Travel enough and you’ll eventually find yourself forced to stay outside your preferred points program. As was the circumstance that lead to my partaking in what Westin calls a “heavenly shower.” Guilt trip on a spigot is more like it! Drawing the shower curtain reveals not one, but two, identical shower heads; not in the airline lounge, body or rain spray configuration either. Both are fed from the same pipe. Odd to say the least, but I figured Westin’s clientele must contain considerable quantities of back-of-the-tubbers who outright demand this shoot-some-water-over-her-head functionality. Hey, to each their own, right?
Yea! Then I read the accompanying sign. Two long, simply worded paragraphs that boil down to: we (Westin) give you this because *we* are awesome, but if you don’t want to be an earth destroying, water wasting, douche bag … turn one nozzle off and shower like a normal person. I spent the entire shampoo cycle pondering whether that would even stifle water flow, or just focus the output and net a single properly pressurized stream. By conditioner time, however, rage replaced scientific curiosity.
First of all, what kind of company would choose to position their most patronizing signage in the one place promising to literally catch clients with their pants down? Did they assume the rinse cycle would make for a sufficient cooling off period, allowing them to get away with such mass condensation? I half expected a timer on the hot water designed to guarantee guests left properly chillaxed. In all seriousness tho, I understand the strategy of a ‘throw away’ demand, but can that tactic work when you don’t first evaluate someone’s temperament?
Generally in a negotiation you should strive to create, or at least appear to create, a win-win situation. But as products become increasingly commoditized, and prospects shop without your noble guidance, do throw away features replace the satisfaction previously reserved for outwitting a shady salesman? If so, can the truly sapient salesmen among us engender a similar sense of accomplishment by creating a dueling shower head type game? As much as I might hate to admit it, classic questioning tactics such as “would you prefer to meet Tuesday or Wednesday?” do work, and I suspect giving patrons the choice between a “heavenly shower” and a “green” makes more people happy than angry.
So this week, consider what aspects of your offering you can position as a client win. The appearance of compromise goes just as far as actual concessions. You may know it’s just two sides of the same coin, but odds are prospects won’t notice until long after the proverbial ink is dry.