Sales lessons can be discovered anywhere including a 10 day cruise to the Caribbean.

Bernadette, my wife, and I drove from our home in Lakewood Ranch Florida to Fort Lauderdale the day before ship was to leave port.

We stayed at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel just minutes from the Port Of Everglades.

I'm always on the lookout for new sales tips and techniques that I can share with my subscribers to my "Start Selling More Newsletter."

B. and I were having a cocktail at the bar before dinner.

There was no one else sitting at the bar. Carol, our bartender, was happy to talk with us.

One of the questions I asked her was "How big is the hotel?"

Without any hesitation she said "We're small, but mighty - 233 rooms."

A powerful choice of words.

Imagine telling your sales prospects, "We're big enough to perform and small enough to care."

We sailed on the Emerald Princess. It was the largest ship we've ever been on with 3500 passengers.

Our scheduled first stop was Antigua. Because of bad weather and severe winds the Captain decided to take a pass, for safety reasons, on this port.

So the island of Dominca was to be our first stop. The dock was loaded with brightly colored umbrellas where the locals were set up to sell almost anything you wanted to buy.

B. was in the market for some perfume. I forget the name, but that's not important. B. found what she was looking for and struck up a conversation with Noreen - the vendor.

Let the games begin. In almost all Caribbean Islands, shopping usually includes some haggling between buyers and sellers.

My wife asked Noreen if she could do any better on her price. Noreen quickly responded, "If you talk to me, I'll talk to you!"

So B. started telling Noreen about Morgan, her niece - who the perfume was for.

After B. talked to Noreen, Noreen started talking too and the result was a 20% discount.

Noreen didn't do much selling, but she did get the customer (B.) talking. That's a sales lesson we can all benefit from.

Our next stop was St. Kitts, where B. did some serious shopping for jewelry. I won't bore you with all the details but you should know there were two very happy women when we left the jewelry store - B. and the salesperson!

B. was looking for several specific pieces. She spotted what she was looking for and asked the salesperson if she could set it aside for a while. Now how many times a day do you think these jewelry shop salespeople hear cruise ship passengers say, "We'll come back later?"

So Maggie, the salesperson, does everything under the sun to get us to buy before leaving the store. This included four different levels of pricing.

The store had "Looking pricing," they had "Thinking pricing," they also had "Buying pricing," and even had "Even better than buying pricing." What a way to qualify your sales prospects.

I must say it worked. B. wanted to look around to see what the other shops were offering. She did however really liked the three pieces that Maggie had set aside for her. What's more, we left the store with their "Buying pricing" which meant when we went back to the store we could expect an even better price.

It had a built in attractor factor for us. Go back to the store to get an even better price for something B. really liked.

We did go back to the store and not surprisingly we did get an even better price. Perhaps another sales lesson here.

What struck me about these different encounters was the one thing they had in common. They were unconventional, unusual, unorthodox, and of course original which is what made them memorable.

During your sales calls to existing customers and sales prospects don't be boring.

All the product knowledge in the world doesn't add up to a hill of beans if you can't distinguish yourself from your competition.

It doesn't take brains to be different - it takes courage!

The choices you make in life determine your destiny. Choose to be courageous.

Your customers will remember you and reward you with their business - another sales lesson!

Author's Bio: 

Jim is a former U.S. army officer serving in Germany and was a Public Information Officer on a General’s Staff while serving in Vietnam. He was also Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Scientific Products Division of Baxter International

He has authored five books including the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life.” He is also publisher of the Start Selling More Newsletter .