Perspective is everything. It is important for how we view all areas of life and how we interact with the world on a daily basis. It forms how we view other people and how we view organizations as well. It affects every aspect of our life and how we see the things before us. You have probably heard the cliche that “ignorance is bliss” – that is someone’s perspective on life; they probably wish they didn’t know what they do. I will leave the personal and life lessons aside for now and instead will focus on “perspective” as it relates to sales, marketing and customer service.
Perspective in sales and marketing has everything to do with how you present yourself, your product and your brand to your clients, including all current, past, and future. To accurately engage with someone you have to at least have some idea of who they are and who they are not. This is most easily accomplished, from a sales aspect at least, if you have a sales staff of people who actually call people to invite them in for a conversation with the objective of selling something, in our sports world this is most likely going to be tickets.
Whether your sales staff realizes it or not, they are developing an understanding of the other person’s perspective as it relates to discretionary income, personal interests and any connections to the school/sport/team they are trying to sell. The salesperson is trying to build a relationship with the client based on what they learn about that person’s perspective on life and other things as well perhaps.
On the other hand, the sales person also has a perspective about what it is they are doing. Their perspective is built over a long period of time from personal life experiences in dealing with people, anecdotal evidence learned in training and conversations with others in the same field, and actual sales conversations they have probably already had with people assigned to them to serve. The sales person probably has a basic script to work with from which they can start a conversation with the person on the other end of the phone. That is when an attempt is made to engage that potential client enough to learn what connections they might have with the product being sold. Perspective – it’s a tough concept to grasp sometimes but is critical to everything in life and especially in sales.
Perspective in marketing is very much the same way, except you don’t actually have the ability to speak personally with anyone, person to person (stay with me here). Your communications to your clients are all based on what you perceive them to be, whether through billboards, banner ads, radio commercials, TV spots or any other form of communication. You have to know your own product and what you stand for in order to put yourself out to the market place. When you know your mission, vision, values and goals, it makes the process of figuring out who you should be targeting much easier.
Learn who is buying from you already, learn why they buy from you and learn how they buy from you. Take those lessons and develop your perspective on what your fans are like. This will make it much easier to find more people like them. The world is a small place and getting smaller. People want a place to belong and be welcomed – give that to them with you enhanced perspective of what they want out of a sport organization.
Perspective is also critical in customer service. Customer service is where the rubber really meets the road in terms of learning from and engaging with your clients, mostly because they only call, email or go into the office to see you when something has gone wrong. When everything is going right, most people just go about their business and leave you alone. When things don’t go right, they are often sure to let you know; and the more you show them you care, the more likely they are to actually talk to you – what an opportunity! As a result of all this, the customer service agent is one of the most important people in your organization. They have the ability to literally make or break the relationships you maintain with your fans and clients, so take care of those people, train them well and reward and discipline them when necessary. Teach your customer service agents to understand what perspective means and why it is so important when talking to people. Help them develop their emotional intelligence and to care for the perspective of the other person. If you do, you will be on to the start of something special.
In closing out this post, I can’t help but think of the movie “Office Space.” The writing in that movie is simple, funny and very true in some cases. If you haven’t seen it, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. Until next time,