Our PR, marketing and sales teams recently hosted a pot luck hit party in which everyone was asked to bring a dish to enter the competition. The voracious chefs had spent hours concocting their unique, signature dishes. I spent 10 minutes preparing mine: an ice cream sandwich cake.
Who do you think won the competition? Yep! Yours truly, which is hilarious because anyone who knows me knows I don’t know my way around a kitchen. But I do know a little bit about working smarter not harder.
Serve Your Customers What They Want So You Can Get to What They Need
Unless you’re serving a dish to a group of astute palates, save the weird, trendy stuff for a more select group. Serve your customers what they want. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love chocolate and ice cream, right? (RIGHT?)
Sure, healthier choices were available, and healthier choices were probably what they needed, but the ice cream sandwich cake caught the attention of their hungry eyes and salivating mouths. Score!
Here’s how it went down: 1) They tasted. 2) They went back for seconds and thirds. 3) They couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. 4) They cast their vote. 5) They asked for the recipe. 6) They wanted to know if I had any other winning recipes.
Are you catching the message here? What did I just describe in that last paragraph?
- They were enticed.
- They wanted more.
- They became instant word-of-mouth marketers.
- They volunteered rave reviews where it mattered.
- They wanted to know how to do it.
- They wanted to know about other products.
Call me crazy, but I think this sounds like an effective business model – from a SIMPLE 10-minute recipe.
[Side note: After receiving my recipe, several of them have already served ice cream sandwich cake at their gatherings and were the hit of the party!]
Customers Don’t Always Know What They Need, But They Usually Know What They Want
Did you know that customers put off what they need if there’s something they really want? Think about your own patterns. There’s likely been a time in your life when you needed to purchase something but spent your money on something you really wanted, instead.
Maybe your car needed new tires. Man, they’re expensive, especially if you’re the type who just has to have superior quality and sporty rims. But there was a blowout sale on barbecue grills and, after all, it IS football season, and the guys will be coming over a lot to watch the game on your big screen. The grill is a justified investment. The thinning tire tread could survive another week or two, right?
Introduce yourself with what your customers want, establish a solid relationship with them, and then upon LISTENING to them, determine what they need. And then give that to them.
When delivering a presentation in a training class this week, I asked these three questions:
- When you walk into an establishment for the first time, what kind of experience do you hope to have?
- How do you want to feel?
- What are your expectations from the people working there?
With all the flashy, innovative and competitive trends, it’s easy to forget the basic wants and needs of our customers. When it comes down to it, people really just want the basics:
- To be acknowledged
- To feel appreciated, valued, comfortable
- To feel confident about a product
Give your customers an ice cream sandwich, and you could win a pot luck hit party – for your brand.
When you visit someone’s site for the first time, what kind of experience do you hope to have?
BONUS: With my last post, “Go Get Your Blessing,” I was surprised to be introduced to a bunch of awesome new subscribers to my site. Hello and thank you! I’m honored to make your acquaintance, to say the least. As a gift to you for reading this, I’m going to give you the recipe to my award-winning ice cream sandwich cake. You can thank me later – or by leaving a comment. *wink*
*Ice Cream Dessert
19 ice cream sandwiches
1 (12 ounce) carton whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) jar hot fudge ice cream topping
Optional: 1 cup salted peanuts or caramel, etc. (I don’t use anything but the first three ingredients listed above. I keep it simple.)
- Cut 1 ice cream sandwich in half.
- Place 1 whole and 1 half sandwich along short side of unsprayed 9×13-inch pan.
- Arrange 8 sandwiches in opposite direction in pan.
- Spread with half whipped topping.
- Spoon teaspoonfuls of fudge topping onto whipped topping.
- Repeat layers with remaining ice cream sandwiches and whipped topping. (Pan will be full.)
- Cover and freeze.
*Busy Woman’s Quick & Easy Recipes, Cookbook Resources LLC