The Grandmother Philosophy Explained

I was working as a sales rep for a flooring distributor and awoke to the usual sound of a 6:30 am wake up call. By 8:00 am I was headed to my first appointment of the day.

Of all the sales calls, sales meetings, and sales trainings I had ever attended, today would prove to be the most important sales lesson of them all, and a turning point in my career. Little did I know, everything in my life would change before returning to my hotel room later that evening.

After spending a few minutes saying hello to a half dozen salespeople, I sat down with the general manager and owner for my appointment. The first item on my agenda was ask John to answer a question that I had been curious about since our last meeting. John’s store, in a market with a population of 90,000 people, had consistently been in the top 5 in the country, and I wanted to know why? What were they doing differently? What was their secret? How could they be so highly ranked when they were competing against stores in much larger markets? John’s response was one that I will never forget.

He thought that if he told me I would laugh, but after promising not to, he told me he felt the reason his store had been so successful was because he had always told his salespeople to treat their customers like they would treat their own Grandma.

I immediately looked at John and said, “What a great idea for a book!” His response was, “Yeah! But who would write it?”

As soon as I walked out of his store, I thought to myself, why not me?

When I arrived back to my hotel that evening, I made the first outline of what I had decided to call the Grandmother Philosophy.

If you were selling new furniture to your Grandmother, imagine how much better you might treat her compared to a regular customer. You would make sure and only show her products that you would feel comfortable with her buying, and you would never sell her a product that you would not put into your own home. You would give her a fair price, and you wouldn’t try to cheat her or take advantage of her. Because she is your Grandmother, she expects you to make a profit. What kind of Grandmother wouldn’t want her grandson or granddaughter to make a good living? You would try to sell her your best products, and not let her buy something that might not withstand the test of time. You would put your best delivery crew on the job, and you would make sure they were on time and professional. The day of her delivery, you would stop by her house on your lunch break to make sure everything had going smoothly. If she had a problem, you would take care of it immediately, and not give her the runaround. You would call her the day after delivery and verify that everything was to her satisfaction. You would give her the best service you possibly could.

The more I thought about the Grandmother Philosophy, the more I realized I had to write the book. The first three months were challenging, so much so that I had almost given up. The struggle was internal, because I only told my wife what I was attempting to do. I had heard many people say they intended to write a book someday, but they had never done it. I didn’t want to be another statistic. Determined to take a simple concept and transform it into a philosophy, and the thought of walking into a bookstore and seeing that someone else had written my book is what kept me going. I didn’t want to be one of those people to see a great idea and say, “Hey, I thought of that. If only I had acted on it?” The Grandmother Philosophy is an acronym for the word Grandmother: Greet every customer immediately Read body language Attitude is Everything. Never Prejudge Do unto others as you would want done unto you. Make an impression that will last a lifetime. Own your Products. Think like a Salesperson. Honesty, Honesty, Honesty. Everyone is a potential customer. Remember to “Treat Every Customer Like You Would Treat Your Own Grandmother.” ​

Chris Coltran is the president of C2 Coaching & Training and is available as a keynote speaker, presenter or trainer for conventions, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, distribution, management, affiliate, mlm, executive, real estate, marketing, advertising, banking, direct sales or entrepreneur annual association meetings. Chris is a professional speaker and keynote speaker, author, coach, management trainer, sales trainer, and business development expert.

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