[Marketing Memo]: Chickenfish or Pasta?
Clearly communicating the obvious is never a bad idea for your small business
By Cary Weston
As a small business owner, what you do and how it's done often becomes second nature.
It's can be obvious & routine because you know it by heart.
But to your customers it could all be new.
What you know has value and you need to respect that what is obvious to you may be unknown and desired to many you serve.
My friend Ric Tyler is a on-air radio personality for a statewide morning talk show here in Maine. At times, I have the honor of being a guest on the show and I'm always fascinated by how often components of the show are duplicated or repeated.
Ric is a master of recognizing that the audience is busy. They come and goes quite often during each day's show and that the listeners often only get a piece of the story or tune in while interviews are halfway through. He knows he has new folks joining often so he will often mention the call letters frequently, the guests name every few minutes, and repeat the top stories of day three or four times an hour. Why? Because you may only have their attention for a few minutes and it's job to inform and communicate.
He recognizes how important it is to connect with the audience and recognize that their attention is a gift - don't disrespect it by taking them for granted.
Question - In your business - is there something you do over and over again with each new customer? Do you explain for clarity and comprehension or do you just tell?
The Chickenfish Option
Ric shared with me a story he once heard from a radio consultant, Dan O'Day. It was the story of an airline attendant taking food orders for an in-flight meal.
The attendant was not thrilled with the task and she was walking up the aisle asking folks what they would like. The options were chicken, fish, or pasta.
However, in a haste to get through the process, she was presenting the choices at a fast pace, without clarity, and in such a way that it prompted one passenger to say "I'll try the chickenfish".
Clearly an outcome that caused momentary confusion.
Regardless of how routine the task becomes for you, treat the customer with respect as the process is new to them. Information you consider basic needs to be communicated with each new interaction to ensure you don't take their time and their desire for granted.
- Cary Weston is a partner of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications in Bangor, MaineConnect online:
Company's Web: www.sutherlandweston.com
Company's Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWMC_inc
Cary's Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/caryweston
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