First off, I need to confess I spend a lot of time in Starbucks.
Regardless of where I am in the United States or the rest of the world, I tend to migrate to a Starbucks to get some coffee. Grande every time, with no room for cream.
Recently I was sitting in another Starbucks (this one happened to be in a suburb of Houston… and those of you who know Houston, realize this statement is an oxymoron).
So I’m watching people come and go, and here’s the first thing that strikes me: The way people are dressed.
The area of town I’m in is upscale and the customers are all dressed very well, and the conversations I’m overhearing range from someone catching a flight to London later today to another person discussing a major contract.
All the while, the customers are eating and drinking the same products sold in every other Starbucks. What does this tell me? That you don’t have to change what you sell just because your customer base might be different.
If you have a strong positioning statement, people will buy.
Second thing I’ve learned sitting in Starbucks is what customers see as the reason they come to Starbucks. I watch several customers who are deeply engaged in their meeting and their $6.00 drinks. OK, I have no idea exactly what their particular drink costs, but obviously they are willing to pay it.
Sitting next to them is a student who appears to have been occupying the same seat for hours. We can only imagine how little this person spent. What is the lesson?
Customers buy for different reasons. Don’t assume you know the benefits they want. Let them tell you.
Third point I’ve noticed is how the customers participate in the buying process. The conversation at the counter is light and engaging. Customers are willing to interact and share their thoughts with others in line and the employees.
What is the lesson?
When we create an environment where the customer feels a sense of ownership or a part of what’s going on, they will engage and help make the overall experience even better.
Can you take any of these to the bank? Not sure, but what I do know is it’s amazing how much can be learned by merely being observant. Now, back to my grande.
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.