Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some Like it Hot...

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot nine days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, nine days old

Though I had learnt this nursery rhyme way back in my elementary days, little did I appreciate its depth and reality. A recent happening left me with a lesson that brought back strongly the essence of the rhyme.

I’ve already shared this personally with so many but more assuredly, I will hold on dearly to this in my career as an Entrepreneur. Truth is, long before I took off on this journey, I’d learnt that businesses must focus on identifying and meeting needs. It’s about providing solutions to certain issues of the clients or customers. However, I have discovered even another dimension to meeting a need.

Couture is my first line of business at the moment. I’ve not kicked off fully yet since I’m still putting a few things in place and rounding off at the fashion school. All the same, after over 10 weeks we have mastered certain basics of dress making and started making some wears. I decided on starting with complimentary jobs, a good opportunity to introduce myself in the market place. I took this one job from a good friend, and went ahead to execute with what I look back in retrospect as a little understanding of her preferences. The job came out well; truthfully many saw it and commended my efforts. I put in a lot of hours to add creativity here and there. It was one of my first jobs for heaven’s sake; I couldn’t afford to make it simple. Lo and behold, I took it for fitting and despite encouragements that I’d done well on a number of notes, she said – “the style is not me”. And then it dawned on me, nothing satisfies a customer like the exact blueprint of their expectations.

This other dimension to meeting a need is in ensuring one knows the details in full of what the customer needs and wants. It’s about reading in between the lines when they are giving their briefs. It’s about asking; asking and asking….just know that client. It goes beyond the efforts you put in, the time you’ve sacrificed, the funds you’ve expended, all would be like nothing if the other party involved isn’t fully satisfied. So now, more than anything, I’m asking and learning about my client.

While sharing this experience with some loved ones, another perspective surfaced. The same lesson applies in the other relationships like in families, and with friends. We tend to give what we feel would be appreciated because that is probably what we may want if we were in the shoes. So a woman is giving her husband a big card that sings because she really appreciates it, but he doesn’t even like cards in the first place.

We would do our relationships and businesses good if we go this extra mile to research, discover, learn what exactly we must do, how we must do, when we need to do while providing solutions. Honestly, those experiences of spot-on-execution never leave us; they enhance relationships, boost our morale from positive feedback and increase our network base through referrals.

Leave your own personal preferences and know the category your customer, client, loved one belongs…for in actual fact, some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it old and some don’t even like it.


Events by Doyin said...

Nicely written! We must definitely do research on our clients needs in order to satisfy them.

Gbemisoke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gbemisoke said...

You write very well. I could do with some lessons :)
You're so right. Many times in the past, I thought I understood what my clients wanted and I found out like you, that I had made what I liked, not what they liked.
What should one do when a client wants something that you know isn't right for their body type, or maybe isn't age appropriate? Do you go ahead and give them what they want, or do you go ahead and make what you know would work for them?

Footsteps said...

@Doyin, thanks...indeed we need to
@Gbemi, thank you too. On what to do from what I also learnt recently, we need to encourage them to see the reason why our recommendation is a better choice. Ultimately they need to see and approve the design before least for our own good too.