My wife loves shoes. My three daughters love shoes. My sister loves shoes. Most of the women I know love to shop for shoes. It’s a group activity and team sport. This phenomenon should not surprise a lot of people. Some people are surprised when I tell them I know the difference between flats, pumps, T-Strap, sling backs, espadrilles, peep toes and wedges…and the NEED for all of these in one color.

While sitting in the shoe section of Nordstrom one day, I realized I LOVE shopping for shoes too! Why? Most men hate shoe shopping, so why was I getting caught up in the excitement? I realized, I still didn’t care about the shoes. The shoes are just a product. They are functional and, at times, a commodity. However, the experience was eliciting a feeling in me I wasn’t prepared for. How can I duplicate this same feeling in my customers and clients?

  1. Experience – When people attend a SciSpeak workshop, I make sure it is a fun and memorable experience. They can go anywhere and learn social media, mobile technology or presentation skills. However, when they attend my workshops, they leave wanting more. When my wife leaves a shoe store, she doesn’t think, “I’m done buying shoes.” If she could stay longer and buy, she would. That’s the experience you want your customers to feel about your product.
  2. Emotions – Shoes make people feel a certain way. Some shoes make you feel pretty / handsome. Some shoes make you feel powerful. Some shoes make you feel athletic and strong (even if you don’t go to the gym). Even Apple designs it’s products and stores to elicit a certain emotion. How do your customers feel after they buy your products or services?
  3. Total Package – My customers always ask me for a package. Their question is not always based on price. A package indicates that it is “complete.” When I go to the Men’s Wearhouse to buy a suit, they lay out a suit with a shirt and tie and socks and shoes. They know I don’t just need a suit. As a good salesperson, we need to understand the package needs of our customers.
  4. Community – My wife loves when other women notice her new shoes. She has spent good money on them and she wants recognition. ALL people want recognition for the work they have put in to something. If a quarterback throws an amazing pass, they expect people to cheer and yell. Fitbit Exercise bands have done an amazing job of building a community around steps taken, calories burned and fitness. Build a community around your products and the sales will increase.

I probably have more shoes than most men. I have four pairs of black shoes. I have 3 pair of boots. I have loafers, lace ups and wing tips. My shoes are for different occasions and each makes me feel a different way when I put them on. Don’t judge me for my sense of fashion. Think about how you want your customers to feel after buying your product or service and strive to design for that.

Now about those purses… 🙂

Scientifically Speaking, of course