Getting attuned with your customer

I recently visited a couple of college athletic facilities where we have just put in new telescopic seating. I met with the Athletic Director at each facility, and I was impressed with the passion and the care they exhibited towards the seating design, comfort, look, and operation.  Athletic Directors really care about the fan experience as well as the ease of operations and the life of the equipment.

The first one explained to me how he had a vision that was unique in the application of telescopic seating.  His dream was to have an extra wide first row that could encompass press seating and other VIP uses, and at the same time have cutouts where basketball backstops could be used when the system was retracted.  Our team of Hussey Seating engineers and salespeople, combined with the local Hussey dealer, got "in tune" with his vision, and we worked somewhere around fourteen different versions of proposals before we all totally got it.  I think here we didn't just get aligned, we got attuned - we truly listened to what the customer wanted, and worked to understand his vision and make that possible.

The second athletic director had a different vision, and that was around both aesthetics and functionality behind and underneath the seating.  Our use of graphics and colors was outstanding, and he showed us some new ways to do this.  In addition, we were able to create a "tunnel" effect under the stand that accomodated his storage needs, and some new space behind a floor-attached bank of seating that could be used for offices.  This A.D. had acompelling vision as well, and we again listened and got attuned to that picture.  

We should always be asking " what" you want to do, but also "why" you want to do it. Let's explore visions together.