Profit or Loss

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Here is a marketing plan to reap profits.

Many a time, in trade or service, a transaction gives birth to profit.  Yet it is important to decipher if the profit is well-earned or is it just enrichment of few nickels.  In many instances we are faced with two options.  Either to make a profit by hiding behind the veil of ‘business interest’, or to let go that profit by standing on the strength of ‘customer’s interest’.  I concur with the reader that this statement seems to be contradictory and has divergent views.

The saying ‘cash in the pocket is heavier than a virtue of business’ rules the roost.  Business notions like ‘cut-throat competition’, ‘cash is the king’ or ‘make hay while the sun shines’ seem more opportunistic rather than creating a brand image or vision.

Let me elucidate these business thoughts and make an effort to make them lucid.  The question eagerly waiting to shake hands with the answers would be ‘Should I make profit on every opportunity’ or ‘should I consider what the customer’s interest is’?  Some anecdotes here will justify the view.

The green shirt:

A buyer wore the green shirt and turned around like a model in front of the mirror, waiting for an affirmation from his companion.  The shade of green was awful, and the sales person knew he did not have another shade on the shelves.  He just cajoled the prospect with a sign

of victory, suggesting the shirt would make the prospect look a few years younger.  The buyer picked up another badly designed trouser to match the green top, and he appeared quite ridiculous.

The owner sitting in the cash counter observed the entire enactment.  The customer could have helped him earn a decent profit coupled with the advantage of clearing old stocks.   The owner intervened and opined “Sir, the shirt and the trouser does not suit you.  I feel that you should not buy those.  I am afraid I do not have other options to show you, but if you can come after a week, I could give you a better choice.”

Did the owner loose his profit or gain a relationship?  Did he loose an opportunity or gain customer’s trust?  Was he stuck with the dead stock, or did he gain in business.  A customer’s satisfaction is beyond an enterprise’s profit.  Apparently the customer came back year after year to the same store.

The long legal battle:

It was one of the volume-ridden counsel’s chambers, and the vengeful client waited with a view to teach his opponent a lesson.  The legal professional had two options.  A clear road lay in front of him to instigate more venom, even though he is fully aware that the case would only meet a wall.  This option could have seen his coffers filled for a few long years of legal battle.  The alternative was to lay the cards clearly on the table, explain the futility of the exercise of the client, and keep matters clearly away from bias.  A professional who would look at short-term gain would seek solace under first option.  A professional who would create a legacy, a brand and in that course amass more wealth with peace would vote for the latter option.  The second option might not fill the coffers today, but will enhance the size of the coffer tomorrow.  The second option meant – serve the customer.

The legal man who chooses the second option went on to create an organization.  The organization might have lost an opportunity to count a few green notes initially, but had enough and more in times to come.  They saw the interest of the client, and not their personal gain.  Only when a customer wins, a service provider wins.

A visit to the mobile phone store:

The expensive new phone, which could be classified between a data bank, a pool of software tools, a camera, a secretary in the making and incidentally could be used as a telephone stood proudly in my hands.  The toy cost a fortune.  It was the best model in the market, and I had the dough to buy it.  The owner almost sold it to me, he said it would add to my ease, symbol of luxury, peer pull etc.  Yet a coy sales girl asked me politely if I would use the instrument as a tool, I would use it for stock analysis, the GPRS systems, the video conference facilities, the weather reporting, so on and so forth.  My answer was a negation for everything; I just use it as a phone.  It is for incoming and outgoing.

Immediately an answer sprung from her, “This phone is of no use to you sir, you would only waste your money.”  She continued, “What you need is excellent quality of audibility,

the best head phones, and ease of dialling numbers.”  She gave me a model, which was much cheaper but I really enjoyed using it.

Over the years, I have frequented this shop so many times, with near and dear ones.  Personally, I can recollect having purchased at least a dozen instruments in the same shop.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it a sales transaction or is it a relationship creation?
  • Is it building a brand or business loyalty or are you contended with a one-off sale?
  • Are there profits or is it responsible profits?
  • Are the ROI of your business created only on the basis of a positive bank balance or has it something more invaluable – a customer who can vouch for you?

The answers to these thoughts could give you the marketing plan for your organization.  Answers to these questions could create a new wing for customer experience.

Put the customer first, the organization would be the final resultant beneficiary.  The service provider’s first objective is to provide service suitable to the client and then stands the ROI.  The product sale is imbibed with a duty to provide satisfaction to the customer, and then comes the profit on sale.  The underlying principle has to be, the organization wins only if the user, the client, the customer wins.  The organization cannot win over a customer’s loss.  Profit built on woes and laments are no profit, it is more a liability.  Profits built on customer smiles; satisfied hearts are responsible profits.

Are we making responsible profits?  The answer to this is the marketing strategy to your service.  Are our profits based on the foundation of trust, the answer is the brand creation roadmap of your product.  The product lifecycle depends on the longevity of the smile.  Let’s make people smile.

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