The Selling Lesson At The Sponge Docks

About 25 miles due west of where I live, there’s a small gulf-side town called Tarpon Springs. There are a few things you’ll notice when you first enter this sleepy laid-back town, which is literally right on the gulf — besides the balmy sea breezes blowing across you — even when the temperature is in the high 90’s, and the humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

For starters, most of the people walking around this tourist town do NOT speak English. They are either tourists speaking French, Japanese, Tennessee, or something else I don’t understand or recognize, or… they are residents speaking Greek.

Tarpon Springs has the largest population of Greeks in America — even more than Astoria, Queens.

In fact, nearly all the restaurants there serve Greek food as well (We ate at Plaka’s and had Gyro’s and Greek salads — absolutely fabulous.), and all the tourist stores sell sea sponges of all shapes and sizes, and for all uses. Years ago, Greek divers used to dive for sponges right offshore, but Red Tide wiped out most of the sponge industry there, back in the 1940’s.

Now, the town just celebrates the history of the sponge industry, and is a LOVELY place to visit on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, we were in this store called 5 Fish, chatting with the owner, a man named David Gauchman. David’s a very nice fellow, and owns 3 retail stores in the area. We didn’t talk too much personal stuff, but I got the idea that he was nobody’s fool, and he was also a hard worker. (If you’re in the area, stop in and tell him I say “Hey” — he really is a hell of a nice guy.)

This store sells primarily “Life Is Good” merchandise — and he had QUITE a selection. And seeing as how I was there with my wife and two of our kids — I didn’t get out cheap.

Something happened there, that was VERY instructional about selling. A woman was having a hard time deciding between two shirts. David overheard her conversation, and promptly pointed out to this woman that ONE of the shirts she was holding in her hands, was his most popular seller.

I can tell you now, I’d been listening to this woman, and she was no dummy either, and yet — she IMMEDIATELY grabbed that “most popular” shirt — and added that one to the top of her “buy” pile.

Why did she do that?

The answer is simple: It just goes to show you the power of using a few VERY compelling buy-buttons: Testimonials, Conformity, And Acceptance. And see, there was no big long sales pitch here, and frankly, I don’t even think David Gauchman was doing this intentionally to “sell” the shirt. He was just helping her decide which shirt to buy. It was clear she was going to buy one, regardless.

Each of these buy-buttons is discussed in DETAIL in my Seductive Selling System, which you can get right here: — and you’ll find specific examples of HOW and WHEN to use these buy-buttons, so you can best figure out how to apply them to your own business.

And now here’s something else I want you to think about — and send in your comments about this one too: What else could David have told this woman (just as simply) that would have made her buy this shirt just as instantly as she did when he told her it was his best-selling shirt?

Let me know and I’ll answer this question tomorrow.

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. This month’s Seductive Selling Newsletter is SO hot, it may very well be damn-near illegal! Check it out and test-drive it for fre.e at

About the Author

Craig GarberAuthor of "How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers, " and publisher of Seductive Selling - an offline marketing newsletter currently read in 15 countries, world-wide. In a nutshell, I do two things: 1. I show you how to attract a reliable, steady stream of pre-qualified leads who are ready to do business with you NOW... 2. And I increase your net profits and cash-flow, by increasing your customer, client, or patient value -- often, dramatically. How do I do this? By developing, and helping you implement, unique, personalized lead generation and marketing strategies... using compelling sales messages that push your customers emotional buy-buttons. I've worked with over 300 clients in more than 104 different industries, since March of 2000, and I really enjoy what I do. I'm a stable, reliable, happily married family guy with three kids who loves life and always follows through on my commitments and promises. I love to listen to music, workout, read, travel with my family, take pictures, and go bass fishing. I always say "Yes," when it comes to good cigars, good books, and good coffee :-)