Take care of your clients and the money will follow.
I recently had the chance to interview Tariq Farid, the founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements. If you aren’t familiar with Edible Arrangements, it is like a flower shop, but instead of flowers, they sell and deliver bouquets of fresh fruit.
The company originally began as a flower shop when a neighbor loaned Tariq the money to open the business while he was still a teenager in high school. He quickly repaid that loan and started to expand into what is now a 1,200 unit international franchise organization.
Tariq shared stories about how he “wowed” his customers with a level of service that allowed him to compete and win in a very competitive business. He walks the talk, having created a simplistic three word mission statement, which is “To Wow You!”
In addition to using customer service as his competitive weapon of choice, he grew his business by listening to his mother’s sage advice: Don’t chase money!
What that means is that if you care more about the money than the customer, you won’t always make the sale. And if you do make the sale, you might not keep the customer long term.
So what does it really mean to put the customer before the sale? I think it is best summed up with a personal story about a shopping experience I had several years back.