A sales lesson for small business owners from my Latin culture and experience.
A Satisfied Customer is not enough
As I have mentioned in a previous article, we learned from 22 years of helping businesses in Latin America improve sales and business overall, that you can win without having to focus on price and focus on building a relationship.
This isn’t necessarily a new lesson for all businesses, but one that is even more important in working with the Latin Culture and working in the Latin Culture. It is also something that is becoming an important topic when talking about how to make a difference with your customers. Focusing on “customer satisfaction” or concerning yourself about your “Net Promoter Score” (NPS) isn’t enough.
You will not be able to beat the competition by simply working about these; the conversation on this is more about how you can change your Customer’s Experience.
In a Forbes Aug 8, 2017 article written by Yuri Kurman, “The Importance Of Customer Experience In The Age Of Instant Gratification” he says “To reach and engage a customer, brands must deliver one or some of the following: novelty, delight, a form of greater health or wealth, improvement in a business process through cost savings or time, increase in quality, organization or convenience, and/or a vision or mission that compels the customer to take action, whether in the form of a purchase or by gainful influence with others.”
So, I agree but pulling this off is not so easy and if you want to learn how to do it in or for Latin Culture, there are things we can learn from it that can help us a lot in business.
First of all, you have to realize that we can all learn from Latin Culture by being more “cariñoso”, for which the literal translation is “affectionate”
However it means more than that in a general sense. With my family and friends, it is not unusual for everyone to hug one another as part of the greeting, and in many Latin countries a kiss on the cheek might likely be included in that greeting, sometimes two. Am I suggesting that if you are dealing with Latinos that when you say hello give them a hug and a kiss?
NO…. What I am pointing out is that this is a difference in the culture that right from an initial greeting, that relationship is such an important factor in all of Latin America, including Brazil. This first warmer, friendlier form of greeting one another speaks to how building a relationship and making someone feel comfortable is an important part of changing a customer’s experience.
If you can make the customer feel respected and/or cared for in their buying experience, isn’t this something most of us desire both personally and in business? Using this lesson can help you build a situation where you can not just win over the customer, but also increase their loyalty to you and what you sell.
Make it about the customer
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, it does not matter what you sell, if you are focused on taking care of customers with their best interests in mind. This is what I have observed from the very best salespeople and sales organizations, who transform the customer’s experience in the way they behave. Imagine what it is like to get a hug from your local Steakhouse when you walk in the door from their General Manager every time you visit.
This is what happens to my wife and I right here in the USA. Does this change the food or the price? Not at all… Do I see that General Manager anywhere else in our lives? No… But it has a created a situation that because of how special that restaurant makes us feel, we believe it is one of the best steak houses in the city, and as a result we are loyal patrons.
It ranks as #10 in San Diego on the Trip Advisor list, but we would disagree because of how they make us feel, our Customer Experience is incredible.
It doesn’t matter whether you sell B2B or B2C, changing the customer experience so it feels more personal is something you can definitely work on. Like the standard warm greeting Latinos deliver to maintain and build relationships we need to look at how we can improve the customer’s experience in all we do. I promise, if you add this thinking to approach and care for customers it will improve your overall results.
Even when saying goodbye on the phone or in an email, in Spanish with people we know, we will say “te mando un abrazo” (I am sending you a hug). It is meant to say I am sending you warm wishes, and I can tell you it makes a difference.
Gracias, fue un gusto (Thank you, it has been my pleasure). Jaime “Jim” Hernandez
About the author
Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.Website