Learning about #CRM2011 sales from fro-yo…a parable

Bear with me for a minute on this one, I promise to bring it around and make sense…

Last night we took our daughter to Pinkberry for frozen yogurt.  I do not like yogurt.  Any yogurt.  I do not eat it.  I just don’t.  I have dairy issues on a good day and I am totally creeped out by the thought of eating something advertised as ALIVE.  Yes, I know everything I eat has little live things on it, but most have the courtesy to pretend that doesn’t exist, or at least not advertise it.  It’s a quirk I have, I’m over it.

So, back to Pinkberry…they have loads and loads of toppings from fresh fruit to chocolate shavings.  Their concept is pick your frozen yogurt, then load the cup full of as many toppings as we can fit in the cup with the yogurt.  So, since I don’t eat yogurt but I like fresh fruit and candy, I tell the young man behind the counter that I want a medium cup, full of toppings, no yogurt, cause I don’t eat yogurt.  Here’s how it went…

Me:  I’d like a medium cup of toppings please, no yogurt. 
Counter-dude: (head turned sideways, dumbfounded look on face)
Me:  See I don’t eat yogurt, but my daughter does and wanted to come here.  Since I’m here, I’d like a cup of toppings please, no yogurt.
Counter-dude:  How about a fruit parfait?
Me:  What’s in a fruit parfait?
Counter-dude: less yogurt, lots of fruit topping
Me: I don’t eat yogurt.  I’d like a cup of toppings please.
Counter-dude:  no yogurt, like AT ALL?
Me:  Nope, no yogurt at all
Counter-dude: (shaking his head) ok, what kind of toppings?
Me: strawberries, pineapples, coconut, etc…
Counter-dude: would you like some whip on that?
Me: what’s it made of?
Counter-dude: (proud of having the answer) it’s made from our yogurt
Me: I don’t eat yogurt, no thank you
Counter-dude: (deflated) NEXT

He never stopped trying to get me to consume yogurt, no matter how many times or ways I said no.  What he didn’t pay attention to was that I was there to buy yogurt for my kid and hubby.

Ok, assuming you’re still here, taking it to CRM (or any sales scenario really).

In this sales scenario, the business decision-maker (me) was totally ignored.  I was not there to buy EXACTLY what they expected, but I was still going to buy SOMETHING for me AND exactly what they expected for my daughter and my husband.  The point here is that there will be a time and a place that as wonderful as it is, CRM might not be the right solution for every person.  It might not work now.  It might not work ever.  But, listen to your business decision-makers, because when you do and when they are ready to buy what you’re selling (Dynamics CRM?), you will have their respect.  AND it is ok if not everyone wants what you’re selling, today.  When they are ready or when they know someone that’s ready, they will call you.  You don’t have to make everyone fit YOUR definition of a customer.

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