Santa Prisca Silver has a rolling cast of characters. By rolling, I mean on-the-move. A few of us have left Taxco, Mexico, where our business is based, while some of the local leadership have stayed behind to manage production and logistics. And to guard the Mexican silver!
This will be a somewhat disjointed post about our early experiences in the business and some of the surreal urban environments this has brought us to as digital marketers and, oddly enough as nomadic, traveling salesmen.
Here, at Santa Prisca Silver, we sell handmade silver jewelry.
While an online presence is what lends the ability to serve a global market, it has been effective to draw water from all sources, meaning several things. This involves spreading the word to whomever we meet, approaching jewelry store owners and employees at their locations, looking like imbeciles with our broken Spanish, and trying to garner interest in these Taxco silver bracelets. This has a low success rate, but these are the types of awkward sales scenarios that thicken your skin. Otherwise, we’d never meet these folks. And we knew that the occasional breakthrough would be inevitable.
My boy Zig Ziglar said that understanding and dealing with constant rejection is a prerequisite to achieving any long-term success in sales. It’s desirable to continue to build that muscle, to avoid assigning an identity to the failures early-on and to learn something from every sales interaction. Experience will give a multitude of tiny tips, subconscious adjustments, and every now and then, an epiphany, especially when followed by healthy reflection.
The more we sell, the clearer it becomes that experience is king. The folks over at Gong.io are finding this out by recording tons of sales calls to create a massive database and coming back with all kinds of useful statistics. This is about the closest thing you can get to tapping into the sales ‘matrix.’
Learning a process can be helpful, but those neural pathways to successful interactions usually aren’t well formed till a rep has to go through the experience herself, many times.
Also, sales processes can be harmful when used by reps who essentially have no idea when to deviate from a script. This brings up funny stories of reps creating a sales obstacle by asking someone to verbalize a ‘pain point’ when a prospect has expressed clear interest in purchasing the product already.
Ironically, bad, convoluted sales processes are more common in professional sales environments than they are in most forms of commerce, where a customer can simply ask for something to get it right away.
We can run Santa Prisca Silver from anywhere we want to, but this also means trusting folks on the production end to get those silver bangles shipped expeditiously. By the time I left, we had fulfilled enough orders successfully that I was confident in our operations.
They could keep up with the steadily increasing demand, getting Mexican silver earrings into the hands of folks abroad. This required stressing to staff that quality and timeliness had to be maintained, not only to keep customers satisfied with their orders, but to maintain retention.
The next locale would be Bogota, Colombia, a stop-over before ostensibly heading to a semi-purgatorial existence in Puerto Escondido. Next would be days of surfing. Beach bonfires, writing, adding product, building up the media channels. Contemplating a permanent move to New York. And also the occasional sales call at a small local jewelry retail shop, when their supplies ran low.
Looking for the right combination of countries to travel to throughout the years has always been hard. Latin America, though, with its sights, food, weather, people, culture and sense of adventure make it ideal. Moreso for those who need to work occasionally during US hours. Our store is obviously open all day online, but being in the Americas still makes everything easier.
Both Medellin and Bogota are recommendable as long as you’re forewarned about some of the potential dangers. If you’re not apprised, some areas can be muy peligroso. My taxi driver from the airport, Nestor, who was amazingly friendly and had Google Translate on his phone hooked up to the loudspeakers in his car, actually warned me not to go out in La Candelaria (in Bogota) after 7pm. This was a bit disconcerting, but advice like this hasn’t held us back much.
I have had a few bizarre experiences, like having someone knock on my street-level window to ask for change, but I’ve never felt in danger here. I was just glad not to be taken on a million-dollar taxi ride, where a few of the driver’s friends hop in and escort you to a series of ATMs and help themselves to your cash.
Just yesterday in Bogota, there was a protest of reportedly over 10,000 people in response to government cutting pensions. By dusk, the protestors had dispersed from the main square, but in some streets they were still throwing rocks at heavily armored police vehicles. It’s certainly an interesting journey, to be growing a business and experiencing the ups and downs of life in so many places!
If you’re with a jewelry retailer or are on a solo mission, seeking premium jewelry for a friend or for yourself, check out our wholesale silver jewelry selection. All pieces are handmade. Pricing for individual pieces ranges from just a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Currently, most of our clientele is in the US. We deliver in three to five business days. Reach out if you have any questions, or feel free to comment below.