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Get Your Head Out of the Electronic Sand

Author: Bob Oros   |   March 27th, 2010

I just met the future CEO, President or a guy that is going to be the most amazing manager, sales manager or customer service manager you will ever know!

This guy has restored my faith in the younger generation who are accused of not being able to communicate.  They are told they don’t know how to interact because all they do is text each other.

No matter how long you have been in sales or management this young man has a lesson for all of us who are trying to increase the level of customer service or get our customers to buy morecustomer service tips of our products and services.

I’m not even sure the young man realized the significance of what he did.  This small act, if you became infected with, would not only turn your sales around, if everybody did it, the whole economy could turn around.

Most of us are walking around in a daze.  We’ve got our head buried in the sand and we don’t even know what’s going on around us.  We are going through our day saying “why me?”  We are worried about being laid off, not being able to pay our bills, losing our customers.  “Everything was going so good a few years ago, but now, everything is falling apart.”

Well, this young night clerk in the La Quinta Inn demonstrated to me that if you go the extra mile with a little bit of sincere attention you can go from “why me” to “why not me?”

Here’s what he did to make such an impression.

When I checked in he said: “Welcome Mr. Oros, I see you are a motivational speaker!”

You might be wondering what the big deal is?

Here’s the big deal. Using my the email I’d included with my registration, this young man took the initative to look up my website to see what I do.  That small, seemingly insignificant gesture has NEVER been done by any of the thousands of hotels I have stayed in.  None of the Hiltons, Hyatts or Crown Plazas where I use my email address for my confirmation have ever felt that my business was important enough, or they were at least a little curious about one of their customers.

Let’s compare that with my bank.

They just started a new program.  When you go through the drive through they remind you that your car payment is due!

Not:  “Hello Mr. Oros, I hope you’re having a great day!”

All they say is: “Do you know your car payment is due?”

Here was my reply: “How stupid do you think I am?  Of course I know my car payment is due and it will be paid Friday, which is well within the terms of the loan!”

Why not put a little note on my account that said:  “Bob Oros. Loyal customer since 1988. Over 2 million dollars deposited.  Motivational speaker.  Ask advice on how to get motivated.

EVERYBODY is hungry for a little attention!

What do you know about your customers?  Have you been to their website?  Have you read their advertisements?

It’s like everybody is going around building thousands of shallow, meaningless relationships on Twitter and MySpace rather than paying attention to the person right in front of you!

When that young man looked me in the eye, welcomed me, and gave me the ultimate compliment of a little attention, he made the sale.  That personal attention meant more to me than all the “tweets” on Twitter will EVER mean!

I am on an airplane on my way to do a seminar where I will be staying for three nights.  Am I staying at the Hyatt?  Nope.  Am I staying at the Hilton?  Nope.  I am staying at the La Quinta to remind myself that when I meet with my customers and give my speech, to gather all the information I can, be sincerely interested in them – and pay attention!

The best advice I can give you is to get your head out of the electronic sand.  Use all your “e” stuff to simplify your life.  Use it as an amazing tool to collect information, communicate, learn and keep records.

But when it comes to customer service, selling, motivating your staff or building your relationships there is nothing more effective than a smile, the sound of your voice, eye contact, a handshake, a meaningful conversation and a little sincere attention to seal the deal.


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