Walking through the Cape Town Airport departure lounge, which was more like a Bedouin tent due to the renovations taking place; I came across a shoeshine vendor. Seeing my shoes caked in dirt from the combination of the rain and renovations outside the airport, he offered a shoeshine for a nominal fee.

Knowing that it was also raining in Johannesburg and my shoes would again get dirty when I landed, I declined and explained why. His report was ‘But sir, I want to protect your shoes from that rain in Johannesburg’. What a great value proposition! He had quickly analysed the situation, proposed an alternative benefit, countered buying resistance, and won my business.

My pair of comfortable, client facing shoes has not looked this good, even when they were new! What a fantastic customer experience. So to all the Corporate ‘service’ providers out there – watch…learn…improve.