The day I spent £800 on a Piano taught me a lot about Customer Intimacy and how to sell

You can sell more without sounding like a seller. Rather than aggressively trying to sell, developing strong customer intimacy is a natural funnel that converts a customer from interest to strong desire and ultimately into a paying customer. This is the culture anyone who cares about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) must practise even before you setup a CRM system for your business.

You want to make more sales right? Then keep reading…

Let me tell you what happened to me in 2013…

I already had a piano, one of those cheap ones you get from Argos as a beginner, but after playing it for a week, I knew it wasn’t even worth the £60 I paid for it. Being a guitar player previously, I had already outgrown the electric piano staring at me. So I drove to the PMT music store in Birmingham, just to get some inspiration and find out what exactly is out there.

And this is where the whole experience started…

First Impressions Matter

WOW! That was my first reaction as soon as I walked into the store.

I had never seen so many musical instruments in the same place, at the same time, arranged majestically like I just walked into a museum. I stood there for a few minutes and all I did was look. I wasn’t even sure why I was excited but seeing what I saw made me feel like I wanted to stay there. I definitely wasn’t in a hurry.

I finally asked one of the sales lads in the store to show me where the pianos where. He greeted me in excitement and said ‘sure’. He actually walked me through the large store, and took me to where the pianos were. To be honest, he could have just pointed to where I needed to go, but was willing to take me there, engaging me in a discussion as we walked towards the pianos. I am sure you can tell I was really enjoying this. I actually was.

So we got to the piano section, and I was obviously wow’ed. I quickly looked around and sat by this Korg LP-350, a good looking standing electric piano that was probably just waiting for my arrival. I started playing one of my favorite songs and Oh-My-God, the music to my ears was nothing compared to anything else I had played to myself since I started learning music. It was simply great quality sound.

The salesman watched me for a few minutes and started talking to me about music. He asked me what songs I like to play and started showing me a few settings on the piano to enhance the sound quality even further. After a few minutes he left me and said he will come back to check on me. I was there for over an hour, playing and trying different things. It was simply an enjoyable moment for me.

Focus on the customer, not the sale

I had now spent over 2 hours in this store. As I played, I noticed the price tag — £800! Hmmm! What a price. I kept playing anyway, my mind starting to consider if I would pay for this piano or not. The sales man came again and asked how I’ve enjoyed it so far. We talked about music, he asked what I wanted to play and I told him I play mostly gospel as I also played in Church. The discussion went on and on, and it was about my music interests and how the piano will help me practise at home and help me become a better pianist.

You know what I found interesting, he never even spoke about the price…..until I said, ok, I like this piano. And that’s when he said, ‘WOW, that’s great, would you like to take it home today?’. Of course I wanted to take it home, and that’s when he reminded me of the price. We had a conversation around it and I decided I was ready to pay for it. The deal was done, I loved the Korg LP-350 and I was ready to pay £800 for it. I was led to the counter, I made payment, and they assisted me to put it in my small car.

It’s been 8 years and it is one of the best things I’ve ever bought for myself, my Korg LP-350 piano, right here by my bedside.

What’s the takeaway from this?

  1. Focus on the customer — The first lesson here is where to align your focus as a business — on the customer. The moment your focus shifts more towards your product, or the sale, you will lose sales opportunities and all you will be left with are your unsold products or services starting back at you.
  2. Don’t put the customer under pressure — Customers react negatively to purchase pressures. PMT recognised the psychological journey a customer may take to experience one of their music instruments and the time required to make a decision. No customer wants to be under pressure. I was left to experience the piano for as long as I needed to, until I decided it was time to make a purchase. Timing is so important, some customers need time to decide, forcing products on them doesn’t lead to sales. It is never an effective tactic in business.
  3. Engage the customer on their needs, and not on your product — I also liked that the sales man focused on my music interests. It made me have a conversation around why I needed a piano, to improve my playing skills so I can play better at home and in Church. Focusing on what I wanted helped me make a decision. Although it was a high-priced item, my needs outweighed the costs, and this is because I had experienced the piano, established my need and I had the funds to pay for it. The intersection between a customer’s desire, the availability of your products/services and customer’s willingness to pay results in a sale. But it is a process you have to nurture.
  4. WOW the customer from first impressions — It must also never be forgotten that first impressions matter. As soon as I walked into the store, the visual appeal was a big WOW factor. Packaging and presentation matters a lot. This was complemented by the warm and friendly engagement with one of the sales staff. This had already set a good start to an experience I was willing to enjoy. Every business must map out a customer journey that entices customers from first contact, so they can funnel them all through their sales process. A customer journey is not just physical interaction, it also includes digital interactions too.

It’s all about Customer Intimacy

If there’s any way to describe the whole experience, I call it Customer Intimacy. This occurs when a bond is created between a business brand and a customer, naturally leading the customer through an experience that results in sales.

In our next post, we will explore customer intimacy strategies. It all starts with that first contact, that first email, that first interaction…..and it can lead into a seamless sales process if you have one. This is why we created MyCo, to help small businesses speed up their sales process and win more customers.

Click here to check out MyCo.



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Sanmi GB

Sanmi GB

I talk about customer experience…..actually, I talk about customer-related topics! Have a read, and add something to your business.