Familiarity Breeds Success!!


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Recently I had been on a short vacation to the Western Indian State of Goa. Known for its beautiful beaches, seafood and hippie culture, Goa is very popular with International tourists.

Every year thousands of tourists from all over the World visit Goa during October and Feb. Around the same period a lot of Indian businessmen, small time artisans and shopkeepers from across the length and breadth of the sub-continent also get to Goa to sell their wares and play host to these tourists descending on Goa.

It is amazing and a sight in itself to watch these locals sell their wares. They are not sophisticated or articulate, mostly unaware of the endless business theories they teach at MBA schools, in fact most of them can barely read and write and still they never fail to impress you with their shrewd marketing skills.

To start with, most of these sellers do not have a decent place to showcase their wares, it is usually temporary sheds made of Trampoline sheets and dried palms. No attractive display windows or attractive reception counters but despite the odds they manage to lure the most sophisticated international customers only because they have mastered the art of ‘customization’.

Many sellers you come across in these makeshift markets will gauge the country of your origin (without you spelling it out) and then switch to pitching in your local language, as you approach. I noticed how the tourists were surprised, overjoyed and immediately connected with these sellers and ended up buying from their stalls. I remember overhearing conversations in English, French, German and Spanish in the short time spent at one such flea market on Anjuna Beach.

The Goa markets are of full shops selling similar looking stuff, so the only way, a shopkeeper can ensure he differentiates himself and his offerings from the others and his competitors is by bringing in that personal touch (addressing the customer in his local language) and creating a personal connect.

Customizing the marketing or sales pitch to match a prospect’s personal taste is a great marketing strategy and one that rarely fails to give desired results. People love to connect with anything that reminds them of their own culture, needs and roots and that is exactly why, some of these sellers attracted more customers than the rest of their counterparts.

Most of the sellers in question, must have acquired these skills over a period of time, analyzing tourists coming from different countries, studying the way they look, walk, talk, inquiring about their country and its people probably even asking some good Samaritan to teach them a few sentences that could help them break the ice and with time they mastered it and now use it with such ease that it is difficult to believe that they have never visited the country in question.

The net takeaway – In a highly competitive market, customization is key to business success.

Making the effort to understand your prospect’s motivations, where is he coming from and what is he looking for, is critical information that can decide the fate of a business deal.

Living in an era of communication explosion, has its own downsides, today the customer is being bombarded with all kinds of information on his mobile, his inbox, his social networks, the only way you can even try making yourself heard in this clamor for attention is to address your prospect in a language he will understand and in a voice that is directly addressing him.

Image courtesy –

S3images & momentsnphotos.blogspot.com

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.


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