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FentonWaltz - Retail Keynote Speaker - Consulting, Workshops, Keynotes, Training Materials

Yes, It’s all about ME!

There is a place where customers are the center of the universe; it just doesn’t happen to be the universe I am shopping in lately. And don’t blame the mall! The creation of the mall did not kill service as we know it. Malls are just the most current manifestation of long-ago marketplaces from more ancient times where buyers and sellers would mingle and talk and sell and connect in truly meaningful ways. So, no excuses, okay? ▪ Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s what I want and need: I need salespeople who are on my side. I want sales associates who will be an advocate for me. Help me. Protect me. Keep me safe from both physical and monetary harm. ▪ Inspire me with your enthusiasm and caring. Light my flame. Connect with me. It’s an invisible thing, but when you go out of your way to connect with me, I know it! If you get excited about the merchandise, I’ll get excited, too! But it’s your job to go first – not mine! Entertain me by telling me a story about your company, product or service. Or, better yet, tell me about you. You might be shocked when I return the favor by telling you about me – and what I want to buy from you! ▪ Shopping experiences that lack a real emotional connection feel hollow to me. Ask me questions. Help me see a better me, and do it without making me feel stupid or inferior for what I don’t know. ▪ Make it easy for me to buy. Do whatever you can to keep me out of your “enter-here, rope-guided, football-field-length, never-ending” cash register line! If I want to stand in a line for an hour I’ll go to DisneyLand on a Saturday in July! And if I do get trapped in your line, talk to me, not each other. Distract me. Entertain me if you can! It’s not that hard, it just takes the desire on your part to make me happy and comfortable. ▪ When I get confused and can’t make up my mind, don’t abandon me. Help me make the right decision for me. If I didn’t want your help I’d order this stuff on the internet! ▪ And listen to me, really listen! Get to know me. The world revolves around me, I admit it! I know it sounds outrageously selfish, but I can’t help it – I’m human. I am not a commodity, so don’t make me feel like one. ▪ Also, it may surprise you, but I have a name! Find it out before I hand you my credit card to pay, and use it often! Don’t make me travel to Boston to go to the Cheers bar so that I can feel that everyone knows my name. It’s not rocket science, its common courtesy. ▪ And if you’re going to have a greeter at the door, would you please hook them up to a 9-volt battery and send some electricity through them? You’re wasting your time with that policy-driven welcome. You can’t fool me (or anyone else) with a robotic, mandated-pleasantry. Maybe everyone could just say “hello” to me as we pass and make me feel like you mean it. ▪ And could you please give me something out of the ordinary? Surprise me! And, no, I don’t want or need a free gift! Sure, a free gift never hurts, but what I really want is your full, undivided attention. Am I asking to be killed with kindness? Yes, except for the killed part. ▪ And when I check out would it be too much to ask that you offer me a warm “thank you for shopping with us?” Yes, I know it says thank you on the receipt, but I want more. I’m tired of being the one who thanks the cashier for ringing up my sale! Say it now to yourself, it’s easy. Thank you. Thank you. See, that’s not so hard! And it makes me feel great! ▪ And when you make a mistake, could you please apologize to me? I understand that mistakes happen, so I’m not asking for perfection. I just want some reaction, and then some action. I need to know that my business matters to you beyond the sale you’ve just made. You may have my money, but not my satisfaction – not until you fix the problem! ▪ So get to know me. Work harder to understand me. Take charge and lead me. Help me. Serve me. Sell me! I know that I can be an overbearing, demanding, cheap and disloyal pain in the butt. But, hey – that’s me! If you want my money, realize that (as Popeye used to say) “I yam what I yam.” And what I yam is someone who demands more than I’m currently getting. ▪ Let’s get one thing on the table right now - your company does not pay you. I do. Me. True, I do not sign your check, but make no mistake – it’s me who puts the money in the bank that check is drawn on! And someday, if you don’t start treating me like I matter, that well will run dry. ▪ Finally, I understand that I am not a celebrity. But in my small little world, I am the star of my stage. I know I don’t look like Paul Newman (more like Randy Newman, actually) but couldn’t you just pretend? If you did, I would never shop anywhere else for the rest of my life. Really. ▪ Do you want me to be a loyal customer? Well, here’s the secret to gaining my loyalty; give me yours first. Treat me like I am the center of your universe, and I might just tell everyone I know about it. Treat me like I am not, and I promise that I absolutely will. ▪ Yes, my business is yours for the taking – as long as you understand it really is all about me.

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