How to Repel or Attract Customers
In a previous newsletter issue I wrote about two competing jewelry store in my small town of Watertown, Wisconsin.
One store made us feel horrible, and the other made us feel wonderful. That story brought in the most response we've ever received. If you'd like to read the story again, here's the link. http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/e-pt-001-first60seconds.html
Here's another reader's response to the story:
I have my doubts concerning your Jewelry store story. I'm not at all keen on marketing and I don't own a business. I just like your web site and articles because they are down-to-earth and write about everyday situations.
Anyway, I did not fully agree with your Jewelry store article. The thing is, I HATE salespersons. I hate it when they keep asking you if you need help, showing you different things they think you might like, telling you to try this and try that, wanting to have your e-mail to send you a catalogue or whatever. They're terribly annoying and they 'bug me'!
I avoid the stores where I know there are what I call "clingy" salespersons. I feel the salesperson should be there to greet you and smile. They should only come around if you call her/him to help you find something. They can sometimes give you a piece of advice if she/he feels what you originally chose is not exactly up to your expectations.
Well, I hope you don't mind this reaction. I'm certainly not trying to bring your marketing techniques down. This is only the cultural reflection of a foreign customer which I hope you find interesting!
Here's a final question that could serve as an excellent debate for my class: 'According to you, how should the Ideal salesperson behave?'
Thanks for that! And I hope you don't mind me finding inspiration in your site.
Thank you so much for your note. It's good to know that you find some of my information interesting even though you're not in the business field of marketing.
I must say, that I don't disagree with most of what you have said.
I too hate clingy, pushy, pesty salespeople. In fact, I will probably write an article in the near future about some of our experiences with those types of salespeople.
Like you, my wife and I also avoid businesses that have those type of salespeople. Those aren't professional salespeople. They're simply annoying, irritating people. They just aren't very good at their profession.
Annoying and irritating people is never
a good marketing technique
There really isn't an effective marketing technique based on irritating and annoying your prospective customers.
My main point in this article was to show a major problem in the business world; business owners and employees who treat customers with disdain; who literally drive their customers and potential customers right into the arms of their competitors.
I have many years of personal consulting under my belt, and one of the biggest and most common problems I have had to help solve is businesses that treat their customers as a nuisance, a bother, an inconvenience.
I can understand employees, especially young employees, treating customers rudely or indifferently, but it is even worse when the business owner condones the practice or even--can you believe it--encourages it. It is a huge problem.
A personal example
One of my consulting clients owned a small fast food restaurant. The restaurant had been a thriving business for over 60 years. But since he had taken over they were losing customers by the hundreds every month. At that rate they would have been out of business within a few years.
What was the problem?
He was hiring just anybody to man his cash registers and take the orders. The young, teenage employees that he was putting in this vital position, hated waiting on people and made sure that they showed their indifference and disdain to every customer who came into his establishment.
We knew this because I had immediately implemented a customer survey system that consisted of a small survey form that every customer was handed. Those customers let us know in no uncertain terms how they were made to feel. And many of them wrote that they were treated in such an unfriendly and unprofessional manner that they would never come back.
Once I showed these results to my client, he immediately began implementing my solutions. Hire happy, friendly, competent young people to serve your customers with professionalism and respect.
A simple solution results in an overnight turnaround
Overnight, his business turned around, and today it is once again a thriving enterprise with a never-ending line of happy, profitable customers.
So my article was meant to show one situation--and the story was 100% true--in which one store treated us poorly, and the other treated us like we were their most important customers--even through we didn't purchase anything.
(Side note: Since that first encounter we have actually made a number of expensive purchases from this jewelry store and we have shared this story with dozens of our friends and tens of thousands of subscribers to this newsletter.)
Everyone wants to be treated with respect
I'm sure you would agree that you want to be treated with professionalism and respect.
The salesperson and the business owner in store B, treated us with respect. They made us feel important. They didn't push anything on us. They didn't ask us to buy anything.
So much of what I write about is focused on treating your customers the way you would like to be treated. And this story supports that.
Marketing is all about helping people get what they want.
I'm not just talking about the products and services they want. I'm also talking about many other things that they want.
No matter what type of business you own, you can benefit by surveying your customers. Make a simple survey form with 5-6 key questions on it that will help you determine how you are doing in professionalism, friendliness, competence, cleanliness, quality, etc.
Let your customers rate you from 1 - 5; 1 being poor and 5 being excellent.
Add up your results and convert them into percents.
If you feel your quality should bring 95% in the excellent category, but your customers are only rating you 67% in that area, you have just learned something very valuable.
Then you and your staff can roll up your sleeves and begin improving your business systems and your customer ratings.
This simple technique alone could be worth thousands to you and your business. I know it was to all of my past clients.
Perhaps if you owned a business and your livelihood as well as the livelihood of your employees depended on how well you marketed your business--how well you provided all the things that customers wanted--you would see marketing in a much broader perspective.
I see marketing as being a part of all relationships in life, not just business relationships.
Not helping people get what they want in life often causes conflict--imagine treating your spouse or partner with indifference or even rudeness, what would the result be?
But when you help people get what they want, most often the results are cooperation, success and happiness.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Here's hoping that you get everything you want in life.