RAB Research Archive

Do You Mean Well?



Twice last week I had very positive experiences at Starbucks. Oddly, neither had anything to do with the product. Although I did enjoy my venti five-shot americano.

I placed my order at the drive-thru, pulled up to pay and discovered my order was paid for by the person in front of me. Instinctively, I wanted to return the favor, so I tried to pay for the person behind me but was told that as many as five cars back were all paid for. Luckily, there was a sixth car and I paid.

The second experience happened on a particularly cold morning going through the drive-thru. The voice came through the speaker, “Hello, this is Forrest Gump, thanks for choosing Starbucks. What can we get started for you?” It was clear that this young man was having fun. So, I said, I’ll have a box of chocolates, because you never know what you’re going to get. The smile, already in his voice, got even bigger. “You got it, and I’m going to cover your drink today.” Random acts of kindness – both at Starbucks. Coincidence or brand affinity? Did I just get lucky this week, or is Starbucks doing something to encourage such behavior?

Howard Schultz is the former CEO of Starbucks. In a USA Today story, he said: "I think we have a greater responsibility beyond just the profit and loss of our business, to do the right thing not only for our employees, but the communities we serve... I say this through the lens of being a CEO of a public company, recognizing that I have a significant fiduciary responsibility to make a profit and build shareholder value. But after 30 years, what I've learned is that we can make a profit and perhaps do even greater by also demonstrating that we mean well in the world."

As a salesperson, you have a personal "brand identity." Are you seen as a person who means well in the world, cares about your clients or is just out to make a buck? What actions do you take daily, weekly and consistently to strengthen "your brand?" When you mean well in the world, when you provide a business building resources to your customers, price doesn't seem to be an issue.

Tweetable: Price is only an issue when value is in question.

The results are clear. Companies that take the "long view" approach, sellers who develop their "brand identity" around giving and being a source of business intelligence and help to their clients are ultimately more sustainable, profitable and certainly more fulfilled than companies or sellers that take the short-term approach.

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. or follow him on social media: Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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