens, “Look! Look! Look!…Very Nice!” is there.
It goes like this: the salesman sits on a short stool and places a smooth plate in front of him. They are selling what I call “splat-matoes” – squishy handheld toys that you can throw against a hard surface. When the splat-mato hits the surface, it flattens and then goes back to its original shape (there were other shaps and animals, not just tomatos). As the salesman is chucking these against their board they are repeatedly saying “Look! Look! Look!…Very Nice!” (note the dramatic pause between the looks and “very nice”) like it’s a mantra or they’ve been possessed by the god of souvenir sales, Cheapus Crapolis.
What To Learn From This
The first thing is to take part one of this method and think about your social media strategy. The sales pitch is two parts – the first part, “Look! Look! Look!”, is disruption. Tourists are walking around looking at stores, talking to each other, looking at the scenery, and this simple request to look is incredibly successful. Nine out of ten passerbys stop and look at the display of the splat-mato. I did it EVERY TIME.
This is how your social posts need to function – a memorable or noticeable disruption in your customer’s social feed(s) that are otherwise full of distractions.
The second thing to take from this sales method is the thoughtful targeting of your market. There’s a very specific reason these guys sit on short stools (and it’s not just because it’s more comfortable). Adults don’t buy splat-matos for themselves (my wife wouldn’t let me), they buy them for kids. And EVERY kid that was walking by stopped in awe at the splat-mato and the salesman was right at eye level. Before the parents even know it, these kids were trying the goods themselves and, like sample day at Sam’s Club, they had to have it.
What are you doing to get your product/service in front, or in the hands, of your target market?
METHOD #2: The Lurker
I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this sales method annoyed my wife more so than any other. We’d go into a shop and the entire time the salesperson would stalk us. Turn the corner, there he was. Pick something up, she’s there to tell you every conceivable details (true or false) about it. And if they don’t talk to you, they just watch you like one of those old Scooby-Doo paintings that the bad guy has cut the eyeholes out of.
What To Learn From This
There’s a reason why a product you search for or a website you visit later pops up in your Facebook feed or in ads on other sites you visit. This is a combination of remarketing and targeting – a process placing specific marketing messages in front of customers who have taken a particular action on a website or affiliate site such as Google, Amazon, or Facebook.
If done improperly, you can come off as the lurker. Done correctly, you place valuable content and/or information in front of prospective buyers to convert them into a customer.
METHOD #3: The Piranha
If you’ve ever travelled abroad and gone to a heavily trafficked tourist area you’ve met the Piranha. They see tourists, they taste blood. On my Greece trip they were mostly in place outside of restaurants. They see you and they start to rattle off about having the best food in (insert city). They then follow it up by asking you what you’re looking for – breakfast? lunch? coffee? pizza? tacos? You name it, odds are good they got it.
What To Learn From This
The name of this game is audience segmentation. Presenting the same messages (deals, emails, flyers, etc.) to all your customers and prospective customers is a failure of marketing. Current customers have done business with you and need to receive messaging about specials, discounts, or up-sell opportunities while prospects need to be informed of your product/service and given motivation to do business with you.
In the words of John Lennon, “Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you.”