It’s always amazing to me when I go to a produce stand. The produce is fresh and much of it is never sold, particularly the bananas. Unless you love brown bananas, this story is not for you.
I stop by one of several produce stands once a week, make a selection of 6-7 bananas and ask, “How much?” The response is almost always. “Need to buy a kilo”. I say, I only need half. The vendor says he cannot sell me half kilo. He even refuses to sell me the 6-7 bananas so I find myself going to another vendor who is willing. It’s not just bananas; it’s mangos, oranges, guava, you name it.
There’s also the times when I’m at the restaurant; I request rice and vegetables with special tibs on the side. Tibs is a meat dish that is usually served with injera. I request the tibs without injera. Again I get, we cannot sell it to you without injera. Of course, I suggest that the injera is not needed so they can use it for another meal. A request could be declined or a request for an adjustment will be refused and in return, a sale is NOT made. There are several examples I could share but I’ll stick with these.
I shared this with my local colleagues and they just smile and say, “This is the way”. Immediately, I go into a diatribe about ways to avoid a loss in sale, about looking into other ways to please customers, about entertaining other ways of accomplishing the same task faster, better, while maintaining one’s good reputation…being flexible in one’s thinking.
Now I have to structure this identical behavior in a way for 15 field workers to understand and embrace as I travel to the field to conduct a workshop that introduces the use of one’s communication skills and case study writing. Stay tuned.