You have two sons in your hard working sales family. One of them shows lots of promise. He brings in around one fifth of all of your sales and that number is growing rapidly. When you talk to him, he promises you the earth. He is always hassling you, demanding your attention with new ideas and gizmos and not only does he occupy your time but he steals your money (usually when you are not looking). When you look closely few of his sales actually make a profit and whilst he starts lots of conversations with lots of prospects, most of the sales you make to those prospects are actually made by your other son.
He’s quiet and a bit shy. But its ok, you have largely ignored him for years. After all, there always seems to be something more exciting to think about. He’s solid and reliable and he makes around 80% of your sales, (your Daughter takes a few on the telephone). If he ever complains to you about the quality of service you let him deliver to his customers you give him the money to buy a new shirt and smarten himself up a bit – that’s ok isn’t it?
Business is tough, there is lots of competition out there and your offspring have to fight to hang on to their respective customers, an increasingly fickle bunch now that they have more places they can go to get what you sell. You have to match competitor’s prices, eroding your margins. And so you must cut your costs, taking budget away from your lumbering dull son, the one who makes 80% of your sales and giving some of it to your loudmouth son, the one who is always promising the moon and stars but not making money yet. And what about your daughter? Its ok, she’s in a world of her own, she has her telephone what else can she possibly need?
Does any of this sound familiar?
It’s the story of multi-channel.
The loudmouth son who promises the earth, talks to lots of people but closes very few profitable sales is today’s digital child. He has loads of potential and many good ideas but he needs to stop being spoiled and play as part of the team. Your lumbering, solid, slightly boring son is “face to face”. You see him as “nice but dim”, yesterday’s story, unable to articulate what he needs to do a better job for you and on the point of giving up because you never listen to him. But he makes four out of every five of your sales and your customers like him. He lets your customers see what they want to buy before they part with their hard earned money. Although they come in less often than they used to, when they do it’s with the purpose of buying something. Your dull son answers all of their questions and you have noticed that, quite often, he sells them other things whilst they are in your stores. Maybe you need to work with him, to understand what would make him more successful? Rather than patronising him with those occasional flowery shirts that you buy him.
And your daughter isn’t always busy with phone calls, how could she help more?
This story can have a happy ending.
There is no question that your loud mouth son and your daughter make some sales and serve some customer’s needs. They enable customers to find out what you do before they take the time and trouble to travel to meet your lumbering, boring son.
So what about if your family worked more like a slick football team but instead of passing the ball to each other (seamlessly) as they progress up the pitch they pass the customer to each other as they head towards a sale?
Couldn’t your digital child’s gizmos help here? And your daughters spare capacity? With a smart phone in hand, a visiting customer could get access to all of your teams help and be in the store where they can see and feel your offer. Wouldn’t that give them a better experience and make them they want to come back?
About Face (to Face)