Buy.ology by Martin Lindstrom – Why We Buy?

0908 BuyOlogyFind out how everything we believe about why we buy is wrong. A must-read for anyone who buys or sells anything – that’s all of us.

Find out why majority of the anti-smoking campaigns inadvertently encourage people to smoke. Why does the scent of melons help sell electronic products? Why did so many people who took the ‘Pepsi challenge’ say they preferred Pepsi, only to carry on buying Coca-Cola? This books is a fascinating look at how people perceive logos, ads, commercials, brands and products.

Tell us about any great books you have read recently.

Take Time to Read

0908 readingReading a book is one of the best ways of feeding your mind with information, inspiration and ideas. If we can find time to feed our body 3-5 times a day, we can surely find time to feed our mind at least once a day. If you want to keep yourself at maximum creative capacity, you have to make sure you are taking in new ideas and thoughts. If you are a professional, you need to stay up to date with the latest. If you are a parent, you need to set an example for your kids so they also develop a habit of reading and a love of learning. Few tips:

  1. Set aside a time. It doesn’t have to be much but even a 10-minute commitment to yourself can make a difference. For me, it’s the commute, on flights and at night before going to sleep.
  2. Keep a list. I recently read somewhere how keeping a list of what you have read and what you want to read can be so useful, and I have just started doing that. Continue reading

Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo – plug in!

Most business travelers carry a notebook computer, mobile phone and a digital camera amongst many other things. Then why is it that most hotels, including five stars and top brands, can’t provide 3-4 power outlets near the writing desk. There are usually only two power outlets hidden under the table and one of them is connected to the table lamp. So I often end up charging my phone and camera by unplugging the TV or the fridge or the standing lamp if I am lucky enough to be able to move them and find the hidden power outlets!

Taj Samudra in Colombo is one of the very few hotels that understand their customers’ needs. When I checked in tonight, not only there was a power extension fitted right above the desk with four outlets, it could take different power plugs! WOW!

Pacific Coffee also gets it!

One more company that uses their customers’ date of birth to enhance their service is Pacific Coffee!

When I touched my Pacific Coffee debit card on their scanner to pay for my coffee, the barista immediately said, “Happy Birthday, today we can upgrade your tall coffee to grande.” WOW! I responded by changing my order to short coffee and getting it upgraded to tall. It was just a $5 saving for me, but surely a WOW customer service!

Read my last post about brithdays in case you missed it.

American Express and Mandarin Oriental get it!

mandarin-bdayMost hotels are very particular about getting their guests’ date of birth upon check in. Whenever I am asked to fill in mine, I ask, “Are you planning to send me a birthday card?” I usually get a sheepish smile in response.

Out of the hundreds of hotels that have collected my DOB during the last ten years of my traveling – including some of the biggest chains and brands – only Mandarin Oriental in Macau sends me a birthday card every year. And it comes with a special offer of a deluxe room for two at almost half the price for any two nights during my birthday month! That’s WOW!

amex-bdayThis year, I also got a birthday card from American Express. And this included six discount coupons on meals at some of the best restaurants in Hong Kong! Another WOW!

If you are in any kind of business or sales, remember that one of the easiest ways of enhancing the relationship with your customer, or with anyone in your life for that matter, is remembering their birthday. And then following up with a gift or a personalized card or a phone call or even an SMS – anything but a link to one of those electronic greeting cards!

I know you can’t help thinking what to do on Mush’s birthday 🙂 Forward a link to my blog to somebody who could benefit from the information and inspiration. Also, any feedback, good or bad, on my blog through comments on Why I Write? page would mean a lot to me.

How not to sell?

Someone, we’d call Kevin for now, called me and asked if I remembered meeting him about a year ago at a particular event. I didn’t. He then described me and himself, then asked for an appointment. He wouldn’t tell me anything about the purpose of the meeting except ‘you were an inspiration, and I’d like to see you again’. I proposed the day and time and place; he agreed. I told him I’ll give him 20 minutes. He said ‘too short’ but agreed.

On the day, Kevin was about seven minutes late ‘due to traffic’. After a quick hello, he asked if I’d like to do something to help the environment. I said I’d love to. Kevin then told me I should go with him to the ‘Environmental Shopping Mall’ he works for – about 30 minutes commute from where we were. I asked him if it was some kind of network marketing, to which he said ‘no’. After a few minutes of probing, it turned out Kevin worked for a well-known network marketing company selling skincare, nutrition supplements and household products which were all supposed to be “good for me and the environment”! And his purpose was to recruit me or sell me some products.

I won’t tell you how the meeting with Kevin ended, but it shouldn’t be difficult to see the good, bad and ugly in this sales call.