Gambia. According to TUI the ultimate cure for Belgian winters. So I booked a week in a five-star resort in Serekunda, together with colleague and travel buddy Lies. All we needed: Vitamin D, the sea and some books.
However, the ever cheerful Gambians didn’t agree. Two girls on the beach? That (literally) speaks to mind. After 7 days, 4 beach walks and 200 sales talks, we went back to Brussels with a bunch of extra sales insights.
ABM in its purest form
A cup of baobab juice, a wooden statue shaped like your pet or even a pedicure. Gambians are masters in advertising their goods and services. The competition is brutal, but they know how to bring out the big guns (or in this case, the big smiles) to get you over the line.
It wasn’t B2B marketing as we know it. But lead generation? Absolutely! Discover four basics of the Gambian Account Based Marketing intuition, without drowning in complex processes.
1. Hi, how are you? What’s your name? Where are you from?
>> Get to know your customer. Thoroughly.
Three questions lead the way to a conversation. Knowing who you’re doing business with, is taken very seriously here. They ask about your interests (You like music? You’re sporty?), your situation (This is your sister? You have children?) and your needs (Are you thirsty? Looking for shells? Want to dance?).
Gambian salesmen search for common interests. You’re not just a customer, but a friend (sometimes in the blink of an eye). Each one of our answers makes us yearn for their products and services even more.
2. It’s nice to be nice
>> Always wear a smile
We have to admit: after salesman 27 our mood dropped to slightly less tropical temperatures. Name? Leave us alone. Where are you from? Ignore. As shy Europeans, we want to decide who we talk to, and when.
And they took that into consideration as well. With an everlasting smile, never too pushy, they gave us enough space. I’m not a hustler, I just want to sell my business. Come back in your own time, at your own pace. Something a lot of sponsored ads can learn from.
3. Unlock your luck
>> Get the ball rolling
You only have to sell one thing and the rest sells itself. A bracelet, a bag of peanuts. Once one person bites, the next 4 will as well. And – importantly: do you provide qualitative services and products? Then your buyers will return time and time again.
4. I’ll give you my card
Not interested now? Maybe later. Self-cut and written business cards, it works. You keep contact with your prospect (or in this case: tourist). Do we want to make that guided tour of the Monkey Forest on Friday after all? Wait! I know someone.
As a result, my book of Haruki Murakami is bulging with cards. Planning a trip to Gambia soon and looking to enjoy a local fruit cocktail, massage or tour? Let me know, I know someone (by name!)
Communication can be really simple. Make it personal and accessible. What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your ambition? By the way: we’re looking for a lot of colleagues!