Despite the best attempts of United Airlines to strand me 7,000 miles from home over Christmas, three zigzagging plane rides and 25 bleary hours exited me out the suitcase maze and back to the States — just in the nick of time.
Following an extended visit to one of my favorite cities — Istanbul, Turkey — this week’s 5-part blog series spotlights a wide variety of sales methods that fuel success in this vast market of 13.5 million people.
Some of the approaches we’ll discuss the Turks have used successfully for centuries — but they will not be using in centuries ahead. We will also explain when and where various methods are used, how sales techniques are evolving, and how multiple selling approaches somehow manage to co-exist inside a five-block radius of Istanbul’s legendary historic district.
If you visit and experience this wonderful city, and I hope you do, you will recognize all of these techniques in action. More importantly, once you decide to have some fun and wade into the fray, this information should help you be a much better buyer.
Beginning with Part 1, the series breaks down this way:
- The market in snapshot. Istanbul is 50 percent larger than New York City. Part 1 provides illuminating frame of reference information; and it briefly examines the city’s history, its financial position, and the life and expectations of the average worker. Istanbul is a fascinating marketplace by every conceivable measurement standard.
- Selling in the world famous Grand Bazaar. Can 4,000 shopkeepers under one roof — each frenetically clamoring for attention — serve 400,000 customers a day and somehow earn a living? You betcha! They’ve been doing it for centuries. The Grand Bazaar is pure chaos — a blender of noise and confusion — with sales techniques to match. Here you will witness mayhem you will not see at home, including unforgettable lines such as, “Let me help you give me your money!”
If you love the rhythm of the street, the Grand Bazaar is home sweet home.
- The world renowned Spice Market. Selling here is different: finesse and value rule the roost. In Part 3 we contrast the mayhem of the Grand Bazaar with the seven sequential steps used by the very best spice merchants to maximize sales and profits. For 450 years these vendors have earned a great living. These seven steps explain exactly what they do to grab their fair share of your wallet.
- Benchmarking the best. What do a leather shop, a rug merchant, a textile distributor, and an art gallery do better than anyone else? Sell. For these four diverse businesses, success is no accident — it is deftly orchestrated and systematically sustained. How they operate and execute provides illuminating lessons in pro selling best practices.
- What’s in store for the future? Technology is infiltrating centuries-old methods, customs, and traditions. Huge malls rise throughout the city. How will these changes — and several others — change what’s required for future sales success? Part 5 explains how clever, proactive visionaries and revenue generators will redefine the go-to-market approach when selling into this massive, global metropolis.
If you have an interest in the profession of selling, a curiosity about human behavior, or simply want to learn more about this marvelous urban monument to the cradle of civilization, I trust you will enjoy the series.
Part 1 of 5
Istanbul: The Market in Snapshot
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