- the Key to St. Lucia's Future at all Levels of Industry
Listening to the early morning newscast on Friday, 12 July, 2002 I couldn't
help but reach for pen and paper and began writing this article.
The big news was that Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony is willing to get
into the marketing act to promote the sales of our banana whenever he
is visiting the U.K. I do hope WIBDECO will respond positively to this
offer. I always contend that our politicians are the movers and shakers
when it comes to promoting the well being of our nation. They are the
ones to lead, to motivate the people and most of all to give the people
The Prime Minister in his gesture has given all St. Lucians a clear signal
that Banana is important to our survival to the point that he is prepared
to put on his salesman hat and meet the competition head on with Integrity
Once again the need for collaboration among agencies comes to the fore.
The linkage between Tourism and Agriculture is very necessary, beginning
with joint promotions. Every Tourist Board sponsored advertisement should
carry a beautiful young lady eating a banana. All Bill Boards promoting
Travel, Hotel, etc. should carry a banana insert.
Every flight in and out of St. Lucia and the other Windward's banana producing
islands should serve a banana to each passenger. When they are in St.
Lucia they must wake up to a breakfast served with banana included. Key
tourist attractions around the island must have a well decorated vendor's
stall offering bananas.
We are not doing enough at the local level to promote bananas, after all
banana is our business - promote it!!
While we seek to promote bananas, we must not forget our exotic fruits.
Other more developed Caribbean countries have fruit juices depot at the
cruise berths. It may be a good way to introduce Tourist to our island
to have similar booths offering banana and various beverages which are
made with the inclusion of bananas.
Let us get all visitors to our shores hook-ed on bananas so that on their
return to their homeland, especially the Europeans that they will demand
Windward banana from their green groceries and supermarkets while introducing
it to their friends and families. For many, it is a discovery. They never
realised that banana could be so sweet.
Our tour guides should be brought into the action to promote bananas in
a positive manner. Not just casually pointing out to tourists that they
are in a banana farming area. A stop at a farm should be included in their
Looking at the further implications of promoting banana in flight, all
airlines flying the Windward Islands route, especially BWIA and Air Jamaica
should be requested to show short promotional informercials on all aspects
of the banana industry. In the field, at the wharf, on the shelves, in
the homes of consumers. Some market research can also result from the
in-flight consumption of bananas to provide information on the acceptability
of the fruit.
I am ready to debate - that the messenger is just as important as the
message when it comes to salesmanship in general and marketing of a destination
in particular. I get the feeling that in many instances, passion is absent.
How committed are you about what you are promoting. There are many sales
people who promote products and do not use them. There is a rule in salesmanship
- you must apply empathy. Will you do what you are asking the consumer
It is like mirror reflection though you may be beating you chest recommending
a product when you do not have faith in it - that reality cannot hide.
Sincerity is vital. The client always sees the real you unless he wants
to ignore it.
St. Lucia needs a team of trained investment warriors, preaching the gospel
(the good news) of St. Lucia and its place in the English Speaking Caribbean
as a premier destination for business and pleasure and the many good things
it has to offer including bananas.
Although, I have about 40 years experience in salesmanship, I availed
myself of the opportunity to participate in a sales course sponsored by
Suncrest Realtors Ltd. earlier this month . Mr. Roger Sutherland, Director
of M&C Group of Companies presented a three hour lecture on "Integrity
Selling" which directed participants including myself to a new path
of selling, applying a technique that is guaranteed to get results.
In closing, may-be, it might be a good idea for government officials who
have to market St. Lucia to expose themselves to a sales porgramme designed
by leading sales and marketing professionals on the island.
Get on board the sales/promotion train and set St. Lucia on the road to
prosperity as never experienced before. Keep the Faith - God is in control!!