It was 24 March 2020.
The nation wide lockdown was announced which was an unexpected and unprecedented event in our lifetime.
I had shifted to Delhi a week ago and had just moved into an unfurnished temporary army apartment and did not have the time to unpack and furnish it.
When the lockdown was declared, I was unprepared as I did not have a running kitchen, no gas, no fridge, no AC and absolutely no groceries and our luggage was in a garage at the other end of the city.
My husband and I rushed to our local grocery shop to stock up on some basic essentials. The shopkeeper noticed that I was buying all the mini packs and not the large size packing like most people and he asked me, “Madam, aap itna thoda thoda, kyu le rahe ho.. Aage kab milega, pata nahi.” I told him that I don’t have a fridge and I can’t stock up. He looked at me taken aback and then said after a moment, “Bina fridge ke toh aapko lockdown mein bahut muskil hogi. Aap Kaise rahoge? Mere paas ke chota chocolate Walla fridge hai…aap wo le jaoo... doodh dahi rakhe ke kaam aajayega” His offer astonished me! He didn’t know me. He didnt know my name. He didn’t even know our faces as we were wearing a mask and we were new to this part of the country. I was touched by the empathy he showed which is lacking these days and I asked him hesitatingly, “Bhaiya rent kya hoga?” He joined his palm and said to me “Madam, kyu sharminda Kar rahe ho? Hume seva karne ka mauka deejeye. Jab aapka kaam ho jaye toh vapis kar dena”.
I walked out of the shop with more than just groceries. I walked out with a mini fridge, gratitude in my heart and some valuable life and marketing lessons. 1. It is important to understand your customers “unsaid” problems or needs 2. As entrepreneurs, we are here to serve our customers for the mutual benefit of both even if it means going out of the way to help them out. 3. Building a relationship is more important that money 4. Believe in the goodness of people. Do not doubt or mistrust your own customers, they might be your biggest patrons in the future Do you resonate with this story?
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