If you have been to a music concert lately you know exactly what I mean. My husband and I went to the Rascal Flatts/Darius Rucker concert last Saturday night. I would not describe what took place that evening as a concert, it was a show.
Now I will show my age, which most of you already know, but a concert used to be pretty different than it is today. It used to be that the musicians hid behind a curtain, they were announced, the curtain opened (if there was not a glitch in the rigging and only half the curtain opened), the spotlights were set and occasionally changed colors, the singer and the band played and that was it. You know what I am talking about.
Rarely did the 'star' move about the stage, never did the star come out into the audience or invite an audience member to come on stage with them. There were no camera men sitting in the aerial spotlights, there were no silver studded pianos suspended from the ceiling then lowered to the stage, and NEVER would there be any pyrotechnics. (unless the guy in front of you was smoking a cigarette) No one ever even broke a sweat. There were limited amounts of merchandise for sale after the concert.
Music stars, much like anyone else in sales, and yes, make no mistake, music stars are sales people, have changed their marketing plans to meet the demands of their fans--oops I mean their customers. The show on Saturday night had all of the elements of a true show, because that is what is demanded of concert-goers today. If they are going to pay well over $60 bucks for a ticket, they expect to see something more than a bunch of people standing stationary on the stage. Then after the show they want to wear the tee shirt to impress their friends, AND they will pay $40 bucks for the privilege of wearing that shirt and proudly marketing on behalf of the music star.
Your customers are no different. They will pay for service, which has been proven time and time again. But what they really want is a show. They want you to show them that you know your stuff. They want you to show them that you will go out of your way to help them. They want you to show them that you will deliver what you promised. They want to show their friends that you will give them great service too. They want to show off what a good deal you gave them. They want to show off your tee shirt with pride and tell everyone how wonderful you are. They may even expect you to show them that you will break a sweat if you have to in order to win their business. It's all about the show.
So if you expect to stand on the stage and hope the curtain goes up and the lights go on--you will soon find out that your competition is planning a full blown show--they are out on that stage performing like a music star, and if you don't you might as well get off the stage.