Wednesday, March 25, 2009

how to deal with street salespeople

...with assertiveness

it is important to deal properly with “street salespeople” when you travel.

here are lenny’s guidelines:

  1. first and foremost, remember that the street salesperson’s job is to exit the business transaction by selling you the least valuable stuff at the highest price as he can. the final analysis, it’s a business decision for him, and it had better be one for you (if you want to have enough $$ for dinner, tomorrow).

  1. look him in the eye. ..this is the window into his motives.

  1. if you feel safe, have fun. ..joke around. play. ..even this hard-nosed businessman will give a better deal to a person he likes as opposed to someone that he doesn’t like., a lot. ..if you'd like a little extra rice, politely ask for a little extra rice.

  1. if you feel the least bit unsafe, keep him at an arms’ length distance away. ..important note: this includes children (both boys and girls). ..make no mistake -- in some places the kids are quite savvy and experienced. ..if the businessman attempts to put his arm around you, do not hesitate to use your open palm and push him away with an elbow-extension. ..the open palm, extended outward toward the body of another person is a universal sign for "stop."

  1. the faster he’s a talkin’, the more likely i’m a walkin’. this also goes for “louder.”

  1. remember, there’s a very good possibility that there’s another guy, 50 meters down the road, who will sell you the same thing at a lower price. ..don’t feed into the “special deal one-time-only-right-now” energy.

  1. in the final analysis, you probably don’t need what’s being pushed. ..breathe. you really, really need another t-shirt (with a screaming howler-monkey on it) saying “i lost my shirt (again), in cancun”?

  1. if you feel the need to buy “tinkets” for people back home, consider this: they might feel even better if you send them an e-mail, a postcard, or some kind of sign that you are thinking about them. ..schedule a date, or a get-together with them. ..spend time with them. ..sit down and listen to their stories. ..these things go much, much further than a conch bracelet or motorized boomerang.

  1. this goes for love-partners, also. ..i know, i know... that the gold bracelet seems romantic in the present moment, but years from now you are going to value the experiences, and the pictures that bring those experiences back to mind – much more than the bracelet that is located in the back of the chest-of-drawers.

  1. learn the first names of the locals, and become a local. ..people treat regulars better than transients.

* sidenote: i'm still learning how to apply these guidelines universally.


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