Over the years I have spent a fair amount of time in Bali and it never ceases to amaze me the sales skill of what I would like to term ‘The Balinese Hustlers’. I see these guys as a breed of skilled salesmen and women who have grown up learning and perfecting their craft. These guys were probably selling in their diapers. In fact there was actually an occasion recently where a young kid who wouldn’t have been any old than 3 years of age come up to me and try sell a necklace. Pity sales…I guess one of many techniques.

As I observed the Balinese and watched how they interacted with the many millions of tourists that set foot on the beautiful island every year, I started to make comparisons as to how I sell in a business to business environment and how it compared to the sales techniques of Balinese Hustlers. What was my conclusion? I concluded that there wasn’t a hell of a lot that separated the sales techniques of myself and them. I wouldn’t be surprised if thee guys where better salesmen then some professionals in the western world. Sure the value of what I sold might be 100x more, but the fundamentals are the same

With that in mind, I started asking myself what was it that really made these guys exel at what they do? Also, is there anything I could take away from these observations? Was there anything I could use to improve my own sales skills?

What are the 3 skills which really stood out, which drove thier success on a daily basis?



I’ve never met such a friendly culture in my life. Such positive contentment can only rub off on you, and by comparison these people are POOR! How can someone be so happy with so little money! The thing I found with the Balinese Hustlers was that the very first thing they did..before trying to sell you a thing..was to build rapport. ‘Gidday mate’! I’d hear as I was walking down the street (little did they know I am a KIWI not an Aussie) or once I correct them ‘Kia Ora bro!’. Such a simple gesture immediately helped to facilitate a connection between two parties who only seconds ago had none. Once they had me talking, they would start asking questions about me. Who I was, where was I from, what am I doing in Bali. Always digging, whether for an opportunity or not is beside the point but it made me feel valued and it got me engaged, it becomes much harder to say no to someone who you have build up a solid rapport with.

What is the takeaway from this experience? People buy from people they like and people they trust, and this is why rapport is a fundamental skill in the sales world. With every street side stall selling the same crappy knockoff glasses, Bintang T-Shirts and Jandals, rapport and personality ss the only thing that is going to separate one vendor from the next. So start asking your clients questions! Get to know them and really care and listen to what they say. Salesmen are notorious for talking far to much, so take the time and listen to your customers! It may just be the deciding factor between choosing you or your competition as their supplier



These guys NEVER give up! What would happen if they did? They would most likely starve to death. No one is going to bail them out just because they don’t have the skill to sell their inferior $2 products. The government isn’t going to bail them out. Its up to them to feed their family and create the ideal life that they can afford. And these guys work hard! I had a lovely taxi driver who got out of bed at 2am in the morning to come pick me up from the middle of nowhere so I gave him a $50 tip.

This is a fundamental skill that separates a good salesmen from a poor salesman. He/she will not give up, won’t take no for an answer (without exploring all the options) and won’t let rejection put him off his mission. Do you get emotionally involved in the sales process? Do you crash and burn at the first sign of a no? Remember, selling is a process. You will get plenty of no’s, far more no’s than yes’s in-fact. But its the yes’s that pay off and make all that work all the while.

I think in western society we have it to easy. How would you cope if you had no-one to bail you out? Work so hard that it is impossible to fail. The Balinese do, they don’t have a choice. Preserver and success will eventually come your way.



Want to learn to micro bargain? Go have a holiday in Bali. Are they out to rip us off? Probably. But if they can profit heavily from a rich overweight tourist who am I to judge. Good on them. I recall an experience when I was in Thailand where a lovely lady came up to me with a selection of goods that she was attempting to sell. At the time it was a stifling hot day, so an umbrella that she had took my fancy. Now, I can’t remember the exact details of the transaction but I believe the woman tried to offer me a horrific price for it. So I played the game, offered a low price, she came down, offered a higher price she came down some more and eventually came to an agreement somewhere in the middle. As it turned out I only ended up squabbling over a couple of dollars, but at the time 50 Thai Baht felt like a lot of money.

Where does the value lie in the products you sell? Everything has value if you are selling to the right market, so don’t sell yourself short just to get the deal. If you could have the ability to earn $120 or $1200 commission (and I’ve had personal experience with this kind of scenario) which would you prefer? I feel like its a fairly obvious decision to make. Make sure you sell the value and DON’T sell yourself short.

What products do you sell? How can you improve the value of what you sell? Leave me a comment below and let me know!


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