Have you ever watched someone turn on the charm or behave differently when they’re in front of a potential customer or client, as opposed to how they behave “normally”? Have you ever seen a sales clerk flash a smile at the well-heeled customer, while casting eyes down at the blue jeans-clad teenager?
One of my favourite scenes comes from the movie “Pretty Woman“. Julia Roberts first enters a high-end clothing shop and gets the cold shoulder from the snooty clerks who diss and dismiss her. She later returns, dressed to the 9′s, arms full of purchases from other high-end stores, breezes in and says:
“Hi: do you remember me?”
“No, I’m sorry.”
“I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me. You work on commission, right?”
“Big mistake. Big. Huge.”
I. LOVE. THAT. SCENE. Not just because Julia gets her day, but because it points out so beautifully how business should NOT be done.
Do you and your employees realize that every single person you come into contact with is at least one of the following:
Let’s look at each one:
Customer/Client - You can be sure that the person who cut you off in traffic and you then flipped the bird to is likely to be the very potential client you were speeding to meet with. Or the person who rammed their shopping cart into your achilles at the grocery store, and you turned and reamed off a blue streak of venom will show up in your shop the next day. We need to realize that every moment of every day we are connecting with, slicing by, ignoring or paying attention to potential customers and clients. Just because they haven’t come into your store (yet), or they’re not in your business environment, doesn’t mean that they aren’t prospective or existing customers. Flip the bird at your peril.
Champion - This is someone who, even without asking, champions your cause or your business. They’re so jazzed by what you do for them that they use every tool and opportunity available to sing your praises. And with the tools of social media, they can broadcast your benefits to the world. Champions are often your best customers; the ones you treat well, pay attention to and serve. And shouldn’t we strive to make all of our customers our champions?
Ambassador – This person is your emissary: someone to whom you’ve “done the ask”. You’ve asked them to provide a testimonial, spread the good word, write an article about you or, in some way, let others know of the value and service you provide. They might not even be or become a customer, but they are prepared to let others know of you and your business because they believe in you, in what you do, and you’ve ASKED them to.
Connector - Connectors are people who love nothing more than introducing people they “know, like and trust” to others of similar interest, business or opportunity. Connectors often don’t need to be asked: they just love connecting people together! You never know when someone will offer an introduction to another who can benefit you and your business.
Supplier – The world is full of people who can supply us with goods and services, support and information vital to our business and our lives. All you have to do is “put it out there”. Maybe you’re looking for someone who supplies left-handed scissors, corrugated paper or bulk tongue depressors…whatever you might need, there’s someone(s) out there who can supply it…and often you find them when you aren’t really looking.
What’s it all add up to? When we fail to realize that every single person we meet, interact with, ignore, offend or flip the bird to is one of the above, we miss opportunity. And opportunities missed add up to business unrealized, friendships unencountered and possibilities that vaporize.
Are you recognizing that everyone you meet is “one of these”? Turn up the volume on your everyday, everywhere, all-the-time awareness and your marketing will take a giant step forward.