What The Souks Of Morocco Taught Me About Online SalesRecently we spent some time in Morocco. First of all, let me tell you if you ever have the opportunity to go, you should definitely go. As a person who spends most of her vacation time in Europe, spending a week in Morocco was eye-opening. Beyond the beauty and majesty of the land, the people are hospitable and welcoming. We spent a week traveling from the big cities like Fez and Marrakesch to the desert towns of Merzouga and Ourazazate. While the scenery changed from place to place, the one thing that remained constant were the sales strategies.

6 Things I Learned About Sales in Morocco

1. A Handshake Means Something
In Morocco you are greeted with a handshake before the browsing begins and the deal ends with a handshake before the money is exchanged. The handshake is a way of saying welcome you can trust me in the beginning of the negotiation. And a way of saying you have my word on the price at the end of the negotiation. In an online world where most of our transactions are done virtually through credit cards and payment links, the handshake takes a different form. Your handshake online is your first impression. It can be the content you put out there or your sales page. You should be personable and relatable.

2. It’s All About Relationships
The souks are laid out in a way that everything is compartmentalized. There are the food stalls in one place, the home goods in another and the clothing in another. Everything is separated and each stall can sell some of the exact same stuff right next to each other. How do you choose which one to go to? It all relies on the relationships you build with your buyers that keeps them coming back to your stall instead of the others. It is the trust that is built in the transaction and the delivery of goods that keeps your customers coming back to your stall. In online business, the same holds true. If you want your customers coming back to you and not your competitors you need to build a strong relationship with them and stay true to your word.

3. Sales Is An Old Profession
Some of the stalls in the old medina have been passed down within families and you could really feel that. Sales have been around since the beginning of time and it isn’t going anywhere. You need to approach your sales profession like it is here to stay and it probably will.

4. Both Sides Need To Be Happy
A major theme in Morocco is that everything is negotiable. For a negotiation to be successful you need to find that price that makes both parties happy. The seller would often say to me, if you are happy and I am happy with the price then we have a deal. They would also say, what is your maximum top offer, meaning what is the absolute most you would pay. This always made me smile. I might have overpaid for some of the items I bought compared to a local, but for me I was happy with the price and thus the deal went through. In online sales, sometimes there isn’t much room to bend the prices, but there are other ways you can be happy with a deal. Perhaps it is the added value you give your customers or a freebie you can throw in to make the deal go through.

5. You Need To Be An Expert
In the food stalls there would be 5 people selling the same exact thing. Our guides would tell us go to the place with the longest line of locals because they are probably the experts in that one item. Sure enough we followed his advice and it was a good decision.

6. You Need To Follow Up
The shop owners and salespeople in the souks were very good at this. If I wasn’t sure about buying or wasn’t ready they would follow me and give me another option or try to sell me one last time. Follow up is crucial in online sales too. When someone follows up with me I often view it as a good sign that this company will pay attention to me.

Some of my favorite pictures below. You can see more on my Instagram account here.

olives-in-the-souk doors-in-morocco Merzouga-desert-camels

What have you learned about business through traveling?

If you are planning a trip to Morocco, I highly recommend the following tours and places:

Real Morocco Tours – contact Said, our driver, he will make sure you have a great time.

Riad Laaroussa in Fez — honestly this was one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed in. The hospitality is amazing and no detail has been left unnoticed.

Marrakech Food Tours run by MarocMama and her husband. This is a must!

Blog Marketeer

Stephanie Clegg

Stephanie started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!

Blogging Service that keeps your blog loaded with great content.