Social Media Lessons from A Hawaiian Market

trinket market

On a recent trip to the Hawaiian islands, I had opportunity to see the Waikiki souvenir and trinket sellers in action. These people have raised selling to a fine tuned highly efficient art form and I was able to draw some comparisons between internet marketing and learned some valuable lessons.

The typical market is always crowded with stalls all looking very similar, all selling essentially the same “made in China” stuff, like the internet. The only discernible difference is the sellers themselves, that is to say the unique personality they bring to the sales process. Much like bloggers try to insert their personality or opinion into their content.

The sale process has distinct aspects, first is careful remote observation, as the unwitting tourist approaches the stall, the seller notes, the quality of clothing and accessories being worn. This gives the seller their first inkling of a price point.  Similar to website visitor analytics where your able to see what browser, country, demographic the visitor belongs to.

The seller will try to make eye contact and draw them into their selling space. Then, depending which item the tourist is drawn towards or picks up, a second price point is established, this is the point at which they can initiate the first engagement; ‘you like?’ This generally will elicit a positive response from the tourist, at this point one of three things happen;

if the seller thinks the lead is worth more, they’re going to offer an upscale or better quality version of what they seem to be interested in, if they think you’re a bargain hunter they’ll offer a slightly better deal on what you’re holding. If they can’t decide they stay silent and smile. Much like having online chat or some other interactive method of engaging then directing the visitor to a suitable product package.

Engagement is about introducing a personal story, some aspect that correlate’s to the lead’s personal experience. language, length of stay, children something that can be answered with a nod or positive gesture. once this stage is reached a sale is almost assured.

The comparisons between the internet and the market space are many yet it all boils down to a few words in a pleasant unique engagement, that seems to be the common thread and well worth remembering when trying to market yourself online.



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Digital Media Marketer, Old school New score, what does that mean? Helping your brand get found online! Keynote Speaker. Social Media Consultant and Strategist. Exploring and Sharing ways that Creative Professionals can leverage the Web