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Sale or customer – what’s more important?



Seems like an obvious enough question, doesn’t it? My buddy called a Harley Davidson store to find out if they have a leather jacket exactly like the one he has (his has worn out.) The salesperson at the Harley store says, “We don’t have it in stock, but I would be happy to call around and see if they still make it, and if they do I will get it for you. I will call you when I find out.” So far so good!


A week passes without word from the salesperson at the Harley store which, by the way, is much more expensive than other leather stores carrying the same thing. My buddy calls back, gets the same salesperson and says, “Hey – it’s been a week, I haven’t heard back from you and I wonder what’s up?” She says, “Ohhh yeah. I found out they don’t make that jacket anymore and knew I wouldn’t get a sale so I just didn’t call you back.” WOW!!


So you may think the moral of the story is to return calls – you would be oh so wrong! This is a culture story. The question we should be asking is ‘I wonder what the culture was in that store such that she believed it is more about the sale than the customer?’


I wonder if you are clear enough about the culture you create around you. I wonder if you are testing the culture regularly. Culture is just another way of saying what an organization, community, family etc. accepts and rejects as ‘normal and acceptable’. It’s how it feels to operate inside that environment. So pay attention to what you accept and reject in word and action. The culture you create is more important than the results you achieve. Here are some things to think about:


What can you share with your peers on this topic? Add a comment below to keep the discussion going.


1. What are the words you would use to describe the culture you work in?
2. To what extent do you have responsibility to the culture?
3. To what extent do you have responsibility for the culture?
4. What can you start doing today to positively influence the culture at home or at work?
5. What can you stop doing today, that by stopping, would improve the culture at home or at work.
6. What can you share with your peers on this topic? Add a comment below to keep the discussion going?

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