Is a great product and service enough to succeed?

Well that depends on your definition of success. There is a romantic notion in business that if my product and service is good enough, the business will basically take care of itself. This notion is incorrect. If anything a great product and service is just your starting point and ticket into the game.

Near where I live there is a great little Malaysian restaurant named DorBo. The food is priced reasonably and is always tasty. I’ve eaten a lot of Asian food over the years, and this chow is right up there. I go to this little restaurant to get takeaway dinner for my family and load-up on all things indulgent once every couple of weeks.

When I ring to place my order, I am always enthusiastically greeted by a small-framed, middle-aged woman and the owner, whom I call “Mamma.” She is in her late 40s or maybe even 50s but looks not a day over 30, and she is always bursting with personality. Her every sentence ending with the words, “okay darling”.

When I arrive at her little restaurant, Mamma greets me with a big smile and asks me how I am. She then always offers me something extra for free or just throws it in anyway without telling me. I pay, and then she scampers around the counter, puckers her big red lips and plants a wet one on my cheek! And I love every minute of it.

I always leave Mamma’s restaurant feeling considerably more positive then when I walked in. In fact, she makes my entire experience enjoyable, memorable and meaningful. The exchange of money seems insignificant and not the basis of our relationship.

However, as I head home, my positive thoughts turn into a deep sense of disappointment. You see, Mamma’s restaurant is never busy. Most times I go there the shop has maybe one or two groups of patrons and the restaurant is 90% empty. I just know it’s only a matter of time before Mamma is gone and so is her business. This troubles me. Mamma is a real gem? she is the exception ? not the rule. So full of love and life, and her food is great too. Yet, she is never busy. This shouldn’t make sense, but sadly is does.

A great service and products is not enough to succeed. It’s a great start, but that’s all it is. You need a process of attracting, engaging and leading customers to win-win outcomes. And the great product and service then contributes to your customers coming back again and again and bringing friends.

Mamma’s restaurant is situated in a run-down old strip of shops directly across from an old petrol station. She has no walk-by-traffic and is situated in a part of town that is no longer the place to be seen. She does no marketing and hasn’t developed a way of proactively developing new relationships.

She is doing things right, in fact exceptionally, but it’s not enough. There are new retail strips and restaurants springing-up like weeds around her and in better traffic areas. Mamma must move or her great little restaurant will be a sweet, but sour memory.

If Mamma stays to defend the status quo, and resists change and progress, she is out of business. This is a harsh reality for her, but it is the reality, so she must embrace it.

Can any of you relate to this story? If so take action, today! What are you waiting for?

As for Mamma, I won’t let her go down without a fight. I’ll let you all know how we go.


For more Selling Strategies advice, click here.

Trent Leyshan is the founder and CEO of BOOM Sales! a leading sales training and sales development specialist. He is also the creator of The NAKED Salesman, BOOMOLOGY! RetroService, and the Empathy Selling Process.



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