We all hear that a cardinal rule of sales is “know your customer.” As an oft-for-hire actor, I can tell you the cardinal rule for any performer is “know your audience.”
I have benefitted from that sage advice many, many times.
The gist of knowing one’s customer, or audience is that, if you know them, you can adequately serve them, or (in the performer’s case)– reach them.
Today, like I always do, I stopped by a coffee shop to acquire my hourly fix. ( Full disclosure: I contemplated typing “daily fix,” but I decided to be honest– its hourly.)
This was a brand-spanking-new coffee shop. It has been open for less than 24 hours. I had the privilege of stopping by the coffee shop for an ‘advance tour’ on Sunday, and was excited about its opening.
Today, when I stepped to the counter at this new coffee shop, I was greeted with a friendly smile, and a warm, “Hi, George– you want the Nitro, right?”
You bet I do. And lots of it.
You see, Nitro Cold Brew is my jam. Big time. I love it. But, you’re missing the point. How did she know my name– and my coffee order. It was day one!
The reason doesn’t really matter. But she did. And that mattered. You see, she knew my order, and she knew me. And I love that.
Now, sometimes, I like to be not known. I’m not famous, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, there are those moments when any of us loves to disappear into a city, or a foreign place and merely be a spectator. But not today.
Today, I was reminded that I was known. Even at a brand new coffee shop. And that really meant something.
Who You Know Matters
We all recall the phrase, “it’s not what you know, but rather who you know.” This is usually referencing climbing the corporate ladder, or some reference to unfair opportunities based on relationships, rather than skill or talent. But some of it may be true in our work: Do we really know our clients or customers?
“Hey, George! How was your trip to Colorado?”
“Good morning, George! Where have you been? We’ve missed you!”
“George- so sorry to hear about your sick dog- is she better?”
These may seem trivial, but they are important signs that we know each other–– really know each other. This kind of interaction goes beyond emoji-level responses to real life, and ground us in the importance of being known.
Perhaps we could all take a few minutes this week and attempt to “know” one another. We may find ourselves embracing the joy of fellow humans in our midst. At the very least, we may end up with a delightful cup of coffee. And a smile.