makes a person want to do business with one business but not
with another? I’m not
talking about wishy-washy preferences here, like “Well, I’d prefer
this to that”. I’m
talking about a definite want to do business with a particular
business, and a definite aversion to another.
“I can’t wait to buy from so-and-so, but I wouldn’t go to
such-and-such if my life depended on it.”
This is one of those questions of the ages… a timeless problem
that business owners face day in and day out.
Do you ever ask yourself that question?
Do you ever wonder why someone picks you to do business with
instead of the guy down the street?
I got some terrific insight into this dilemma in an informal
discussion with my sister last week.
She was casually telling me about an antique store she happened to
visit and after being in there for only a few minutes, she found herself wanting
to find something to buy. Imagine
that! Wouldn’t you like to say that you had that effect on your
customers? I asked her what
made her feel that way. Her
answer, like the answers to many questions that seem complex, was very
profound and very simple.
“They really cared.”
I was floored. Of
course that makes a big difference, but I never consciously thought about
it in those terms.
She had gone in to see a particular lamp, and the person who helped
her said that the design had a special meaning and went out of his way to
find out what it meant, the history of the piece, etc.
It was an attitude of being helpful without being pushy.
It was the personal touch.
She went on to tell me about a chain of drugstores in her area
where it is common knowledge that the people who work there just don’t
care. Common knowledge!
Can you imagine operating a business where your customers expect
to be treated badly??? You
can ask where something is and they will say, “Aisle 13”, sound
annoyed, and not even look up from what they are doing.
Well excuuuuuuuuuse me! She
avoids that place like the plague. She
says that their badges should say “Hi!
My name is Mary and I don’t care.”
The difference is in the personal touch.
It has nothing to do with the size of your business or how many
employees you have. Employees of large companies like a drug store chain can
show it, and small businesses may not.
Instead of the scenario above, how about this:
“Where’s the toothpaste?”
Stop what they’re doing, give a big sincere smile, “Here, let
me show you. What brand are you looking for?”, then get up, walk to the
proper place, find their brand, hand it to them, and then “Can I help
you find something else?”
Nordstrom’s Department Stores is a large company whose employees
are legendary in their personal touch.
You should be too. It
will make an amazing difference in your business.
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