Upselling Versus Building Relationships

 Posted by on 28 December 2011 at 8:00 am  Business, Ethics
Dec 282011

Ron Johnson on What I Learned Building the Apple Store:

People come to the Apple Store for the experience — and they’re willing to pay a premium for that. There are lots of components to that experience, but maybe the most important — and this is something that can translate to any retailer — is that the staff isn’t focused on selling stuff, it’s focused on building relationships and trying to make people’s lives better.

That may sound hokey, but it’s true.

The staff is exceptionally well trained, and they’re not on commission, so it makes no difference to them if they sell you an expensive new computer or help you make your old one run better so you’re happy with it. Their job is to figure out what you need and help you get it, even if it’s a product Apple doesn’t carry.

Compare that with other retailers where the emphasis is on cross-selling and upselling and, basically, encouraging customers to buy more, even if they don’t want or need it. That doesn’t enrich their lives, and it doesn’t deepen the retailer’s relationship with them. It just makes their wallets lighter.

That’s awesome… and worth remembering in business. Also, I’d be curious to know whether the Microsoft Stores — which seem like rip-offs of Apple Stores on the surface — are run on the same underlying principles or not.

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