89943035_bbaf6366c2I spent 3 months in Southeast Asia and I learned a lot of Internet Marketing from street vendors that I’ll be able to apply to my Internet Marketing Agency. I know what you’re thinking: “This guy can’t be serious!”
“Yes, I am!” Let me share with you some of the lessons.
The “Where Are You From?” Tactic
How it works: Some guys asks you where you are from. He’s very friendly. You talk with him for a little bit and then he suggests a couple of places where you can have lunch. Of course, he’ll get a commission. But, the recommendations he makes are pretty good ones and at least he took the time to make friends with me first.
Of course, after a couple of days of being approached by several people using the same tactic, it’s not nearly as effective. But it did work the first times and I’m sure that in your market most your competitors aren’t as friendly as you are and you have a chance to make a big difference in your customers’ minds.
How it relates to Internet Marketing: build a relationship with your audience before you try to sell them something.
The “Very Cheap, Very Cheap” Tactic
How it works: you walk down the street and vendors bombard you advertising how cheap their stuff is. The problem is that I cheap wasn’t appealing for me. I’m not rich but I can afford pretty good stuff. Most people around me (mostly tourists) seemed to be acting the same way. The bottom line is that what the vendors were advertising a feature (low prices) that was important for them (in Southeast Asia, price seems to be way more important than quality) than it was for their potential customers (most Westerners wouldn’t care paying $0.50 extra for something they really like).
How it relates to Internet Marketing: you’re not selling to yourself, so don’t craft your marketing message around things that are important to you. Find out what your customer really wants (what’s important to her) and push her hot buttons to get her to take action.
The “Special Price for You” Tactic
How it works: a vendor offers you a “great deal” that is “special just for you”. Of course, they offer that same deal to the guy behind you.
How it relates to Internet Marketing: so many websites are full of hype and BS! People are smarter than you think. If you make a claim, show evidence. If you claim to be “The Best Coffee Shop in Atlanta”, don’t say it, have testimonials instead.
Do you claim making $1,475,786 in only 7 minutes while watching TV? Yeah, right! Even if you’re telling the truth, people want to see proof.
The “Look, We Have This. Very Good. Blah, Blah, Blah” Tactic
How it works: sometimes you come across something that you really like and you approach one of the stands. And then, a vendor that is desperate to make a sale starts talking. He talks so much that scares you away. He doesn’t even give you time to look around.
How it relates to Internet Marketing: closing the sale is very important, but you need to do it at the right time. Answer people’s questions, let them “look around” and always be helpful. When you follow up, offer your help and let them make the decision; don’t scare them away by being too pushy.
The “Are You Tired?” Tactic
How it works: when about a dozen vendors were surrounding me, this tiny lady sat next to me and waited for everyone else to go away. I had been trekking for 9 hours and has only 30 minutes left until the next warming hut. The lady asked me “are you tired?” I told her I was.
She explained to me how to get to the next stop and gave me a map. She asked if I had a hammock or a sleeping bag already. I told her I didn’t. Then she said “the ground is really hard and you’ve been walking the whole day. Don’t you think you deserve to sleep in a hammock?”
I completely agreed. She happened to sell hammocks (go figure!) and I bought one for me and another one for my wife. She asked the right questions and got our business.
How it relates to Internet Marketing: ASK your customers what they want and give it to them. Yes, it’s THAT easy.
The “Water Bottle at Half Price” Tactic
How it works: one day I was really tired after biking for hours and I stopped to buy some water. A bunch of kids were selling bottles of water at $2 each (which in Southeast Asia is extremely expensive; market price is about $0.15). This little girl was selling her water at $0.50 a bottle (the exact same bottle the other kids were selling at $2).
So, I bought the water and sat down to drink it. She then sold me two bags of fruits and another 3 bottles of water.
How it relates to Internet Marketing: get new clients at break even if necessary. Once you’ve built a relationship with them, you’ll be able to sell them more stuff in the back-end. Remember: people don’t know you, don’t know who you are and they don’t trust you. Changing that mindset is the hardest part. People like doing business with people they know, so do whatever it takes to get them to your door.
I really enjoyed writing this post and I hope you guys liked it too.