I tell myself I am not a salesman, but I realize that I sell a lot of things everywhere I go. When I was working for another company, I was always selling their brand, their image, their belief system everywhere I went.
Now that I am self-employed, I sell my brand, my image, my beliefs wherever I go. Because I am a marketing guy, I am always on high alert for when I am being sold something.
I can detect a sales pitch a mile away.
The other day, I was sold something before I even realized it was happening. I ran into someone who was so good at what he did, his sales pitch was nearly undetectable.
I want to share this story with all of my clients - and those of you who aren't my clients yet - because no amount of marketing can make a loyal customer faster than outstanding service. Also, no amount of marketing can overcome bad service.
So here's what happened.
I had to get fitted for a tuxedo for a fundraising event where I was a spotter for an auction. I managed to find the time to go to the shop, not expecting anything out of the ordinary.
The person who came out from behind the desk was sharply dressed, friendly and focused on getting things started right away. He offered up some friendly small talk, but was working on my paperwork while he was talking to me.
Within seconds, I realized that this guy knew what he was doing. It set me at ease right away. He asked me a few questions, zipped around me with his measuring tape, showed me to my fitting room and was off retrieving my tux before I really knew what had happened.
What had happened was this: I was being given amazing customer service.
While I waited for a few minutes for my tux and further instructions, I had time to analyze things. I was greeted right away by someone who knew what he was doing, who was friendly without crowding me and kept things moving along. No time had been wasted, and I think that's what I appreciated most.
I came out in my shirt and pants and that's when things really took off. My tux guy slipped my vest on, fitted my tie around my neck and handed me the cuff links. It seemed like every time I tried to do a button or adjust a piece of clothing, I was clumsy and took longer than he would have.
Pretty soon, I just relaxed and let him do everything.
He was in control and was trustworthy.
He had proven that he knew what he was doing and it was nice not to worry about anything. I decided to to just let him lead.
We got everything fitted and settled and I left with my tux and a reminder of a crucially important lesson: a great employee sells your product, your brand, your imaging without really having to say a word.
It's the way they lead a customer or client with confidence, expertise, friendliness and efficiency.
When the process is being done correctly, the client forgets that they are being sold something and allows the salesperson to lead. It's in that moment when the customer begins enjoying the process instead of resisting it.
Here's the other thing that happens...I have talked about the tuxedo shop - The Tuxedo Warehouse in the Green District of Roseburg - and the salesman - Zach - to lots of people.
Talk about marketing! I have been the best advertising money can buy for the owner of that location, all because one of his employees delivered great service.
Brian Prawitz is the owner of BP Media Solutions. Brian spent 20 years in radio in Seattle, Missoula and Roseburg and 18 months in the Marketing Department at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville. Now, he shares his experience with his clients and attempts to provide amazing service every day. Follow Brian @BPraw88, find him on Facebook, listen to the Be Positive Podcast and watch for his next podcast "ReManned" with @ZechariahNewman coming soon.