We all remember the Andy Griffith show and its whistling theme song? Even in its hey day it made people pine away for simpler times. Times when no one locked their doors. The Sheriff didn’t need or even want to carry a gun. Everybody knew who the town drunk was (Otis, although I have my suspicions about Floyd the barber- those shifty eyes and that hushed voice) and Otis never faced any public drunkenness charges or anything. Good old Sheriff Taylor would just let him sleep it off in their makeshift jail. Sheriff Taylor’s son, Opie, would get into trouble for breaking a window with an errant baseball or something and the problem would be solved. Opie willingly accepts his punishment of no milk before bed and learns his lesson! All with just a good talking to and heart to heart from his dad. Done and done all in 30 minutes.
Was life ever really like that? Will it ever really be like it? The answer to the first is most likely not. And will it ever? No. But, it is such a pervasive desire among all of us, to feel the trust and confidence of those around us that making it a part of any marketing strategy is almost fool proof. And its not about vintage photography, or sepia tones, or calligraphy or anything nostalgic. Its not about trying to be something you’re not. Its about trying to evoke in others that a warm and rewarding experience. We’ve always heard, treat every customer as if they were your biggest customer. True, but let’s do it even better and treat everyone like Aunt Bea would and make them feel like you’ve just put a pie on the window shelf to cool. Now that’s a warm fuzzy!
Sheriff Taylor treated everyone in Mayberry with the same respect, good humor and patience that should be an example for us all. And when he put his foot down about something, what he said went! And that’s because he took the time to build respect among the citizens of Mayberry- so that they would ALL respect him when the time came.
Often times we think that salesman on the phone is a nuisance. We may see our customers as spreadsheets, lines on a graph or in terms of gross versus net sales. That guy that just turned down your sales pitch- well, he’s just a jerk. Wrong! These are things we are doing that alienate ourselves from the people around us who may be able to help us most.
That salesman on the phone, if you treat him with respect and give him a minute, you may find out its your business that needs him more than he needs you. Those numbers (ahem- I mean clients) have faces, families and friends. I know that the CEOs of major corporations may not have the opportunity to interact with their customers face to face. But the tone that is set at the top, will affect the management style and professional climate throughout every level of the operation right on down to your customers. And that jerk who didn’t want to listen to your sales pitch- go back, go back and go back again. No is not forever.
In the larger scheme of things, to successfully sell a product or service you must personalize your brand or personalize yourself for that matter! When you’re interacting with your clients- ask them how their day is? Look at their desk, is their a family photo you can ask about? Perhaps there is a degree hanging on the wall that you can comment on. Compliment their clothes or style. Find something to create a bond between two individuals- make them smile! People buy from their friends. Channel Sheriff Taylor’s finesse for finding the best in every one and earning the respect of everyone by his own example. Your customers will trust and respect you and want to buy from you because you feel more like a friend than just another business.
And that guy that turned down your sales pitch….its entirely possible that he may just be a jerk.
Submitted by: Amanda Kennedy-Colie, Marketing Strategist