Marketing lessons to learn from cow salesmen | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 16, 2018

Marketing lessons to learn from cow salesmen

When it comes to gaining knowledge about marketing, we draw our attention to the strategies put into play by globally recognised brands and tech giants. The way these companies manipulate and apply their respective game plans while approaching the market and potential customers, the ways they promote themselves and their knowledge about the market itself baffles us all. It's astonishing as to how accurate their market predictions are and how often their gambles within the market turn out to be fruitful. Their tactical approach in today's world market is what separates them from the rest of their competition.

These giant companies in question have a highly qualified and experienced marketing team. They handle everything related to the company's marketing strategies starting from publicity campaigns to social media. Compared to them, an ordinary cow salesman doesn't have such a team. He is basically on his own with one or two associates at times. No marketing degree, no advertisement campaigns for his livestock, still he has what it takes to make you buy his service/commodity. But the question is, how does he do it? What is there to learn from the marketing skills that a regular cow salesman puts into play?  

With Eid-ul-Azha upon us, we will soon find these salesmen working their magic and making us buy the livestock they'll be selling. As we watch them go through the thick bundle of money we are bound to give them for their service and product, we are sure to learn a few things about marketing from these fine men.



Be it an electronic gadget or cosmetics for your skin care, the salesman will have the attitude that he or she knows more about the product than you do. Even if you're the developer of that particular gadget or cosmetics product, these subtle men and women will still make you believe that your knowledge of the product is inferior to theirs and eventually, you will start to question your own creation. Same goes for the cow dealers. They will end up making you fall for different cow facts you have never heard of. Some might be true, some may not. But the moment you let him get to your mind is the moment that he has pretty much sealed the deal with you.



So you think that the thicker the cow's thighs are, the more meat it's gonna yield? Sorry to disappoint you, but you're wrong. Well, at least that's what your dealer will try to make you believe. This is more or less the second phase of the “seller knows best” part. In this strategy, your arguments regarding the product and your methods of judging the product's quality will be nullified by the seller. This will end up creating even more confusion inside your mind whether your knowledge about the commodity is as broad as you think.



A few years back, on the day before Eid-ul-Azha, the prices of cows plummeted. The ones that were priced at around fifty thousand taka were being sold with the asking price of around thirty thousand taka. The reason was quite simple. There were more cows than buyers. In simple economic terms, the supply exceeded the demand. As a result of this situation, cow salesmen had to sell out their stocks cheaper than the usual price. Many of them faced huge losses as well. The following year, people predicted that the day before Eid will get them the best deals on cows and goats with the least price tags. To their utter shock and surprise, the markets were almost empty that day. Hardly a few cows and salesmen were to be seen. This went in favour of the cow salesmen. They tripled the price tag on their cows and the general people, finding no other alternative, had to buy them. They didn't want to wait longer as it was quite uncertain whether more cows would arrive in the markets or not. The salesmen were dead stuck on their steep prices. They know when times are tough; people will definitely buy the product or service, no matter the price.  



“Buy three packs of Mrs. Ramen and get a bowl free!” “Buy the family pack and get two regular packs free!” “Buy this regular sized pack and get a label on top of it that says 30% extra!” As Bangladeshis, it is in our nature to fall for these “free” offers. Cow salesmen have figured this out as well. So the next time you find them giving away a goat free with the purchase of a cow, don't be surprised. 



What would make you want to spend more money on a product despite the existence of comparatively cheaper substitutes to that product? It may be the brand itself that influences you to purchase something at a higher price, or it may be the scarcity of that product; a rare item. Established car manufacturers often build cars in small quantities and have them priced extremely high. These car companies don't target the general public to buy these cars, but a select few individuals from the affluent class who don't mind spending a lot of cash on such rare items. Their marketing or promotion campaigns show less of the car's features and focus more on how the car is a one of a kind in terms of its limited existence. Some cow salesmen apply this very method. If you've ever visited the cow showrooms during Eid-ul-Azha, you will find some enormous cows in the stands with their proud dealers/owners standing next to them. These huge beasts, decorated with colourful ornaments and flowers are the main attractions of that particular place. Their dealers know that only a select few would willingly approach his lot to buy these beasts. These select few are their target customers, who tend to be apart from other citizens. 


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