I have recently returned from a trip to Egypt. I highly recommend a visit. The people and sights were amazing. However, the sales techniques of the local merchants lacked finesse.
Our guide warned us about the street vendors we would encounter. He said they were “aggressive”. In hindsight, this is an understatement. Make the mistake of even looking at something for sale and the seller will follow you for 10 minutes, item in hand, trying to make you a good deal.
Overall, I did not see our group of 70 or so tourists purchase items from these purveyors. We were put off by their approach and style. Interestingly, our tour guide, who was a native Egyptian, explained how he has tried to convince various vendors that their tactics do more to scare the tourists than motivate them to buy. He has told them that a “softer” approach might yield them more business.
Despite the useful advice, they continue to employ their high-pressure tactics. Perhaps it is because it is all they know. Or perhaps, despite our opinions to the contrary, their techniques actually work.
This experience prompted me to consider the question of selling styles. While we each have a unique style, have we considered our impact on the buyer? While we may be comfortable and confident in our approach, is each potential client equally satisfied with our style?
In short, could our approach actually be hurting us in certain situations? Do we need to be more flexible to reach a larger audience?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts.