Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Will you do whatever it takes?

I was at a Dennis Lecorriere concert the weekend before last and for those of you who are too young to remember he was one of the lead singers with the band Dr. Hook who were one of the most successful worldwide acts in the 1970’s and early 80’s.

Whilst I have to admit I was not entirely inspired by the idea of going to the concert in the first place (it was a treat for my wife), I was very soon turned around once he began to perform. I say perform because he did just that. He built rapport with the audience by talking to them in a conversational style, sung a couple of tunes, talked some more, sung some more, and so on. It was as if we had known each other personally for years and he was simply engaging in discussion in a bar or someone’s living room.

It occurred to me that this genuinely pleasant individual was truly doing what he loved. He had been on tour for months and still has several gigs to deliver before, one assumes, returning home to the U.S. for Christmas. His son introduced him on stage and he had nothing more than a couple of guitars on stands, a table with two bottles of water and a few drapes on the stage. There was none of the cutting edge extravagance you might expect with a Robbie Williams or a Madonna or a Kylie Minogue stage show. Just one man, his music and a little conversation.

At one point, he got the audience involved in singing along with a chorus. First the men, then the women. Many did indeed play the game, and many did not. Lecorriere then made quite a profound statement that struck a chord with me, if you’ll pardon the pun. He said:
“There are those that will join in and they are fine. Then there are those who don’t join in because they just don’t want to, and that’s fine also. They have made a choice that they are comfortable with. The ones I worry about are those who want to join in but don’t!”

This reminded me of the saying “the way we do one thing is the way we do everything”. In other words, if you were one of those who really did want to join in but didn’t, where else in life do you hold back from doing what you truly want to do? What would not getting involved ultimately cost in terms of fulfilment, enjoyment, joy, satisfaction, growth, peace, success…?

Dennis Lecorriere is clearly doing what he loves when he is on stage and he seems to have a genuine desire to provide exceptional value to his audience. He wants to serve them and allow them the freedom to be themselves, as he does. He builds exceptional rapport with his audience without any apparent expectation of a return. He wants to give rather than take. He is a powerful salesman who builds a relationship with his audience and has them buying into the process without any suspicion or mistrust. He provides entertainment and in my case education. I suspect that had there been customer satisfaction forms at the door he would have achieved a resounding positive score. It was effortless because he wanted to add value and ensure that his fee paying public left feeling great about the experience and would come back for more some other time.

So, a couple of questions that you might like to consider, if you choose to, are:

“What would make adding value to the customer experience effortless?”

“How do I/we show up in the supplier/customer relationship?”

“Am I/we joining in or simply holding back from being truly fulfilled?”

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