A guy I know told me that all employees at The Container Store learn the following story. They call it “Man in the Desert” selling, but I like to call it “Deep Selling,” because it’s all about catering to people’s deeper – not superficial – needs. As copied from The Container Store:
Imagine a man lost in the desert. He’s been wandering for weeks. He stumbles across an oasis, where he’s offered a glass of water, because surely he must be thirsty. But if you stop to think about what he’s experienced and what his needs really are, you know that he needs more than just water. He needs food, a comfortable place to sleep, a phone to call his wife and family, maybe a pair of shoes and a hat to screen the sun’s rays.
When a customer comes to our store looking for shoe storage, for example, we equate her to a “Man in a Desert,” in desperate need of a complete solution. We start asking questions about what her needs are. “How many shoes do you have?” “If shoes are a big problem for you, how does the rest of the closet function?” By anticipating her needs, we know that she needs an organization plan — a complete solution — for her entire closet.
Most retailers are pleased with helping her find a shoe rack — that glass of water — but not at The Container Store. We don’t just stop with the obvious. Providing our customers with a complete solution through our Man in the Desert selling philosophy has been key to achieving one of our main goals of having our customers dancing in their organized closet, pantry, home office, etc., because they are so delighted and thrilled with the complete solution we provided them.
I love that! (Maybe because it reminds me of The Secret of What Else?)
I worked in a kitchen when I was growing up, 80-90 hours a week, at Camp Sussex. There’s a lot of opportunities like this. Is that work nothing?