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22 May 2017

A more commercial (and helpful) approach to business

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Genuine story from the weekend...........

On Thursday I placed an order with a florist for my Mum’s birthday on Saturday.

Here’s how the conversation went. Spot the flaw:

Florist: What kind of flowers would you like?

Me: Anything, just not red and white together (my mum is superstitious about this combination!)

Florist: How much would you like to spend?

Me: About £35

Florist: What message would you like on the card?

Me: Happy Birthday Mum, love from blah blah blah xxx

Florist: Where should we deliver them to?

Me: (gave address)

Florist: When would you like them delivered?

Me: On her birthday, so Saturday please

Florist: Can I take your card number please?

Me: 1234 5678 blah blah

Florist: Thank you. Good Bye

“So what’s wrong with that conversation?” I hear you ask.

Well, nothing really.

It was a functional conversation. I got what I wanted which was to have a bunch of flowers turn up on my mum’s birthday (who, by the way, was delighted with them).

But from a business perspective (from the florist's point of view) the conversation could have gone so much better!

You see, if the florist had adopted a ‘lifetime value’ mindset for this order as opposed to a ‘transaction’ mindset she could have made significantly more profit from the conversation.

Here are a few questions the florist could have asked me.

Nothing salesy here. Nothing too intrusive. Just quite helpful:

  • Is it a special birthday? (“no but next year she’ll be 70”)
  • Are there any other family occasions coming up which we could help you with? (“yes actually, my parents Golden Anniversary is in June next year”)
  • We find that a lot of men call us at short notice trying to arrange flowers for mums, wives, sisters etc. Would you like us to make you look good with all the women in your life? (“yes, please. Anything to get some brownie points!!”)
  • Would you like us to take a note of any birthdays or anniversaries so that we can give you reminder a few days before? (“yes please…can we automate this so it just happens!!!!)

The florist on the other end of the phone was very pleasant and could easily have asked these questions in a very conversational way….

And do you know what?....she’d definitely have created the opportunity for at least a couple of other sales.

But the next time I have to send flowers, I’m going to have to repeat the same conversation AND I’ll probably go through the same process of googling a florist in the local area….which may or may not be the same one!

Too often in business we are leaving far too much money on the table by adopting a short-term ‘shopper’ focus.

What if instead we adopted a longer-term ‘lifetime value’ focus?

At ActionCOACH we teach businesses to implement a customer service system based around the ‘Ladder of Loyalty’ which is designed to systematically build a relationship with people to the point that they become Raving Fans of your business.

There are seven rungs on the ladder….and “Shopper” is only the 3rd rung!

What are you doing to move people up the ladder?

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how the ladder of loyalty could change the way you interact with your marketplace. Or if you’d like to know more about how we work with owners to help grow their business why not come along to our next client workshop.

And finally...to all the men out there....send some flowers to the special woman in your life!.....or at least that's what my wife tells me to do!!! ;)