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So what business are you really in

So what business are you really in

A few years ago, while walking through a shopping mall in Calgary, Alberta, I came across a beautiful flower shop. Displayed outside the doorway, in the mall aisle, were mixed bunches of fresh flowers, nicely wrapped and ready to go. A great idea to make impulse sales. But there was one problem. I searched everywhere for a price, and there was none to be found. There was no price sign and no price on the flowers – nothing that would allow me to make an instant decision to buy, which is what an impulse sale is.I nipped into the shop, chatted up the proprietress and asked her how much the flower bunches were. “Oh, they’re $12,” she said.“And how do they sell?” I asked.“Not very well, and I don’t know why. They’re a great price,” she replied.I asked her what business she’s in. She looked at me as if I had two heads and said, “I sell flowers. Can’t you see that?”

“Yes, you do,” I replied. “But that’s not what business you’re in. You’re in the ‘love’ business; the business of helping people express caring, joy, sorrow, support or celebration, and all of that is love. And you’re in the business of making it easy for people to buy. So, what those flowers need is a sign that reads, ‘Bunches of Love! Only $12,’ and I’ll bet you’ll sell out every day” I asked her to humor me and give it a try. I also gave her $50 to get the sign made. Then, I asked for her business card so I could call her in one month to find out how her “Bunches of Love” were selling. I followed up, as promised, and learned that sales of those “Bunches of Love” had immediately tripled. She reported that she and her staff were now focused on doing everything with love and treating every customer with a feeling of love, joy and gratitude – and overall sales were already up 15 percent!

In every market, whatever you sell, the business that figures out how to add emotional value to every customer interaction and then makes it easy for the customer to buy will become the dominant player.How might this apply to your business? Ask and answer these two simple questions:

Question 1: What business are we really in?

Define what you sell by how it adds value to your customers’ lives and by how it makes emotional connections with them.

Question 2: How can we make it easier for our customers to make wise purchase decisions? How can we become their “caring coach”?

Determine how you can redefine your business and the products or services you sell in a way that focuses you on helping instead of selling – while making powerful emotional connections with your target customers. And the determine how you can communicate in words that enhance those connections and change your focus. “Bunches of Love!” did that for a flower shop in Calgary, Alberta.

For info about booking Donald to deliver his bottom-line insights on marketing, management and profitability at an industry conference or corporate event, or to discuss his Business Coaching program, contact him by email at donald@donaldcooper.com, or by phone in Toronto, Canada, at (416) 252-3703.

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