The selling secrets of Moroccans, the world’s greatest salesmen

fes medina
In the Fes medina

I’ve just come back from a trip to Morocco, which was incredible.

One of the things that struck me most was how damn good the Moroccans are at selling stuff.

We bought so many things that we just didn’t need!

If you’ve been to Morocco, particularly Marrakech, then you know what I mean.

The souks of Marrakech are filled with master salesmen.

I’ve thought about how they do it and what we can learn from them.

Make a connection, no matter how small

The first thing a shopkeeper in the souks will do is to engage you. He doesn’t care how he does it. He will say something to get you to look around.

Even if you say ‘no thanks’, he will say, ‘where are you from?’ or ‘not selling, just come and take a look’.

He lowers your guard against him. Once you hesitate walking away, he has you.

What we can learn:

Say hello with good eye contact. Be genuinely friendly. Smile with your eyes as well as your mouth.

Physical contact as soon as possible

You’ve stopped, next he will shake your hand. Often with two hands on your hand. The contact will go on for as long as he can without making you feel uncomfortable.

What we can learn:

Get in your handshake as early as you can. Get someone you trust to assess the quality of your handshake. Err on the side of gripping too hard than gripping too softly. A wet limp of a handshake undermines you.

Put you at ease

Now you are in his shop, the hard sell goes away and you are encouraged just to enjoy the experience. You are asked to touch various products and the moment you like something, you’re hooked.

What we learn:

Don’t go hard sell all the time. Your customer knows you’re selling; there’s no need to be aggressive all the time. Don’t scare your prospect. Allow their guard to drop.

No prices

It’s likely that you are from a richer country than Morocco, so you probably think something is more expensive than the shopkeeper would think it might sell for.

He uses this anchoring to his advantage and lets you pluck a figure from the air.

He knows that you probably don’t want to offend him, so you will err on the high side.

What we can learn:

This is tricky if you only have fixed prices.

But we can see that there’s always a market if we move the price.

If you’re pitching your services, and you’re not getting any takers at the higher price, try reducing them or asking what they’re willing to pay.

marrakech souk
In the Marrakech souks

Assign value to the product

Everything will be ‘handmade’, ‘genuine Berber’, ‘made locally’. All words designed to increase your perceived value of the product.

What we can learn:

Whatever you’re selling, find the words that add value for your product or service. Whether it be ‘bespoke’, ‘tailor-made’, ‘customised’, ‘artisanal’ etc. Find those words and make sure you communicate them clearly.

There’s always a call to action.

They NEVER forget to ask you to buy it.

What we can learn:

Ask your prospect to do what you want them to do.

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