Listen, Learn, Love… Voice+ Value ! What’s with this kindergarten rant ? Nuts in this professional world….so one would think.So my story goes …
I watched in amazement at a 2 ft whole salmon flying thru the air, neatly caught by this jaunty, sprightly fishmonger – with one hand. Effortless and a grin on his face even before the fish stuck like chewing gum in his palm. The setting : Pike Place Fish Market – Seattle. You may have heard before, via the bestseller book “Fish” by Stephen C Lundin, or may have experienced it personally. I spent 30 minutes at the stall watching every detail and framed the picture of “How things work here”. Simple lessons for me that reverberated with what behaviors we instill in our work ethic.
Lesson 1 : Listen, Learn and Listen and Learn ….
How many times sales people want to get on the mojo sales pitch- USP (Unique Sales Position), FBV (Feature Benefit Value), Differentiation = Value etc., It’s mostly about the goddamn product and “fitting it in” ….sometimes termed jam the round screw into a square hole. Stop it ! what worked 20 years ago will not take you 20 years ahead starting Now ! …
An elderly lady walks up to one of the fishmongers and asks a question – “My son caught a mackerel in xxxx place and this was a particular type, that was so smelly. We weren’t sure what is the best way to cook it. Could you tell me how ?” The fishmonger asks about the size, what type of smell and other pertinent questions – so it seemed to me. The lady continues describing. Finally the fishmonger tells her how to clean/cut it , what sauces to use and cook it. She thanks him and walks away…he is happy and she hasn’t bought a fish !
Listen, learn about fish (your product/eco-system/market) so much that people come to you for trusted advise. You have to Love what you do – day in/day out – a fundamental to enable your seat at their table.
Lesson 2 : Love what you do ….rest will follow
Each fish or/and group of fish was neatly labelled with words such as “We sell only wild salmon caught by wild fishermen” (read as playing to the emotional brain), “Come closer to a MONKFISH” (education). Next to oysters – “Consuming RAW or undercooked foods increase your risk of food borne illness”. A rack filled with various seasoning bottles. Packaging boxes used for shipping them to other states that read “No Leaks. No Smells”. The art of packing a small slice(s) of fish meant the fish was padded with a small plastic pouch of crushed ice, to keep it fresh, and with no leaks all the way home.
The constant fun, chatter playing games amidst the fishmongers here, and engaging the crowd could only happen with the intense desire and love for their art form. Nothing Less.
Lesson 3: What’s in a Voice?
Hooray rent the air as the fish was caught. A chuckle loud and clear. Chatter rent the air while several dozens of people watched …. That Voice would not stand out or be heard if Lessons 1 and 2 were not in place – yeah ! A board on the side said it all…
We try not to be rude… ; We’ve Learned to Choose our Attitude. We try to think of a way, to make their day. We remind ourselves to care. We know it’s important to be thereWhy would I not pay $ 14 for an Oyster knife and it claims to be world famous – not the best ! Why the heck would that matter. I’ve attached a Value to this whole experience in 30 minutes.
We Dance + Prance + Shout hooray. We try to find a way to play. In other words… We’re hooked on the fish philosophy
A Value that cannot be measured. Is entirely emotional and tagged forever amidst 100 billion neurons in my brain.