As the spring selling season is fast approaching, I wanted to touch on this subject a bit. Perspective: how we see things happening in our world around us. It's what makes our reality. Our ability to take in the business environment and its opportunities and challenges depends on us having the proper perspective. It’s also how our customers see their world. However, they may have a complete different perspective than us. To get the most out of our business, employees and customers we must look at ourselves from multiple perspectives.
As a businessperson
If you are the owner your goal is to get the most out of your business with as little risk as possible. Making profit involves keeping a close eye on income and expenses and making tough decisions that could make or break your business. These decisions affect everyone is some way shape or form so it’s important that you take the time to look at things from your employees and customers point of view as well. Not only to be considerate (such as who gets laid off in the slow season), but looking at things from their perspective will also set them up to do their jobs better therefore more profitably down the road. Including them in the conversation about a proposed change or issue will help you gain their perspective and help you to see something in a way you may not have seen before.
As an employee
Your goal is to get the most for the least as well, just in different terms. We want to automate as much as we can, outsource what makes sense and use technology to our advantage in order to free up as much time as we can to wait on customers. But it’s important that you see your role through the perspective of both the owner and your customers. We know the owners goal so we must keep that in mind as we perform our jobs. Increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, improving the bottom line all may not have a direct impact on your pay or bonus, but indirectly absolutely do. How about your co-workers? What is their perception of your department? Are you on the ball when it comes to servicing them or are you dropping the ball with them? You must look at your department from their perspective in order to answer this.
As a customer
The most important perspective yet. How our customers perceive us directly affects the business that they do with us. Do they view you as problem solvers? The ones they can count on for their powersports needs. Have your needs affected their needs positively or negatively? For example, from your perspective you would like to decrease inventory in order to keep more money in the bank. The result is that you have less inventory for your customer to choose from. Has this choice left your customer with the perception that you don’t stock what she needs? This can also be applied to personal anecdotes or storytelling. A salesman’s point of view can be a powerful tool when helping a customer decide or when closing the deal. However, from your customer’s perspective they have little to no interest in hearing your war stories if they do not apply to their decision. Consider your customers’ perspective when sharing a personal anecdote. If they are buying a motorcycle to commute and save money on fuel, talk about efficiency and what can enhance that efficiency are appropriate. How much HP your R1 personal has is not relevant nor appropriate.
In order to be the best owner, employee, supervisor or subordinate we must take the time to see things from other perspectives. Your ability to step outside of your own role and see things from above and also through others’ eyes has a huge impact on being able to serve our customers the best that we can.
Napoleon Tetreault is a sales representative with Tucker Rocky, an aftermarket PG&A distributor in the powersports industry. He works with powersports retailers on merchandising, profitability and management of the parts department as well as the education of dealership personnel. His experience includes being the GM of the largest indoor motocross facility in the U.S., owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at: