From Street Corners to Conference Rooms: How Lawyers Can Learn from Mexico’s Street Vendors

My husband and I have been visiting Cabo San Lucas, our “happy place,” for over 25 years. Whenever we are there, I marvel at the sales skills of the Mexican merchants, whether on the beach, in a shop, or at a restaurant.– e can really learn from them. I am not the only one who has observed this mastery of sales– t master sales improv trainer and leadership strategist Gina Trimarco made the same observation during a trip to Mexico in 2015 and wrote about it on her blog

With my thoughts and Gina’s tips in mind, here is how we can influence our lawyers about the sales process:

  • Know who your clients are. The south-of-the-border sales folks identify their prospects quickly and have a lot of attention-getting phrases to make you stop and listen. My favorite example of this is “it is practically free”!
  • Focus on a connection to start a conversation. The merchants know that time is of the essence, so they find a way to draw you in right away by noticing a connection for conversation. For example, they will ask what you are wearing to create an icebreaker. “That’s a great shirt”… “Where are you from?”… “How long will you be here?” Once you’re in the conversation, it is harder to back away from the salesperson. Connection is everything. 
  • Create a strong customer experience. While keeping the small talk going, they are shining up the jewelry or other products and handing it to you to strengthen the relationship between you and the product– and you and the merchant. They make the experience fun.
  • Practice how to overcome objections. These sellers know what the possible objectives will be. To overcome the objection “it’s too expensive,” they ask – “so, how much will you pay?” or “What would make you happy?”.They engage you in a simple negotiation.
  • Emphasize your unique selling proposition. There are so many vendors selling virtually the same products. It can be overwhelming for the buyer. So, what makes one stand out? Telling a story about the product, where it comes from, and the history behind it makes you become more attached to it. It helps differentiate this item from someone else’s product. We bought a piece of pottery because the shop owner took us aside to explain where the vase was made, providing us with some fun facts that we will repeat. We chose this vendor because of the connection. Again, connection is everything. 
  • Be persistent and committed. Good salespeople do not give up. If, at first, they don’t succeed, they come back. They keep you in eyeshot at all times. They know every opportunity can be a sale. If you do not make the sale in the first pass, know there is still room for opportunity if you are persistent and committed. 


If you have the time to get to Mexico in the near future, pay attention to the salespeople. They are so good at what they do – convincing you that you can’t leave for home without their products. They truly can sell you a Mexican blanket even when it is scorching!

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