A few weeks ago, in need of a some topsoil for my front yard, I called a local businessman who deals in excavating. When he stopped by the house to find out what I needed, I showed him the small area that I wanted to cover and I asked him if he thought a half or a third of a load would be enough. He assured me that I would need a full load. Not knowing the size of his truck, I trusted him and went with the full load.
It was complete up-sell.
When he returned to dump the dirt, he didn’t even knock on the door to let me know he was dropping it. If he had, believe me, I would have stopped him when he started dumping. His truck was large enough that I only needed a fraction of what he had to offer. I didn’t need a full load, a half load, or a third of a load. I needed about a fifth of a load…and the rest was up-sell.
I spread that very small amount of dirt that I needed, spread some more to try to use it up, and then called friends who might need dirt for their yards. I still have dirt left to rid myself of.
The experience was less than satisfactory.
The second businessman.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working on remodeling a house that I bought late last year. With that adventure has come many trips to the local hardware shops. In our small town, we have two hardware stores. One that has been family owned in our small town for over 100 years, Jones and Berry Lumber Co., and one that is relatively new and owned by a local chain, Hank’s Hardware.
Whenever I walk into Jones and Berry, I’m always greeted by name by either Dan, the owner, or his employees who’ve been working for him for years. A few days ago, I was in there looking for some paint to make the cabinet in the bathroom coordinate with the cabinets in the kitchen. I left the store with the paint, some screws, and they did some cuts for me on a door in the mill, all without paying.
“Don’t worry about it, Nick,” Dave, one of the long-time employees, explained, “We’re just glad to have you back in town.”
It’s probably not difficult to figure out why Jones and Berry is now my only source of local home improvement happiness.
Flesh it out
Look at the two stories above. What lessons do you see? Have you ever experienced a business relationship or been the customer somewhere that made you feel similar to how I may have felt in the stories above? Explain.