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 Hotels.com 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.
As a follow up (and the last nail on the coffin), I asked if the hotel had DVD players available for the rooms, because the TV, while lovely, did not miraculously have “Little Einsteins” on a loop, which is what I need when two two-year-olds have missed their nap for two days straight.
His answer? “No.”
Really? You couldn’t have put in a little more effort, made alternative suggestions, or asked a few clarification questions to determine WHY I needed a DVD player and made at least a modest effort to make me happy?
Maybe he was having a bad day. We all have them. But people, please remember, you are always judged on each and every interaction with ALL of the public. This goes for vendors, door-to-door salesmen, and your janitor. So remember the golden rule and always treat people the way you would like to be treated. Call it business karma. You’ll be glad when the good stuff comes back around.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, 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 sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
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. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.