In my last post I talked about climbing a rushing waterfall in Ocho Rios, Jamaica while on the Re:create cruise. While this climb seemed impossible at first, it became easier with each level attained. When I finally made it to the top, I was filled with exhilaration, that my fellow climbers and I made it all the way up.
However, little did I know that the most challenging part of the day’s adventure lay ahead.
You see, to get back to the bus our path led through the Dunn River Falls Marketplace. It looked innocent enough. Just some small wooden stalls decorated with local merchandise. Very similar to any farmers market or local bazaar.
The adventure started on our walk back with a young woman pointing my way, holding a colorful picture of me taken in the falls. I had a great expression on my face, and to me it was worth the $8.00 to pick it up as a souvenir. I knew I was in trouble when the gal asked for an additional tip on top of the purchase. She then grabbed my wife’s hand and led us to her stall in the marketplace. She said not to worry as she worked for the government and she only had quality merchandise.
Soon she was showing my wife purses, tee shirts, and sarongs. We decided to purchase a sarong and negotiated a fair price. So far so good.
As we walked outside her booth, a tall gentleman walked up and tried to sell us little Bob Marley statues. My wife said no as she already had purchased a pair earlier. He was very persistent, but once she showed them her existing purchase, he walked away.
That’s when the fun began.
I turned around to find the exit back the way we came in. When I turned around my wife was already out of sight, headed back to the bus. In front of me there was a sign that said, “Exit this way”. I started walking towards the exit only to find myself deep in the marketplace and a long walkway of shops to pass on my way to freedom.
Then four of the world’s top marketers hit me up in succession.
1. What’s your name? The first guy looked at me and called out, “What’s your name?” I instinctively said “John” and then he pulled out some more Bob Marley statues. I told him I already had a set, but he was persistent, and wanted to personalize a set with my name. Fortunately I pulled out an existing statue and was able to move on.
2. You look good in this necklace. The second guy came up from the side and put three necklaces around my head. This made it hard to say no. I barely saw him coming, but he was quick. I had to negotiate my way down on this one. His price started at $30 but we settled at $5. So much for escaping.
3. You’re different. The next guy should work at a car dealership. He called out and asked my name. I said “John” and then he said, “You’re different. You didn’t dis me like the others. You showed me respect. I’m going to give you a free gift. It won’t cost you anything. He then came up and gave me a Jamaican handshake and handed me a small souvenir. I said thanks and started to walk away, and then he started asking for a donation. Couldn’t I just help him out a little? The pressure came on and of course my sense of reciprocity came on. He gave me something, I needed to give him something in return. This guy was good and he got a few bucks.
4. You gave them something, how about me? By the time the last guy hit me up, I was overwhelmed. I just wanted to get out of there. I felt like running. When he came up beside me and offered me some Jamaican wooden cups I just said NO! But he wouldn’t listen. He just kept the pressure up and I kept walking. He started a big guilt trip on me, but I kept walking. He followed me all the way back to the bus, hounding me over and over. You gave them something… how about me? At this point I was so mad, I never wanted to come back to this island ever again.
When I got back to the ship, I talked with many others that had the same experience. Very few people would want to go back into town. It was a shame that things were this way. It was an incredible island, but the hassle was overwhelming. I’m a pretty generous guy, but this completely turned me off!
Have you had this experience in the real world marketplace?
How many online landing pages or sales letters are setup to use your name? They grab your name off a subscription list and personalize the letter. They bring you into the story. Once your name is on something, it’s hard to say no. Why do you think Apple offers personalization for free on their products? It’s awful hard to send something back with your name on it.
Vanity is another attribute that many fall into. Do you want to see your name in lights or on the cover of a book? Just go with us. The only problem is, you have to purchase hundreds or thousands of copies to fulfill the contract. I know a lot of speakers that have thousands of vanity published books that are out of date and are just taking up space in their garages. Here is a little secret. The average number of self published books sold is 50. Unless you have an incredible platform or back table business, don’t order more than this.
You’re different, leads many people into the world of customization and invention marketing. Got a new idea? Got a new invention? Market it here. Many people have a lifelong dream of coming up with the next George Foreman Grill or Ron Popeil kitchen gadget. Unfortunately this road can cost you a lot of money. Beware the free gift. Very few people give things away without wanting something in return.
The final one is very common. I literally get hundreds of letters a year asking for money for different causes. If you give money to one, you instantly get added to a mailing list for others. The mailbox and phone call guilt trips are endless.
So how do you navigate these dangerous waters?
The best way is to ask other successful people what worked for them, and then count the cost. It’s also a good idea to never tread alone. Always consult or bring a friend or spouse along that is good at saying NO! When giving to charity, pick a handful of causes and say No to the rest.
One of the craziest marketplaces is that of domain names and web hosting…
Here is a sales page from GoDaddy…. try navigating this….
I have met so many people that buy unnecessary web items and domain names. Be sure to do your homework in this area before proceeding.
If you have trouble saying NO, it may be best to stay out of the marketplace altogether.
Question: What Overbearing Marketing Tactics Have You Faced?