By Lisa D. Jenkins
Near where I live, thereÂs a small independent boutique thatÂs always drawn my interest. The clothes in the window arenÂt something youÂll find on the rack in a mainstream big brand store so I was excited to step in and check things out.
The clothes on the inside matched the promise of the storefront; the cut and quality of clothing had me really excited to do a bit of shopping. As I browsed and added things to my dressing room, I talked with the owner about her choice of stock.
SheÂs filled her store with short runs of clothing from independent designers and that appeals to me on a number of personal levels. She stocks each garment in a single size run and when itÂs gone, itÂs gone. There are no new orders and if something doesnÂt fit, thereÂs no ordering another size. That means that thereÂs little time for a customer to dither. If I wanted a specific piece for myself, IÂd need to buy it then and there.
I love that she supports independent designers who arenÂt able to mass produce their clothing. I can get behind her tactic of creating a sense of scarcity and exclusivity to drive sales.
As I tried clothes on, I found a couple of items I loved and had them set aside for me behind the counter.
Then I tried on the piece that brought me in the store. The fit was lovely, the sizing spot on but the color just wasnÂt right for me. It washed me out. I knew it, The Husband knew it and the shop owner knew it.
As I turned to go back to the dressing room the owner said to me, in an exasperated tone, ÂYou know itÂs not the color of the garment, itÂs your makeup. You need to wear more. Anyone in Europe could wear that color because they know how to wear their makeup.Â
I donÂt need to wear more makeup, what I needed what that same garment in a different color.
You are never going to have the perfect product or service for every prospect you come in contact with.
It is never your prospect’s job to fit into the constraints of your product or service. People donÂt have an obligation to amend their needs or business practices to make your product or service right for them.
If anyone in the dynamic adapts, it should be you.
How to Move Forward
HereÂs a tip: DonÂt make your prospect feel badly if you donÂt have what they need.
Instead, point them to a trusted colleague who can serve them fully. If an existing customer is outgrowing you, maybe itÂs time to collaborate on a new product or service that will fit.
Whichever you choose, handle that person with care because the way you treat people when you canÂt help them will color their opinion of you far more deeply than how you treat them when you can.
Think of It Like This
Everyone wants to go to the ball, but not everyone is going to fit your glass slipper.
Treat those you donÂt fit with respect. Word gets around and when youÂve handled a bad fit properly, youÂre far more attractive to others and theyÂll come calling to try you on for size.
Tell me, how have you handled not being the right fit for a prospect or being outgrown by an existing customer?
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