I was just out in Seattle, delivering an APMP Foundation Level Accreditation workshop and presenting at the first Fall Symposium held by the Pacific-Northwest Chapter of APMP.
As one does when visiting in Seattle, I went to the Pike Place Market. The market has at least half dozen stalls selling fresh fish. One stall in particular, the Pike Place Fish Market, was quite busy, and much busier than the other stalls.
I visited all the stalls in the market and from what I could tell the prices from one stall to the next were, for the most part, comparable. But that’s where the comparisons ended.
The Pike Place Fish Market stood out from all the other stalls. When I approached person there, he smiled, told me his name, asked me what my name was and where I was from. He then asked me which of the fish I’d like to sample. He let me try several, while at the same time explaining how the fish was caught, prepared, etc. He was very knowledgeable and I asked lots of questions. HE seemed genuinely happy to answer them all.
This person kept me engaged in a pleasant conversation and there was never any pressure to buy anything or for me to rush. He seemed to truly enjoy conversing with me (I know Jon, hard to believe, right?). He also seemed to very much enjoy his work.
While he and I were speaking, orders were being taken, shouted to the back and fish were flying. The atmosphere was infectious and people gathered to watch, many of them engaging with the staff, trying samples, etc. I bought quite a bit of fish to take home with me.
Now, I suppose I could have, maybe even should have, checked prices at the other stalls. But I didn’t. Instead, I bought my fish from this person who had taken the time to establish a ‘mini’ relationship with me. We’d hung out together, even if only for a few minutes. But those minutes were fun and memorable. By the time I had decided which fish I wanted to purchase, this person felt more like a friend than just a sales person. I would have felt disloyal going to another stall, even if I did save a bit of money.
The Pike Place Fish Market certainly debunks the myth of it being “All about price”.