Value building gets talked about a great deal...How about value in something really commoditized?

By David Szen on Oct 4, 2012

Here is me.  Just moved to Atlanta and all of the relationships I had to get simple things done have changed.  Why?  Because I moved and I am not flying back to Florida to get my teeth cleaned.  Sorry for that little moment.  One of the things we all do is use a drycleaner.  Unless of course, you have chosen “wrinkle-free” living or like to iron.  I admit, there are some occasions I actually like to iron but most months I use the drycleaner a couple of times.  Think about this one.

There is a drycleaner on every corner and prices are within pennies per shirt of each other.  That is the simple truth.  So, I move and I had to select a drycleaner.  The guy that owns the house I am renting told me to use Sig Samuels at 8th and Monroe.  Loving the referral choice that is what I did.  And then………these people are freaks of value building and do not even know it.  Well, they do now – my wife told them I use this story in speeches. 

Let’s get this clear – I have NO IDEA what I am paying per shirt, per pressing of a suit, for my wife’s stuff or to have a comforter cleaned.  All I do is pay the bill because price is no option when value is there.  Sig Samuels is family owned and early in the relationship on a 100 degree day they did all of the right things.  They simply asked me a ton of questions with Southern Charm and got to know me.  Things like:

When did you and Miss Brandi move here?  Why did you choose Midtown?  How long have ya’ll been married?  She sure is pretty –You know how lucky you are Mr. David?  Do you have kids?  Do you want kids?  Do you have dogs?  Miss Brandi says you travel a ton – What do you do?  What is it that you teach?  Who are some of your clients?  How long have you been doing this?  What did you do before in Florida?  What do you like most about it?  Where do you travel to?

Notice anything?  NOT ONE QUESTION yet about dry cleaning or clothes.  Until: 

How do you usually dress when you teach?  Are you on a tight schedule sometimes?  If you are on the road and missing buttons would that make you angry?  Do you like starchy shirts or not?  Do you have to re-iron stuff in hotels?  Are some of these clothes your favorites to speak and teach in? 

Notice anything?  They KNOW HOW to connect with me now!  That is how you build value and put gas in the trustmeter.  I trust Sig Samuels to get it right.  I do not even know where another drycleaner is because I have no reason to look.  I look forward to seeing the guys.  I am there for 15 minutes or more and people walk in and walk out while we catch up.  Just this last visit they asked:

When is your vacation?  Where have you been speaking?  What does the rest of the year look like for you in regards to business?  Anything we can do to help you?  Are there any last minute items you need for your trip?  If anything needs cleaned before you go we WILL get it done and if we have to bring up to your house while you are packing we will.

This is how you build value when you sell a commodity.  You engage people.  You listen.  You ask tons of questions and you make that 10-15 minutes of picking up your shirts feel like you visited family after a long trip away.  VALUE!  That is how it’s done.

So, I say proudly – Sig Samuels is THE BEST drycleaner in Midtown and I would never consider anyone else.

David Szen

Written by David Szen

David Szen is a master facilitator and leadership development expert. As a Principal Consultant at Symmetrics Group, David has designed and delivered custom sales and leadership content for countless clients. He is most comfortable in front of groups or in keynote settings where his high-energy delivery style connects with people and brings content to life. David’s specialties include sales training design, leadership development, coaching performance management, workshop facilitation and strategic account planning. He recently co-authored the book The Multigenerational Sales Team with Symmetrics Group's founder Warren Shiver.

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