How You Say It Matters

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE a good cliché. And today’s observation centers on this one…

“It’s not WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it.

For Mother’s Day, we packed up the twins and the car and headed to Detroit to visit my Mom and the rest of my family. We were staying in a Hampton Inn about five minutes from my sister’s house. I booked the room via and requested that two cribs be put in the room.

The day before we were to arrive, I confirmed the reservation because I was concerned that the request was not going to be filled. Sure enough, the desk clerk informed me that the request had not come through, but that he would make a note on the reservation and that it would be no problem.

Guess what happened, folks? Wait for it…No cribs in the room. So I called the front desk as my husband was lugging in all the gear, and said, “Hi. I’m going to need a couple of cribs in room 308.”

“What’s a couple?”


“Two? I don’t even know if we HAVE two. I’ll have to check. Give me a few minutes.”

There was a knock at the door five minutes later. An unassembled port-a-crib comes rolling in.

“Now let me see if I can go find another one,” remarks the hotel employee.

Five minutes later, unassembled port-a-crib number two gets dragged in.

We all have a choice to make with each interaction with a customer or any member of the public, folks. And I would submit that this fella’s effort was truly abysmal from the word go.

If you think about it, we are all kind of in the hospitality industry, so the more we make our clients and prospects feel at home, the more loyal they will be—and the more inclined they may be to spread the word as a result. So please remember this story the next time your client makes a request, needs a little something extra, or even catches you off guard. Take your time, and ask yourself, “If I was making this request, how would I want to be treated?” Then act accordingly.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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    As web2print gathers steam, the client isn’t as likely to reach a customer service rep. without jumping through a few hoops. Maintaining the connection with clients is key…even on small ticket print jobs.