Selling – Turkish Style
Watching the art of a great sales person plying their trade is never more delightful than watching the sellers in Istanbul, whether they be on the Galatea Bridge or the Spice Market. What makes it so interesting is they have learnt how to ‘read people’ and pick up on little nuances from the people that pass them by.
Because there are so many restaurants on the Bridge or shops in the Bazaar, each seller has his own unique way to try and entice you into his ‘area of influence.’
It could be a shirt or top your wearing that could describe where you’re from. They listen to hear what you say so they can pick up on your language or accent, and then know what language to converse with you in. They see who you’re with, a friend, a couple, a partner, to glean the information so as to make the most appropriate personalised opening remark to gain your attention.
Once they’re conversing with you, they have an ‘in’ now to ‘help you’ make that all important sale at their shop.
I asked one of the sellers on the Galatea Bridge who owned a restaurant there, what his ‘hit rate’ was. He said it is a numbers game, but he averages 1:40. He said also it depends on the time of day or night as to his success rate.
He let me know that the most important facet was to get eye contact, talk with the person, and make them smile. When this happens, he then picks up on something else they are wearing, or what he may have heard them say as they walked toward him.
At all times I noticed that most sellers were respectful and very amusing. They didn’t take rejection as a final no. And their memory is quite simply amazing. If you walked past them the day before they will remember you, and let you know they remember, and this personalises the conversation even more.
The more I watched and listened to them, the more fascinated I became. One great line that I heard in the Spice Bazaar to 3 Australian tourists was,
“Come in and let me help you spend your money on something you don’t need!”
All 3 burst out laughing and stopped and entered his store. Several minutes later they emerged having bought. I am not sure if it was something they didn’t need, but they and the seller were all smiles and chatting away.
The Art of Sales when done professionally is a joy to watch and listen to as the Master helps a person make a decision they weren’t expecting to make.