I had an interesting retail experience recently that made me reflect on some of the elements of what make a good buying experience for any business – retail, online, professional service provider, or otherwise. My wife asked me to pick up two $10.00 gift cards to the restaurants Maggianos and Chipotle for my kids. I failed (although not by a lack of effort). I first walked into the main entrance to Maggianos in New Jersey at 3:45 with money in my hand and said I wanted to buy gift cards. I was told I had to go back out side to the take-out entrance and speak to the attendant there. In this retail area, Maggianos and Chiptole are right across from each other and I was parked closer to Maggianos, so I decided to walk to Chipotle first and hit the take-out counter at Maggianos on my way out. I walked into Chipotle, waited a moment and asked for the two ten dollar gift cards. The man behind the counter smiled, said that he would get me the gift cards and asked whether I was aware that if I spent $30.00 on gift cards that I would be eligible to get a free Burrito. I didn’t necessarily mind being upsold if there was a free burrito involved, so I said great, I will take two $15.00 cards and thanked the cashier for letting me know. The experience at Chipotle was quick, easy, and I would think from Chipotle’s point of view successful – in that I spent 50% more money than I was planning to, and walked out with a free burrito happy to have done so.
I then walked back to Maggianos – again with money in hand. I walked into the take-out area as I had been instructed to earlier. I found no one at the counter. I could hear employees laughing, but no one came to the take out counter. I checked my phone, waited a couple minutes, decided I had had enough, and and walked out a failure.
Two stores located a 100 yards away – Chipotle, which seemed to have properly trained employees and an upwards sales plan that got me to spend 50% more money and be happy to do it. Maggianos – in which, the employees did not seem to have proper training and allowed a willing customer to leave empty handed and annoyed.
So back to your practice. It is important to realize that everyone is part of the sales process – from your receptionist to your intake professionals. If you feel your technicians or field workers do not have an impact on your sales you are losing a great opportunity for growth.
Update 1: I went to the Maggianos web site to see if I had spelled the name correctly and noticed there was a “tell us how we’re doing” section, so I decided to send a copy of this blog post to both Chipotle and Maggianos – I will keep the post updated with what kind of response I get
Update 2: Three days have passed since I sent my blog to Chipotle and Maggianos. To be fair, Maggionos did respond first – almost an hour before Chipotle. Maggionos responded with a form letter that was not personalized in any way. Chipotle also took three days to respond, but their response was a note from a real person who read my blog post.
Which company do I still feel better about? Which company would I buy more from again? Which company would you like to work for or buy from? And why does it take three days for a form letter?
If you are an accountant, attorney, or financial service provider
If you would like information about how a different approach to managing your practice and marketing efforts can lead to increased market and profitability, I invite you to contact me. As the author and frequent speaker behind the business development approach named The Micro-Niche Method, I have been helping professional service providers revolutionize their business development by identifying and marketing micro-niches. My most recent book, Narrow Focus, Big Results (Volume 1) is now available on Amazon.