Empathy – Think Like a Customer

UPBEAT – Monday Morning Motivation
Edition 92 – First published Monday 30 May 2011
Clinton Jones, President of Central Park Toastmasters

Keeping up with the Joneses

Hi, birthdays are cool and great fun to recognise and celebrate. They are the one day every year each of us deserves the right to feel special. So it was with great pleasure on Sunday that we helped Harry Jones the hound dog do just that. We packed up the dog troop truck with all the dog party essentials; canine treats to munch on like tux bikkies and pigs ears, party cups , hats and poppers, plus plenty of water and the favorite rugger ball together with girlfriend Kate and best mate Oscar (photo to follow once Harry gets tech sorted) and all headed for the local park.

Harry had an amazing time like every birthday boy should celebrating his 8th year in style. The equivalent to 56 human years he didn’t look a year over 40 ! (so he reckons).

In a short speech during the formalities in between eating, drinking, playing footy, chasing ducks and pukekos Harry paid tribute to his friends and family both human and canine for ensuring he is the most ‘upbeat’ hound around. He went on to say that whilst he occasionally felt the pressure of being a ‘Jones’ hound he enjoyed the challenge of setting the pace for others to follow (goes with the territory bro). A big day was had by all ensuring an early night for 50 yr plus dad and dog!

It felt good to do something for my best buddy on his special day. It reminded me of how important birthdays are and even if we don’t like being reminded that another year has ticked over it is a time to reflect and be thankful. I hope the same applies for you personally and for all those in your lives (pets included!)

I hope your weekend was equally as enjoyable, have a great week, cheers Jonesey !

From left: Best mate Oscar, Harry's girlfriend Kate (seated) and Harry

 Harry the birthday hound had a ‘Scooby Doo’ time at his dog party in the park !

Selling the Sizzle

Empathy =T.L.C. Think Like a Customer. Karl Albrecht

I rode my motorbike to work one day last week. I needed a break from peak hour traffic jams not to mention the need for an adrenaline rush!

Careful what you wish for! Crikey! I sure achieved both by arriving ahead of time and buzzing after a helter skelter dash between the rows of peak hour commuters! Feel the fear and do it anyway!

What an amazing day this set up for me, I didn’t realise how many people are into motor bikes. They either have them or have owned them or secretly wish they still did…they all certainly had an opinion or experience to share.

The empathy this created with my customers was huge as we raved on about the bikes we have had or wished we did and the great times we had in the past and our many escapades (with the obligatory embellishments of course).

This reminded me of how important it is to establish areas of common interest with customers and to use these to build and develop our relationships with them. Just like remembering Harry’s birthday and celebrating it every one we meet or know has things in their lives that are important to them. This can be as simple as remembering a name or a birthday (we know they all have both of these !) or establishing and developing common areas of interest (like sports, pets or hobbies).

There are simple ways of doing this from roaring up to an appointment on a motorbike to noticing photos, certifcates and books in offices. The key is to be aware of the tell tale signs, ask plenty of open questions (what, where, when, who) and to listen rather than talk once you have established an area of common interest. Done correctly this will open doors and assist you to build closer, stronger relationships with existing and potential customers.

It is a great feeling to get to know people so well that they become part of an extended business family and doing deals becomes a natural occurrence because of the trust and closeness that is engendered as a result….sales Eutopia!  Maybe more motorbike rides coming up!….Good luck team ! 

“Your customers don’t care how much you know…until they know how much you care”  Gerhard Gschwandtner

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