“How do you feel about this proposal? How can I improve it to make you feel more comfortable?”
Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by America’s Best Companies by Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman with Tad Tuleja, page 166
When reading this passage, I immediately was reminded of the concept of “lagniappe.” To put this in layman’s terms, lagniappe is the act of “putting the cherry on the top.” What you do after all is said and done is what will differentiate you from your competition.
Travel back to Mexico with me a few years back when I was speaking on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship heading down to Cabo. I found myself disembarking and taking a walk to clear my mind. I turned left at the corner and right at the light post. Soon I was walking down a street that made me feel very uncomfortable. One more turn brought me onto the beach where I spotted a group of boys holding court on another sunny Sunday morning in Mexico. They had a boat and they had a rope. They also had an old parasail. They also had a business.
I had always wanted to try this method of flying and since I was all alone, this appeared to be the ideal opportunity. I asked, “How long ago did you buy the rope?” Since this was my lifeline, I thought this was a fair question.
With a few instructions and a guttural noise that sounded like the words “Talley Ho!”, I began running down the beach with a giant sheet strapped to my back before hitting the water’s edge and being launched magically into the air.
The flight went without hitch as the rope did its job. I landed on the beach without a hitch and was ready to find my way back to the ship when it happened.
The “boss” in his broken English put up his pointer finger as if he was asking me to wait while he turned to fetch something out of a bag. It was a clean white t-shirt with the wording “I Did It” on the front. I remember being quite impressed with this boy’s business acumen and grasp of how lagniappe works. This was indeed the cherry on the top of my experience and I will remember the entire experience forever. I still wear that t-shirt proudly.
It wasn’t much. It does not have to be much. What can you do for your clients to make them feel more welcome, comfortable, and appreciated?
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