by Jon Gordon
As a student of people and ideas I have to admit that what two guys are doing in a Northeast Florida Starbucks is absolutely genius.
The other day as I tried to pay for my green tea at my local Starbucks the cashier said, "Don't worry about it sir. Those guys over there are paying for it today." She then handed me their business card from a stack by the register. Turns out the guys were wealth management / financial planners who once a week, at different times, will spend a few hours at this Starbucks and buy customers their coffee or tea. Most people, like me, will walk over and thank the gentlemen and walk away with their business card in our pocket.
I thought about how brilliant this was. For many the coffee shop experience has become a right of passage that helps them take on the day. It's become an emotional experience that makes them feel good. It's become a bond of love. These financial planners brilliantly connected something people love with a service they offer. Not surprisingly I found out that these men do receive a good number of calls from the Starbucks customers interested in planning for their financial future.
It is said we remember one third of what we read, half of what people tell us and 100 % of how feel. Whether we are watching a commercial, listening to a teacher, or talking to a sales person it is how we feel that impacts us the most. We can't remember what we ate for lunch a week ago but we can remember where we were on 9-11. We remember how we feel and when it comes to investing our money, buying a product, purchasing insurance or real estate, or choosing a restaurant we will make our choices based on these feelings.
This leads us to the greatest sales strategy ever-but it doesn't involve coffee. While the Starbucks idea is brilliant it isn't the best way to build a business. There is a far more powerful strategy to create an emotional connection and foster an emotional memory. It's so simple and it doesn't even cost a dime. It's to love and care about your customers. Caffeine is temporary but a positive emotional experience lasts forever.
Customers do business with people they like and trust and who care about them. When customers feel like they matter and feel cared for they love back with more loyalty, more business and more referrals.
So if you are in sales, and we all are, I encourage you to make loving and caring about your customers your top priority. You don't have to buy them coffee to connect your product or service with something they love. You can be the connection. You can be the bridge that connects your customer with your product or service. After all, no matter what we are selling, people are always buying our energy and making decisions based on how our energy makes them feel. And while coffee is an energy source that makes people feel good it doesn't compare to the power of our positive energy. Look out for your customers interests. Show them you care. Do your best for them. Share the love and you'll be so successful you'll be able to buy your own coffee shop and give away all the coffee you want. :)
Read more of Jon's stuff here.
Jon Gordon is a speaker, consultant and author of the international best seller The Energy Bus:
10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy, The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work, and Training Camp: What the Best do Better than Everyone Else. Jon's latest book, The Shark and The Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change, is now available.
- Bob Neeser