Years ago, I had an opportunity to watch a friend at work in a “tack” (equestrian supplies) store. This happened on a busy Saturday, and it was a revelation to see how patiently and helpfully she matched customers and their horses with the right saddles and bridles.
By patient questioning and listening, she focused on the areas of horsemanship each customer indulged in, taking into account their budget, and what would give them the best performance and comfort for their needs. She repeated the same focused, patient procedure for Western boots, specialty horse feed, hoof products, supplements, riding apparel, hoof picks and English safetyapproved helmets, too. No product was too “small potatoes”, if it would help her customer and his horse enjoy a better equine experience.
It was clear that my normally-shy, horse-loving friend, Amanda, was having an absolute blast – but there wasn’t a shred of ego in it. She was not “showing off” her knowledge; all her efforts were 100% customer-focused.
During a rare lull, I couldn’t help commenting: “Amanda, I thought you absolutely hated selling. I remember you trying to sell those vacuum cleaners, and quitting in tears, less than a week into it. You swore then you’d never sell anything again – and here you are today, you’ve made over $6,000 in sales, right before my eyes, in 5
less than a morning.
I’m stunned at how well you do it, and how much you seem to enjoy it. You’ve got those customers avoiding the other two girls, lining up to wait just for you. They’re eating out of your hand.”
I’ll never forget how surprised Amanda looked. “But this isn’t `selling’,” she blurted out. “I’m helping them.”
And that’s how I’ve approached my own marketing, since, with every customer or client. (It’s a fun way to live!)