I’ve just finished a trip to Bintan Island with my girlfriend. (And we managed to survive!) Not only was it good for helping me progress towards my goals of travelling more but I felt like I learnt some valuable lessons with the trip as well.
The first is that beef bacon is terrible. It just doesn’t have the right texture or taste. I’d even take turkey bacon over beef bacon. I need to reconsider if I could live in a muslim country based on this learning.
More seriously I saw some interesting examples of sales tactics. The first was at a Cui Yong Kelong. There were so many steps to this sales process.
- When we walked in we were shown some of the fresh produce including the crabs and crayfish and some fish that were still in the water they were caught in. (Lesson 1 – casually show off the product.)
- There were only three crabs left so they indicated they could put one aside for us. (Lesson 2 – indicate that demand is high and the product has limited availability.)
- The menu came out without prices. Normally I’d find this very off-putting but in this case we were sitting in a wooden shack over the water and it felt like a safe place for a deal. The staff also made it very clear that they’d give us the price on what we’d picked and we could change the order at any time. (Lesson 3 – put people in a place that they feel safe to make decisions.)
- By committing to the choices without price it took a distraction from the choice away. We went with everything we wanted in chill crab, gong gong, cuttlefish and some greens. (Lesson 4 – take away the distractions and let the customer choose the pieces they want.)
- When the prices came out we naturally drew our comparison to what we knew – the Singapore prices. I’m sure we paid more than the locals would but we were happy as it still seemed acceptable and maybe even a bit of a bargain. (Lesson 5 – get the price right to meet your target market. Allow your customers to negotiate from the high point rather than setting the low point.)
- And the meal was delicious. We ate almost everything. (Lesson 6 – deliver a quality product so that the price never even gets remembered.)
So moving on from seafood there was another sales lesson that turned out not quite so well.
After the seafood dinner our driver up-sold us (we were sure he was getting a cut) on checking out the firefly tour. The tour was a one hour boat trip to see the fireflies in the mangroves. We had a private boat and we got hands on with the fireflies and were able to catch them.
We’d managed our time up to dinner so that we’d would finish just before the agreed time. With the firefly tour we went over but the driver has assured us that would be “ok”. When we got back to the hotel he wanted to have a private chat about us paying a little more to cover the extra time. That came as a surprise and while we gave more money it totally put us off booking him the next day to check out the mangrove day tour. He missed out on a larger sale because of it. (Lesson 7 – surprises to the costs are a major negative and have the potential to sell your future relationship with the customer.)
Who would have thought the trip was meant to be a learning experience. Have you ever had a learning experience while on holiday?