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Friday / June 24.
HomemibusinessThe Pay to Play Factor…

The Pay to Play Factor…

Always treat patients as people. Never treat people as patients.

If you were in the market for a music CD you really like and want, which is the most important element you will look forward to: paying for the CD or playing the CD? It’s a simple question and the answer of course is even easier: playing and enjoying the CD is what matters most.

If the answer is so obvious, why is it that the great majority of people in business still think clients and customers are mostly interested in the paying factor?

My studies show that too many business owners, including Optometrists, have little or no appreciation for the ‘playing’ side of the transactions … meaning: ‘that side where the customer derives longerterm enjoyment, pleasure and success from the product or service they bought, compared to the short-term (usual) displeasure of making purchases’.

If you focus on the payer and therefore ignore the player, it is almost certain that you will get hammered from cheaper or more convenient competitors … to the point where your business will be controlled and forced backwards by the power of buyers.

Product Access or Product Success

When serving a customer, think of that person as being both a ‘payer’ and a ‘player’ – in the sense that the paying function involves ‘access’ and the playing role concerns ‘success’.

With this thought in mind, are you selling ‘product access’ or ‘product success’?

Again, in my view, based on many years of working with countless numbers of businesses across a wide range of industries, including Optometry Practices, most people selling a product focus on the access factor … and so inevitably there is pressure on ‘price’ and other paying related issues.

Here are some examples of businesses that focus on ‘paying’:

  • Most people that sell home or commercial insurance are worried to death about being price competitive (the access factor) … rather than helping the vast majority of customers to reverse their current, dangerous position of not having anywhere near the insurance cover they really need (the success factor)
  • Most financial planners sell super and investment solutions that match what customers can ‘afford’ (the access factor) … rather than working with customers to ‘manage’ the wealth development they really need (the success factor)
  • Most suppliers that sell to any form of reseller base, engage in trying to sell their product into their customers’ businesses, with endless arguments about margins and trading terms (the access factor) … rather than showing how to sell their products out of the re-sellers businesses (the success factor). How do your suppliers perform in this area?
  • Most financial services organisations insist on selling home loans, personal loans and other services based on what customers say they want, such as the best borrowing rates, etc. (the access factor) … rather than leading customers to arrange and manage their current and future financial situations with better ideas (the success factor)
  • Most retailers serve customers in a friendly manner (the access factor) … rather than starting with service and then finding needs and offering recommendations to achieve the best possible results (the success factor)

Servant and Master

People running a business, or working in a business, also have a dual business role of ‘servant and master’, with the servant scenario relating to our ability to ‘attend to customers’ … and the master task concerning our ability to ‘achieve for customers’.

Whilst I am not downgrading the servant role, it is important for us to be reminded that the ‘servant’ part of our job only deals with the paying factor, not the playing factor.

So, if we return to the topic of buying CDs … nowadays, with music being so accessible online, the paying factor is easy because we can download what we want, anytime, with great ease. This therefore, raises the question: ‘what will happen to traditional music stores if they continue to focus on music lovers as just being payers?’

If you focus on the payer and therefore ignore the player, it is almost certain that you will get hammered from cheaper or more convenient competitors … to the point where your business will be controlled and forced backwards by the power of buyers.

Conversely, if you make paying easier but focus on delivering pleasure to players, the players in turn will make you very successful!

John Lees is a sales and marketing specialist engaged in speaking, training, consulting, business coaching…and he is the author of 11 books on business development. Contact John Lees via email: info@johnlees.com.au or visit his website: www.johnlees.com.au