My wife and I enjoyed our second vacation cruising the Caribbean this year, it was our second cruise together using Carnival Cruise Lines. We are fans of cruising for many reasons, but one of the things I personally enjoy most is being able to see different parts of the world and how different cultures live, but more so how they sell! It always intrigues me as a salesman myself to see other salespeople operate, especially the locals who make their living selling their goods on many of the islands you stop at during a typical cruise tour. On this particular cruise, we had 3 stops to enjoy, they were Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Mexico. At each of these 3 stops, I was reminded of a different sales lessons from the locals that I want to share with you here.

Lesson 1] Treat Everyone Like A Buyer

One thing is for sure when you get off the ship and visit these beautiful places and tour the local shops, the locals will treat you like a buyer. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you’re wearing, or whether or not you show any interest in their little piece of the marketplace, they treat you as though you can and will buy. They also know that they have to get your attention, this is why all of them will approach you, yell at you to get your attention, or they may even grab your arm to get your attention.
This is a great lesson for salespeople everywhere to remember when selling, treat your customer as if they can buy and they are more likely to. I don’t think you need to grab anyone, but I do believe too many salespeople get too focused on whether or not their customer can or will buy and they miss opportunities. You need to get your customers attention and make sure they know you exist so you get a chance to earn their business. Take a lesson from the locals in Ocho Rios, get the customers attention, treat all your customers like they can and will buy, and more of them will!

Lesson 2] No’s Lead You Closer To A YES!

One of the hardest things for salespeople to deal with, especially new salespeople is the rejection that comes along with the job. You shouldn’t take hearing No from your customer personally but many salespeople do and it becomes their demise. You hear No often in sales, but this is not a personal rejection but rather a business refusal as Zig Ziglar used to say. The bigger point to remember here is that every no will get you closer to a YES!
Sales is a numbers game, so talk to enough people and you are going to eventually run into someone who is looking to solve a problem that you can help with. Obviously, as you get better at prospecting, relationship building, presenting, closing, follow-up, etc. you will hear more Yes’s than No’s, but you will still hear the No’s and need to remember it’s just business.
I found that the locals in Grand Cayman knew this well, I watched them greet everyone with the intention of presenting and selling their merchandise. I saw them get no after no and the smile never left their face, and the determination never left their hearts because they just kept talking to people and looking for that Yes! They knew the next person could very likely say yes, and that’s exactly what eventually happens.
You won’t sell everyone you talk to, no one does, but you won’t sell anyone if you give up after hearing a few No’s. The locals in Grand Cayman show determination and understanding when selling their goods. They hear hundreds of No’s, but it’s the Yes’s that they are hunting for, and they get a lot of Yeses!

Lesson 3] Make Yourself Stand Out

If you have ever been to one of these islands and shopped the marketplaces you know that you can see the same merchandise over and over from one shop to the other. Handmade items, hats, trinkets, t-shirts, jewelry, and many more items all start looking the same. One local in Cozumel knew this, so to stand out he offered unique hand-made jewelry crafted by him and his family right there in Mexico, as well as a unique in-store experience.
Salespeople can make themselves stand out by how they dress, talk, or the uniqueness of the product/s they sell. However, the best salespeople make themselves stand out by the Experience and personal attention they offer their customers. This shop owner in Cozumel stood out to my wife and I this past trip mostly because he offered us individual attention, care, and understanding. Plus, he had some great jewelry/product.
My wife was interested in some of his hand-made Emerald jewelry and he gave her patient and personal service that she needed and deserved. He created a great overall memorable experience for us both actually. He understood true salesmanship, which is a talent that MANY lacks in sales and he employed it on us to close the deal. I appreciated the fact he closed us, be I believe you do nothing to help your customer until you close them. He sure helped us that day in Cozumel, my wife got herself some beautiful jewels, and I even found a ring I wear every day that reminds me of the experience and the lesson learned!

Wrapping it all up!

So those are the 3 sales lessons I learned from the locals that I encountered on this most recent trip, I hope this gives you something to think about for your own sales career as it did for me. Make sure you treat your customers like they can buy and they are more likely to do just that. Be sure not to allow the No’s to stop you, just remember that a Yes is right around the corner. Finally, make yourself stand out and offer an experience your customer remembers because people can buy from anyone so be sure to give them reasons to want to buy from you!

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