I traveled to a small village near Ubud in Bali recently and found myself visiting a beautiful garden called Bali Pulina.

I had taken an early morning journey into the mountains to photograph the terraced rice paddies at dawn.  On the way back to my villa for breakfast my driver asked if I would like to visit a coffee plantation.  It was still early and I had time so, going with the flow, I ended up at this beautiful little garden in the foothills of Bali’s largest volcanic mountain peak, Mt Agung.

We parked just outside a stairway that seemed to disappear into a forest.  I walked up these stairs and found myself in an amazing food garden.  It seemed this jungle forest was all eatable.

My driver pointed out various plants that captivated my senses.  Cinnamon trees, cloves, vanilla bean vines, citronella and lemon grasses, ginger and an amazing array of other tropical delights.  The tastes and smells were tantalising.

Further into the lush garden I find yellow and red cocoa trees and coffee bushes.  I am then introduced to the Asian Palm Civet, an animal that eats coffee berries and digests the outer flesh defecating the coffee bean.  I was then told how this coffee, Kopi Luwak, was prized and fetched a premium price around the world.

Wandering further through the garden I was introduced to a small traditional thatched hut where various spices from the garden had been harvested and dried.  There was a wonderful little open fire on which washed and dried coffee beans had been freshly roasted.  The smell was amazing.

Around another corner I came to another hut in which water was being boiled and poured into sampling glasses that contained an amazing array of delicious coffee and tea blends.

By now I wanted to sample everything.  The smells wafting through the air were incredible.  I was introduced to each of the various samples and was told that everything was free.  All 8 samples including fresh roasted and ground coffee, ginger teas, vanilla coffee, chocolate coffee and fresh roasted hot chocolates.  If, however, I wanted to sample the Kopi Luwak it would cost 50,000 rupiah, about USD$5.00 for a small cup, which was still remarkably inexpensive.

Of course, by now, I wanted to sample everything and felt compelled to test the Kopi Luwak.

I was then invited down a set of stair to a larger room that sat perched on the side of a tropical gorge.  The vista that presented was breathtaking.  Distant groomed mountains, covered in rice paddies layered against an early morning sky and lush gardens, were spectacular.

The tasting plate arrives, beautifully presented.  I sit watching the view whilst sampling a delicious and aromatic selection of wonderful home-grown tropical delights.  Pure bliss.

Time slips away and I am carried back as I reflect on a people and civilisation that has farmed these mountains for centuries.  A beautiful and gentle people, that love to laugh and play and seem so generous in so many ways.

Finally it’s time to leave and I reluctantly wander down a little path that wraps its way along the cliff face back toward the car.

I round a corner and am presented with a small gift shop that contains beautifully packaged samples of all the wonderful delights I have just experienced.  By now I am ready to buy.  I am ready to reciprocate the generosity shown me, by purchasing a selection of spices and coffees for both myself and as gifts for my friends.

Everything was so well packaged and presented.  The entire morning had been a real delight. I was so happy to be buying little parcels from such beautiful people that had been so generous from the time I had arrived.

On the drive back to my villa I reflected on the morning.  It was such a wonderful experience and an amazing lesson on how to package and present a product and make a sale.

The slow reveal was so powerful.  By the time I had been presented with the product it was completely natural to want to purchase something.  The journey was all part of the sale and the law of reciprocity was so compelling that I felt obliged, but not obligated, to buy.

What products and or services do you have on sale?  Have you managed to find a way to present them to the market in a way that takes your client on a journey?  That tantalises their senses and compels them to want to buy?  The slow reveal can be an incredibly powerful sales technique.

I am reminded of a time in my advertising agency when we were pitching for a large account.  We used the slow reveal to build suspense and create the show by placing all of the pitch materials on the walls around our boardroom and covering them with paper so that the client couldn’t see anything.  We invited the client in for the presentation, spent time with coffee and cake and going through the campaign.  We went into detail around the target market and the story behind the visuals.  We discussed how, what we were about to present, had tested well and how we had chosen a world renowned photographer to capture and present the quality of visual that would help position the client’s product.

During the presentation the client became so excited.  They wanted us to reveal the visuals but we kept building the story, the layers until the client had, in their mind, already bought the campaign. We then began to slowly unveil the creatives, one by one, whilst continuing with a very compelling story.  By the end of the presentation the client simply had to have what we were presenting.  The slow reveal had again worked its magic again.

3 Responses to The Slow Reveal

  1. having shared the experience in Ubud with you all I can say is that at no time did I feel like I was in any kind of ‘buyer/seller’ relationship with the people, place or product. the whole journey from arrival to departure felt like an intimate insight into the life and tradition of people who loved their land, loved their food, loved having guests visit and share their lives.

    • mark falzon says:

      So true Paul. Thanks for the distinction. It is so wonderful to see people doing what they love and loving what they do. A foundational principle, I think, for life and business. From that special place, magic happens.

  2. Mark this is fine reportage that lets us feel the moment with you. Thanks I do miss that world. Love, as ever Edols

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