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The Rupp Report
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

The Rupp Report: It's The People, Not The Product

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

The machine model XYZ Mark V, flexibility, quality, lean production — just a few common words in today’s world of any manufacturing industry. However, every product is full of quality and flexibility, and is easy to handle. In modern, highly competitive markets, these properties are nothing special, but prerequisites for a successful product or company.

Differentiate The Message
So, how do you differentiate the message to your customer on any level, that your product is special and that your company is the right one to deal with? Go personally and talk face-to-face with your customers. Show them your face and not drives or screws. It’s the services you deliver to your customers, and service means people. Tell them who you are and what you stand for.

I Don’t Like The Person
We all know this situation: One decides to buy a product — for example, a car. After browsing endlessly through all the catalogues, the decision is made. Full of expectations, you go to the dealer to meet the sales people. It takes no more than one minute to realize the salesperson is definitely not someone you like — you’re not on the same level of communication. What a jerk, you think. Odds are, in this situation, most of you will not buy the car at this dealership. You leave and go to look for your dream car elsewhere. Again it’s the people, not the product, that make the difference.

Société Anonyme
Recently, I’ve read an interesting research report that confirms even scientifically the differentiation between people and product. The report says that communication with faces instead of products have more than a double or even triple impact on the recipient of the message. In French, an incorporated company is called a Société Anonyme, which means anonymous society. This is the perfect description for an impersonal relationship. But who wants to deal with an anonymous or even nameless company?

I don’t like the modern term human resources at all — I prefer human relations. How can people be a resource? Ongoing success in any sector of the industry is based on trust and reliability. Just take a look at the global financial situation. How do you want to sell trust in a product? Again, long-lasting relations and, therefore, trust are a matter of people, not machines.

Meet The People, Not The Product
And where is the link to your job? Very close, indeed. The next global occasion to cultivate human relations is at ITMA Asia + CITME in Shanghai. You have no time to fail. Is your sales staff aware of all the obstacles? Don’t let your customer wait for more than a hello. Your competitor is waiting next door to accommodate your customer in a perfect way. Again, it’s the people, not the product. With this in mind, see you soon in Shanghai.

May 13, 2008