Summary of yesterday’s entry “König Kunde!” in English. German visitors to the blog please read the German version of 22 August.
“King Customer” or “The Customer is King” is a German idiom for ‘The Customer is always right’. To summarize the blog entry in a simple sentence: As question, so the answer.
In a normal selling situation a good salesman will put positive opening questions to his customer in order to attract sympathy and trust from him. I claim that it’s a creative and instructive game to reverse roles, i.e. to lead a perfect sales conversation as a customer. This means, you choose to be a benign sovereign instead of acting the tyrant or absolutist customer/king: You’re the one seeking sympathy and trust from your subjects. To reign does mean to lead and direct people and – in this case – to lead and direct a successful conversation. The right questions are essential for this success.
With a group of colleagues we trained our own competence in putting the right questions facing an unmotivated waitress in a restaurant coach on the train. When we left she was happy but very sorry to see us disembark and we were happy because we had never been served so well on a train!
My passion is photography, still analogue. I usually have my films developed and order scans of my pictures on CD instead of paper copies. This is expensive. So when having my usual ‘benign queen’ talk with the shopkeeper I asked her: “How do you like that I always come here to have my films developed? What do you win by my loyalty and how would you like to return this gain to me?” I now get a 14% discount.
It’s not that I want to profit from this game, financially. I win so much by experiencing all selling situations in which I am the buyer as relaxed and positive (in 9 out of 10 times – some subjects just want the revolution to end the monarchy of the customers and cannot be appeased). And I gain ‘sovereignty’, i.e. I adequately fulfil my special duty as customer/monarch. If you’d like to join the game we will be an oligarchy seeking the favour of salesmen, soon.