When I started my career in Dubai, I was a youth of twenty. The next year, when my birthday arrived, my father presented me with some Dirhams as a gift and asked me to buy anything of my choice. Actually in those days our business was passing through a financial crisis and we had adopted a frugal lifestyle. But my father put his worries aside and celebrated my birthday with gusto.
For quite some time I had desired to buy a wristwatch. I went to a nearby store and requested the owner to show me some affordable watches. He was a kind and jovial senior man. He showed me wristwatches of various brands. I selected a cheap one which fitted in my budget. While my purchase was being packed, I inquisitively asked the owner whether his store stocked expensive watches of world famous brands. He replied affirmatively and called me to another counter. Beneath the glass there was an eye-catching display of beautiful watches. He asked me which one I liked and I pointed at one. I hesitatingly asked the price and he replied that it was worth a few thousand Dirhams.
Almost like reading my thoughts, the old man stopped me and said, “Son, I know what you are thinking. Forget the price at this moment. At least try on the watch you liked most and see how it adorns your wrist?” He himself placed the watch on my wrist. I felt honoured and returned the watch to him. He said to me with a smile and cheerful words, “Young man, one day you will surely visit my shop again to purchase this piece.”
His words came true. A decade later, I visited the same store. This time I was the Managing Director of my company. The owner was now in his late seventies and didn’t remember me immediately -but when I introduced myself and reminded him of my previous visit, his eyes gleamed. To my surprise, the same watch was still there, which I purchased happily. Before leaving, I casually asked the owner, “Uncle, how did you predict so surely that I would visit again?” The old man smilingly replied, “Sir, I saw a dream in your eyes. I did nothing but sprinkle some hope on that seedling.”
I admired him for the friendly treatment he had extended to me and told him as such. He replied, “Sir! The world has changed from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and goodwill has proved to be the best return on investment. Therefore sellers must serve, respect and retain their customers. Had I not treated you amiably that day, you would have simply turned to another store and I also would have lost a good customer.”
Michael Brenner, one of the famous motivational speakers says- If you just help your customers, or help your buyers to buy, and answer the questions that they have in that journey, then you can really succeed.