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lie to sell
The ‘gifts’ we bought from Jamaica

Ever tell a lie to sell something? Well, what if that were your ENTIRE sales and marketing strategy?
Let me explain…Just about everybody in the free world knows that I was recently vacationing in sunny Jamaica. Here’s what happened on our way back from the touristic Dunn’s River Falls.
Giving Is Receiving
Both my husband and I were greeted by two different vendors on different corners as we entered the falls. My vendor high-fived my 4-year-old and immediately grabbed a wooden turtle as a ‘gift’ and started carving his name ‘LOGAN’ on the back to gift to him. He then started carving my name on another turtle as another ‘gift’. When I refused to take them, he said ‘help an honest man make a living, give me a little tip, a little something’. Well, I ended up giving him $15 for those two ugly turtles. My husband was ‘gifted’ 2 scary looking statuettes with our respective names carved in the back for the bargain price of $20!
Genius Strategy?
The marketing coach in me never sleeps (or vacations) so when I noticed 2 other vendors ‘gifting’ us their trinkets, I started noticing a strategy. Then I took note. I actually interviewed the next guy who came up to us and asked him about his close rate (success rate of sale). He said it was 60%. I was floored. I asked about the 40% who refused to buy and how they salvaged the trinket after personalizing it. They said that they just scraped the name off and polished the wood back up again like new. I certainly learned something new that day.
What’s Good About Lying?
I learned that even in a developed market like ours where I help clients sell and market their services, I teach them the same thing as what these poor, uneducated men from a developing country have learned by experience-you have to give something of value to gain the trust of a potential client and then you have the chance to ask for something back.
I argued with myself whether it was a good strategy to lie to sell me 4 total trinkets that have served as nothing but a memory of an interesting sales strategy and fodder for this blog. I would’ve preferred to buy something that I actually wanted instead of being stuck with these atrocious finds. However, I have to admire the ingenuity and the value of giving first before receiving.
What are you giving of value to your clients that builds trust between you before asking for anything of them at all?
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5 comments on “How I Was Lied To For A Sale-Genius Strategy Or Corrupt?

    1. Hey AJ
      how are you?
      I actually got this question from 2 people so it’s definitely a valid point. Let me clarify that I felt lied to when the vendor told me that he was giving me a gift but in essence it was part of his sales strategy. I do the same as you, offer free eBooks and coaching etc. to gain trust. So, maybe the difference between what we do and what the vendors in Jamaica do is that the free offer was forced upon me as opposed to opted in by me. Does that make sense?

      1. Hi Chala.
        Thanks for your reply. Hope remainder of your Jamaica trip was relaxing & fun!
        Sounds like “a gift” in Jamaica is really an offer to purchase; at least from these street vendors, who it seems are good hustlers. Not mine or your style; maybe that’s the only way they can survive there?
        Best regards, AJ.

  1. Where was the lie? You could have walked off with the trinkets without paying a cent, based on the seller’s original proposal. In this case the “gifting” was more like “guilting”. I offer my clients unlimited free followup consultations by phone. That’s pretty much a gift.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I actually got this question from 2 people so it’s definitely a valid point. Let me clarify that I felt lied to when the vendor told me that he was giving me a gift but in essence it was part of his sales strategy. I do the same as you, offer free eBooks and coaching etc. to gain trust. So, maybe the difference between what we do and what the vendors in Jamaica do is that the free offer was forced upon me as opposed to opted in by me. Does that make sense?

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