Thursday, July 7, 2016

it only takes one.

The experience is everything.  You must constantly strive to create the culture and ensure success.  It's no longer enough to have the right products in the right place at the right time at the right price.  You must pay special attention to the lighting, the music, and music.  You must host events, offer refreshments, and meet your clients in their own environment.  You must do what it takes to go above and beyond.  The products/services may get the clients in the door, but your service and their experience are what keep them coming back.  You don't want to push too hard or you'll push them away, but you do want to control and maximize the experience.   There is a formula to "clienteling" and this is just the beginning.

In the 1800s, shortly after his parents died, a teen-aged Louis Vuitton walked nearly 300 miles to Paris.  The long journey took over two years.  When he arrived, Paris was bustling with the industrial revolution, and he quickly became an apprentice with an established box-maker.  Back in the day, box making was a very lucrative business - each box was handcrafted, and the better box-makers even packed the items for transport themselves, ensuring a secure and perfect fit.  After 17 years, Monsieur Vuitton started his own business, specializing in customized boxes and trunks.  The competition primarily had round tops; Louis's versions were mostly square or rectangular in shape, allowing multiples to be stacked for more efficient transportation.  Because of his quality and innovation, he became an official supplier to the fabulous and famous Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III.  It was this relationship with Empress Eugénie that opened the door for Louis Vuitton to the luxury demographic - securing future business and the future of his company. 

You never know who you're going to meet, what opportunity may present itself, or who is watching. 

You don't just "network" at work or for work. You're constantly meeting new people, representing yourself, your interests and industry, and profession. You're assessing what others are doing, actively engaging to discover why they're doing what they're doing, and amassing best practices as often as possible. You capitalize opportunities to maximize business, knowledge, and growth, whilst minimizing expenditures. You might not always be armed with business cards, but a firm handshake, a smile, and the courage to say hello.

After all, the answer is "no" until you ask...

This is the art of clienteling. Let's stay in touch.

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