Monday, March 25, 2013

Alignment (A Work-Related Post)

This isn't a new or novel concept, I won't claim that this is my breakthrough, but I feel it bears repeating.

My daughter gets frustrated when a toy breaks quickly, doesn't work right, or doesn't live up to her expectations.  It's been a learning opportunity for her - a chance for me to point out the sad fact that all too often, the sole job of companies is to get your money.  Once they have liberated you from your money, they've done their job.  Nevermind if the thing never works as you'd hoped or is such a piece of junk that you never actually play with it.  You paid for it and that was their end goal.

Sadly, you think of the people who designed it, manufactured it, shipped it, stocked it, rang it up.  You think of the resources mined/cultivated/chopped down to build it, package it, the vessels that transported it, the fuel used to power them, and it's amazing the amount of waste expended in the production of garbage.  She doesn't think that deeply yet, but she's starting to understand the concept of sheer blind greed that puts the seller at odds with the customer.



And it's the sad fact that it can be this way.  This happens when your goals do not align with that of your audience.  Then you must resort to tactics to get them to buy: shame, guilt, the fear of being left out.  And you incentivize your staff to make the sale at any cost and they resort to tactics of shakedowns, empty promises and outright lies.  Or, as you sell them extras or services, you bundle them in a way that makes you money but infuriates your customers.  Or you let them exceed their limits while you gleefully think about the extra money you can bilk out of them.  Instead of sending them a text message alerting them to the impending overages.

And maybe you make the sale the first time.  And if your entire industry is full of crooks and liars, you can make more sales just by better than the others, or the choice of least resistance.

Or, you can choose your customer.  And choose your employees.  Focus on your staff and they'll focus on your customers.  And you know what?  You'll make the second, third and fourth sale.

Whether you're selling cars, cell phone plans or pancakes - give me a story to tell my friends about your awesomeness, make me feel good about trusting you with my money, show me you're looking out for me, show me you want me to have a good deal.

Show me you care.
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