When I was director of marketing for a national company, my office was situated right next to that of the president’s. One day, he walked by my door and saw me sitting in the visitor chair at the opposite side of the desk than my normal chair. I was just sitting.
The president stopped in the doorway and asked me, “What are you doing?”
I answered, “I’m looking at the company from the customer’s point of view.”
We are often so busy working at our own jobs that we can overlook the point of view our customer sees. Therefore, it is good to either take a moment to “sit in their chair,” or hire an outside eye (trained consultant) who can identify just what it is the customer sees…and needs.
As a hired marketing consultant, I have made the tiniest tweaks in someone’s presentation, look, office, retail space or marketing strategy that have made huge differences the next time they went to make a sale.
For example, I worked with a woman who put together a high-end crafts and specialty items show twice a year. Her problem was that her attendance had been dropping each year until the point where she wasn’t sure she could continue holding the much-loved show or close the business. My point of view was that every year she placed the same booths in the same spot, used the same commercials, and promoted the same vendors, although about 20% of her vendors were new each show.
For the next show I instructed her to promote only the new vendors, building up the excitement about what was new at the show. I also asked her to change up the floor plan a bit, moving some vendors into new spots if possible. Attendees get used to seeing the same vendors in the same location year after year, becoming blind to them after a while. And although the vendor may love that location, being in a new spot will change things up , making them a highlight—something new and changed—in the visitor’s eyes.
The client followed my advice and for the next show, her attendance shot up, and has remained high as she implements this strategy ever year. With this fresh approach, people are excited to come and see what is new instead of thinking, “I’ve seen it before, I’ll skip it this year.”
Closing a Sale
In another example, a Realtor was not winning her listing presentations and wondered why. I had her do a mock presentation to me as a potential home seller. Right off the bat, I knew what was wrong because I was looking at it from the seller’s point of view. This Realtor was using a canned presentation, obviously provided by her brokerage, that began with all kinds of information, statistics and charts about the brokerage. It was at least 15 minutes before she began talking about “my” house.
I simply had her reverse her presentation to get immediately into what was important to me—the sale of my home—the “what’s in it for me.” I asked her to speak to me from the heart instead of using a canned approach, and I pointed out that the facts about the brokerage were backup support that may or may not be needed. Excited to try this new approach, she contacted me after her next presentation and exclaimed, “I won the listing!”
Sometimes, all it takes is to look at what you are doing through your customer’s eyes, but that isn’t always easy. That’s why you need an outside eye to look at your website copy, your presentation, and perhaps even your physical location. Successful athletes all have coaches who can tweak their performance to higher triumph; take for example a slight change in a golf swing. And companies hire mystery shoppers to report back—in detail—a firsthand customer experience. I should know, I was trained by and have worked as a mystery shopper for one of the largest organizations for many, many years.
Why shouldn’t business owners take advantage of that outside eye to improve their own business success? There are probably small tweaks that can make a big difference in peak performance.
Let All the Buzz Help You Increase Sales
If you would like an experienced marketing professional to take a look at your business from your customer’s point of view, contact All the Buzz. We’ll be glad to help you make more sales.