Having worked in a top brand multinational company for nearly 20 years, one message that was drummed into me was “Delight Your Customers!”
The idea that we were there for the people who used our products (& therefore made us successful) was second nature for just about everyone in the company. We knew that to delight a customer was highly effective, whilst to hack-off, disappoint or disgruntle a customer was on a par with committing economic suicide.
Everyone was taught that people buy from people & if that experience is a poor one it reflects badly; certainly on the seller; sometimes on the product; sometimes on both. Everyone we meet or interact with is our customer.
Very few of us were in Sales or Marketing yet we knew how critical our customers were: they were the ones that gave us our jobs.
… and so to today’s little excitement …
I have a friend who is looking to buy a top-of-the-range keyboard/piano. They have around 40 years of playing experience, have worked with a range of different keyboards throughout their development: they know what they are after.
Now I would have thought that someone contacting a shop with a budget of around £3000 to spend would be an attractive customer?
From the start of their telephone enquiry they were ‘sold’ a totally different type & make of keyboard based on all sorts of strengths
- “They are the market leader“
- “They created the digital piano“
- “Theirs is the ‘best’ piano sound“
The salesman had completely missed the point of his job! He also seemed to have lost sight of what a customer is!
What my friend wanted was advice & help on the keyboard that they had already chosen. Other models had (for whatever reason) been excluded. The investigations had been conducted & this particular make & model was what they were after.
Yet, despite trying to bring the enthusiastic but errant salesman back to this fact, he continued to recommend what he had in the beginning. He was essentially ignoring the skill & experience of my friend, judging his own recommendations to be more important.
In short, there was a big disconnect! He wasn’t listening!
It was as sensible as someone with a family of 5 saying, “I’d like to buy a Rolls-Royce please” only to be told “You’d be better off with a Ford GT because they are much faster & Ford created the first mass-produced car!”
What our salesman missed was the skill of listening to his customer, finding out their needs & wants & then coming back with the help & advice that was requested & relevant.
The end result is that my friend will be taking their £3000 to spend at another music shop where they get the help they want & the keyboard they want. In return, by performing this simple task the shop will get my friend’s money 🙂
This prompted me to consider do I really listen to what my friends are saying & respond to that, or do I decide what’s best for them before I’ve really heard their request?
One brings mutual benefit; the other brings discord, disharmony & discontentment.
Just a thought.
Take care until next time …