Last week, I bailed out of the office for what has become an annual mid-May trip to enjoy southern coastal Maine before the tourist flocks and the flies arrive. Last year, I explored in winter gear – parka, mittens, hat, scarf, and warm boots. FREEZING temperatures, literally. This year, sunny and warm, moderate breeze, cloudless skies – much like early June.
When I take these jaunts, I like to walk 6 – 8 miles a day. I like to chat up the owners of interesting stores. I like to eat in local places (this time, Becky’s Diner in Portland, best blueberry pancakes I’ve ever had). And I like to find and eat great ice cream.
During a three-day adventure, I might stop several times for ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. I might try a fruit sorbet as a chaser, but I don’t pay attention to fancy flavors or mix-ins. I like chocolate: High butter fat, low overrun (% of air), dense and cold with bright flavor that opens up on the tongue and finishes clean. And I prefer craft (“we make our own”) ice cream.
So, I heard about a “great ice cream place, one of a kind, great view, you won’t be disappointed”. Online reviews were enthusiastically positive. So, I went.
Great view, as promised. And, even ‘though I knew I’d order chocolate ice cream, I looked at the flavor board – five frozen yogurt flavors, five sorbets including “Wild Maine Blueberry”, and fifty-one ice cream flavors (hmmmmm…).
So, I ordered a small cup of chocolate ice cream. They delivered an enormous serving – a medium any place else.
I gave the ice cream high marks. I went back for seconds. When I’d finished, as I turned to walk back to the window to ask about where they make their ice cream and like that, I noticed an ice cream delivery truck from a prominent Maine-based creamery (i.e., manufacturer) cozied up to a door on the side of the building.
“Well, that answers THAT question,” I thought. The ice cream store’s website reference to ‘Maine-made ice cream’ meant ‘we buy it’ rather than ‘we make it’. While they are well located and generous with their servings, there are dozens of ice cream places that serve exactly the same ice cream. One of a kind for the view, not the ice cream. Disappointment!!!!
If you’re offering a product or service that you say is “unique” or that your clients perceive to be unique or ‘custom-built for them”, it helps if they can’t see any elements of your product or service that are “mass produced” to reduce costs or whatever.
Maybe this ice cream place could have scheduled supplier delivery for times other than “customer hours”?
Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .
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