On Sunday I was enjoying one of my last few days on our Christmas vacation in a favorite tropical vacation spot. Sunday happened to be a day when a lot of vacationers here were juggling their desire to lounge around the pool in the sun, with the desire to check in on the NFL football playoff games that were being broadcast. Sunday afternoon featured a game that drew a lot of attention from football fans.
Adjacent to the pool area is a bar/restaurant that at any given time throughout the hot sunny afternoons would have between 8 and 15 people popping in for a snack or a drink – a very “lightly” used venue each afternoon. At around 2pm each day, a live singer would begin to provide entertainment to those in or around the venue.
Clearly the management of the bar were smart enough to know that there would be a lot of vacationers interested in watching football in that area of the resort. So, they put out a few long tables with chairs so that folks could leave the pool area and walk over and sit down for a while to see how the game(s) were going. At one point, there were well over 150 patrons ordering drinks and food and watching football. I am convinced the majority of this group would not have been there if it was not for the large screen TV and the football game. There was a great energy around the space and the bar was selling way more than they had likely sold in the entire week before. What a great way to capitalize on what the buyers would want.
Things changed however when it came to the usual time for the afternoon singer to begin entertaining. Sure enough, one of the servers went over to the big screen TV and turned the sound off, so the singer could do his thing. As you can imagine, there was a very large group of football fans very upset with this. Over the previous few days I happened to have been enjoying some good business type discussions with a retired banker whom I had met. His stories were terrific – one included an opportunity he had to have lunch with Bill Gates several years ago. In any case, this gentleman was one of the patrons that were left with his jaw wide open as he had just ordered food and drinks for his group that was enjoying the game at the time the sound was turned off.
This was an example of coming close to, but not fully knowing and understanding the buyer’s/customer’s needs. The bar probably did worse off in the long run with the way it ticked off well over a hundred people. As one person said to me, “it’s like I was invited to a party with them putting the tables and chairs out, and then the party was cancelled half way through.” Patrons who were there to watch the game were now forced to take their food and drinks to their rooms to finish watching football, and sure enough the singer began to sing to an empty venue.
What happened here? Well, clearly there was a lack of leadership and good decision making and the bar did not really understand and meet the needs of the clientele that was there. It would have been a simple decision to cancel or delay that afternoon’s live entertainment in order to better meet the customer’s needs. From an economic standpoint, I figure this move probably cost the bar at least a couple thousand dollars in sales.
Cameron’s Call to Action
- How tuned in are you to your buyer’s/customer’s needs?
- Consider what you need to do to ensure that you not only “attract” buyers initially, but that you follow through and meet their needs through to the end?
- In the above example, the venue missed out on a lot of revenue associated with food and drink sales. Where might you be missing out on additional revenues by not fully serving client needs through to completion?
Cameron is an Executive Coach and Consultant specializing in business growth and workplace mental health.
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