A High-touch Business
I initially thought the difference between buying things from an MLM distributor and from a departmental store or pharmacy is that the customer can go back to the same distributor each time, which is great. Then I discovered another reason: people don’t come just to transact, they come to connect. They want the human touch, they seek a connection with another human.
I experienced this on three occasions recently. One Sunday, I met Judy a customer who normally buys things online. That week, I needed to pass her a product she wanted urgently, so she invited me to brunch: “So seldom I get to see you,” she said. I hesitated as this was a break from my Sunday routine, but agreed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she also wanted her daughter, in her 20s, to meet me. We had a nice time chatting; later, she remarked that her daughter had enjoyed meeting me!
When I first met Judy, we were complete strangers. She has used our products for a good number of years, and although we don’t speak that often, it felt so good to know that she treats me like a friend. Beneath Judy’s serious exterior is a very warm and caring woman, and I am so fortunate to get to experience that.
Then there’s Julia, a very friendly soul. Each time she comes to buy products, she texts me and I make an effort to meet with her even if just to say hello. The last time she came, the transaction took all of five minutes but we sat and chatted. She told me about her previous health concerns and how she overcame them. She ended up recommending me a health therapy. When she left, I felt that something good had just happened.
Yesterday, Tina came to the showcase. It was the second day of our Expo and the place was bursting with people. It was noisy, chaotic and I feared Tina would be rattled; thus, I aimed to be efficient and quick so she could leave as soon as possible.
To my surprise, she wasn’t in a hurry and she got used to the noise. Amidst the mayhem in the showcase, we talked about many things besides the products – about China, her native country; the Chinese psyche; her two children, the joys and frustrations of being a mother; and her current health regimen. In turn, I talked about my Ah Boy and recommended Ah Boy’s old Chinese tutor. We talked for about an hour.
Then Tina put in her orders, picked up her products and took part in the lucky draw. She won some nice prizes. When I said goodbye to her in the car park, she looked me in the eyes, smiled and said thank you, Hui Xuan Jie.
So, what’s the point here?
Sometimes, there is no need to go on and on about each product. Rather, I ought to focus on customers as people, to know them, and develop a genuine relationship. When that happens, trust kicks in; so much so, when I suggest a product, they ask to buy it.
In this high-tech, online world, the human touch is still very much appreciated. I need to remember that every time I meet with a customer, it’s an opportunity to touch their lives and leave them in a better place. And in doing so, I too will be touched and uplifted.