Streetfighter Selling

for Sales Professionals

  • May

    O.K., when did first-class airfare become class warfare?
    We know the airline biz has gone through some (cliche warning) serious turbulence, but they definitely need a think tank when it comes to the basics of customer service.
    Case in point: first class. The wider seats are a nice perk, but do they have to turn the concept into outright class-warfare?

    Here’s how it works…. If you fly, no doubt you’ve seen the velvet rope and 4 x 8 foot carpet set up at each gate. The accompanying a sign advises that “First Class” passengers can enter the jetway on the left side of the rope, where they can walk over the bright red rug (or, with some airlines, blue). The rest of the riff raff (coach fliers) are denied the right to the feel of that vinyl-backed polypropylene comfort and, instead, have to trudge to the jetway on the right, no-soft-carpet side of the rope. The perceived benefit? First Class fliers might be seen as they board, a totally-useless and no more than self-gratifying perk. The benefit to the airline? The message to coach fliers that “hey, you, too, could do this…for a price.”

    Moral #1: Never let your customers feel that they’re paying extra for a useless perk.

    Moral 2: Providing perks at a premium price is a great idea. Doing it at the expense of those who don’t, not a good idea.

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  • May

    Sometimes we miss the obvious. While leaving a recent meeting, I walked with the company VP-Sales to the lobby where a well-dressed gentleman was talking on his cell phone. Nothing wrong so far, though The Streetfighter strongly discourages usage in a client’s lobby. The bigger problem: he was speaking loudly (and about another of his company’s customers) while pacing the lobby. “Can you believe it,” the Veep said under his breath. After finally noticing us, Mr. Cell ended it with “gotta go,” snapped the phone shut and stuck is hand out, introducing himself to the VP. Turns out, the two of them had an appointment. A first-time appointment. Ooops.

    Coincidentally, Wired Magazine has a very similar article on cell phone etiquette. That’s as hilarious as it is serious. From public usage to loud ring tones, it’s something that every busy salesperson should read, just as a cautious reminder.

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