The Zebra Crossing

In my home town of Cheltenham, I’ve adopted a bicycle to get me around town. To the gym, the supermarket, the doctors. All journeys can be completed by bike which is much healthier, better for the environment and saves me driving my car.

I still use my car for longer journeys and work trips but around town I prefer to use my bike.

The advantage I have, is I know how to both cycle and drive around town, so I see things from both points of view

Let me start by focussing on zebra crossings. The worst aspect for a car driver is when pedestrians and cyclists hit the button, cross immediately and then the red light flashes and no car can cross because the cyclist is long gone. As a driver that really annoys me.

As a result, I always look to see if any cars are coming before I hit the red light, that way I cross and prevent the red light stopping motorists and avoiding their anger. I do this because I’m also a driver and know how annoying this is.

That’s the point. I see both sides of the story. The motorists and the cyclists. In sales we must see both sides – ours and the customers. If you don’t think you do then:

  1. Spend a day in the life of your customer to gain their side
  2. Mystery shop your own company so as to experience a customer’s purchase
  3. Try to map out the buying process that your customer goes through and the issues and pains they have
  4. What are the issues and pains that your customer’s have that put them in the market for your product?
  5. Really accelerate your exploring skills so to find out more about your customer’s situation and challenges
  6. Stop calling it a customer journey – I see this happening in conference rooms across the country and all I see are internal staff tying to fathom out what the customer journey is. Nonsense. Let the customer determine this but keep it flexible – no one wants to climb onto a conveyor belt do they? Train your people so they can flex the sale not stick to a rigid selling process.

What do I prefer? Cycling or driving. It has to be cycling although with the winter fast approaching, darkness and cold, maybe the shine will be blown away and the car will beckon.