Take a whole load of people with an objective in mind ... give them what they're looking for. Package it with something more that they're not really seeking, and chances are that they'll accept the extras.
That's a standard marketing and sales technique. We see it in newspapers, with adverts. We see it on training courses run by original product vendors, where there's a course segment telling the delages how great the company's other products are, and Lisa and I saw it yesterday when we took a supposedly quiet beach day out on Sardinia.
From what I learned, Sardinia is a beautiful island.
The cruise ship we're on docked in Cagliaria - the island's capital - for six hnd a half hours. We took about 30 minutes to get organised, and get off. And we were then put on a bus for a 90 minute journey to a beautiful bay, where there was a ten minute walk down to be beach, and a short - five minute - queue for an umbrella and beach chairs. Let's see - that's 135 minutes accounted for so far. On our return, we had our ten minute walk back up, and a further 80 minutes to the boat (no traffic jams at this time of day). We also stopped for 60 minutes at a vineyard, for what was descibed as cheese tasting. The generous samples of cold white wine as we arrived were certainly welcome after the coach journey - our vehicle's air conditioning wasn't functioning correctly and the cynical part of me suggests a "softening up" exercise to ensure maximum disposition to buying the product. Wisely, we were back at the boat about 20 minutes before departure; a good decision, since the traffic had been an issue in the morning ... but if you've been doing your sums, you'll have noticed that so much time has been accounted for that only 85 minutes had been left for our quiet beach day.
Here come pictures from the day ... a snapshot of Sardinia (click on any to enlarge):
From the road above, our beautiful bay and Medditeranean beach in Sardinia
Demonstration of Cheesemaking by the local Shepherd
Just in case you wanted to buy any of the wine from the vineyard, a table was set up with a few bottles available. The ship has a rule "you may not bring your own alcohol on board", but this didn't seem to have been brought too much to our attention, nor was it (to my knowledge) enforced.
Lunchbreak for the coach drivers.
Our "tour guides" in Sardinia
Pink Flamingos on the Estuary - taken from the speeding bus, but a fascinating scene. Add in an interesting looking City in Cagliaria, some lovely mountains and other views sneaked for the coach, and I know that this is somewhere worth a further visit.
A unique sales experience? Regrettably not - Our "Walking tour of Florence" started with a 30 minute stop at a leather factory - "because you'll want to use the loos before your walk" (and perhaps you'll buy some of the very expensive leather products)
But ... there *is* a case - and it's a good case - for ensuring that customers who have been disposed to buy a particular product are informed about other associated products that may be of interest to them. In fact, to denythat extra information is a dis-service to them. So I point our customers to our blog, I categorise articles so that people can find what they need ... and I'll help people navigate that data. And - at the end of courses, I make sure that delegates are aware that they can come back to us further training, to stay at the hotel, or simply to ask questions on what they've learned.
Our laid back approach probably reduces the number of add-on and impulse sales that we make, and if we had a short term gap to fill in our schedule and bookings, that could be a problem. But it seems to pay back, and many times over, over the years. "You taught my colleague in 2002". "You come with recommendations from someone you trained a while ago" ... good - that's follow ups from people who aren't being bounced into using us, but really want our products. And that makes it so much more rewarding for us to provide those products. (written 2011-07-11)
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