Few days back I was invited to deliver motivational talk to business owners in small town of Maharashtra. I was excited because in spite of residing in a small place this business community know how to do business according to changing customer habits. They are very eager to learn newer ways and always keen to adopt best business practices. I reached hotel on time but only two hours before the seminar scheduled time I realized that I forgot to put my waist belt in my travelling suitcase. I cannot afford to go without belt and left with no option I quickly left my hotel room to get the belt. Knowing that it’s a small place and I was not sure that I’ll get proper belt for my business suit. I was preparing myself to compromise with quality. But little did I know that I was about to learn the best business lesson of my life.
I approached an auto rickshaw and requested him to take me to a place so that I can buy waist. Seeing me in great hurry the auto driver suggested me to visit nearby market where I can get belt in five minutes but the best place to buy belt in town is 15 minutes away but the good thing is there I get more varieties and more price ranges along with quality. This shop is selling only belts for last 15 years. Thinking I cannot take risk especially with very important seminar I preferred to ride few extra kilometres to buy from this shop known only for belts.
It didn’t take me more than few seconds to realize that I made right decision to shop from this place. The shop was overflowing with over dozens of customers being served and at least dozen customers waiting in queue to be served. For a moment I thought maybe this person is giving belts for free! Since I cannot afford to wait long, my impatience was growing as my seminar is schedule to start soon and I’m at least 5km away from my seminar hall that too without waist belt. After reading anxiety on my face one of the sales people ushered me to come to him directly and after understanding my requirements he quickly took out the best belt for my formal suit. I was pretty happy and greatly surprised with the quality and then he showed me two more options – one with higher price and better quality and other was little lower quality and price. Now I’ve something that I never imagined that it could be possible in remote town – the power of choice. First, I was pretty impressed with the range of products and second thing that impressed me the most was all this time this sales person was carrying a genuine smile and confidently explaining why one is better than another and justifying why other product is marked at lower price; helping me to take well informed decision. I immediately made my choice paid the required amount and thank profusely to the sales person and the owner of the shop for serving me quickly. The owner quickly took out his business card and handed over to me. Then he said, “It was nice of you to visit our shop, we’ll be happy to serve you again.” The owner too carried a very genuine smile which he made sure his each and every staff carries when dealing with customers. They were serving customers cheerfully. I was delighted to have such a nice experience. I sat in the auto ready to go back and then again my attention gone back to the owner of the shop, this time he was talking to other customer carrying exact same smile on his face that made me really felt that his desire to serve the customer is not fake but real and coming from within. He truly believes in satisfying customers first before running for his own profit. The auto driver said that this shop owner only sells waist belt and is also very well respected within business community.
This small experience had a deep impact on my own theory of how to run a business. The reason he was able to create a good name for himself in the market that people even 5 km away know about this shop is because his total approach is to serve customer first and make them happy with his product and services. If you are also keen to have successful business learn to create team of satisfied customers then they will act as “brand ambassador” for your business, prompting you and your business to newer places and people. Remember one satisfied and happy customer alone can help you create big wealth. I didn’t forget to mention this experience of min in the seminar later during the day.