What pink bubble gum vodka can teach you about your customers?

What do your customers really want?I was standing on line recently doing my holiday shopping and someone asked for pink bubblegum vodka.

Don’t hold judgment on me that I was in the liquor store shopping.  I live with a toddler at home.  lol

Without batting an eye, the clerk came from behind the counter and shared with the customer that she would search the inventory and see if she had something that would suit her taste.   She kept talking with the customer about the types of liquors she preferred, her favorite vodkas, the best mixed drink she had, the worst drinks she had tasted, who she was buying the vodka for, etc.

Not once did she ask the question I had on my tongue – PINK BUBBLEGUM VODKA?  Are you kidding me?

Ten minutes later, the customer pays for 5 bottles of vodka suited for a girls night out.  She strolled out of the store smiling.  One woman behind me complimented the clerk on her great customer service.

Now while the customer service was very good, I was more impressed with the customer research aspect.   I thought the clerk did an amazing job of finding out her customers’ tastes by asking questions.   She made no judgments about the woman’s tastes and instead used it as a catalyst to find out more about the woman’s likes and dislikes.  Couple that with a great understanding of her inventory and she was able to make a few recommendations.  Not pink bubblegum vodka (Which btw does exist.  Google it). But she was able to find something comparable that fit the bill.

I thought it was an amazing lesson for entrepreneurs.  You have got to be willing to ask questions.  Customer research is key for good sales and good upsell opportunities. While you may know your products and services the best, it’s all about listening to the customers’ real needs and aligning your company with their requests.  In this case, it appeared that the woman really wanted something fun and “girly” to take to a girls night out party.  Once the clerk uncovered that info, she was able to expand the potential options to other liquors and find those that would appealing to a female palate.

I encourage as you think about your sales conversations and pitches to consider collecting this information.  Find ways to engage customers in conversation and learn more about the psychology of their buying decisions.  It will help you plan new products better and ways to upsell them on existing ones.

Now leave me alone so I can figure out how to make this Twizzler martini.


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One thought on “What pink bubble gum vodka can teach you about your customers?

  1. Malla,
    Such a great story. I think customer research and customer service can be the same idea, in fact. Sometimes figuring out how to satisfy your customers’ needs is a life-long or career-long activity. But, in the end, you’ll build a better business as a result.

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