Life can be so confusing at times. Growing up, we are expected to fit in with the crowd and not stand out. As adults, we are to differentiate ourselves from others in our chosen field. And then there is the saying, “Opposites Attract.”
Which route is best to follow?
The answer to which approach to take is dependent upon what you are trying to achieve. But the first step is to acknowledge how we think different so that we may find the better-matched job, client or life partner
Observations made of the differences in attitude toward customer service between the west and southeast coasts intrigue me. In general, the west is more interested in the monetary gain while it appears that the southeast has its focus on a happy and returning clientele.
For example, restaurants in Northern California used to generously provide bread to customers as they patiently waited for their meals to arrive. A few years ago, owners realized they could save much money in two ways: Elimination of the free bread would save money, and, many customers will then order additional food.
The monetary savings and boost proved to be true. However, client loyalty is gone and accordingly, the gain is small in comparison. Over time, it may have negatively hurt many establishments.
In the southeast, bread is always on the table and the service is superior. The wait staff engages the customers in conversation about the local food in addition to their usual duties. Last night upon leaving one establishment, the waitperson offered to give us their signature bread to take home. She wasn’t referring to the partially eaten mini-loaf but instead gave us a whole mini loaf to enjoy later. The entire experience was remarkable – and – the food was delicious! No doubt that on occasion, we will be returning to this particular restaurant.
In this example, the monetary gain is on hold until we return, and we will. The result is a far bigger win in that I am now a returning and referring customer.
Following the delicious dinner, I enjoyed a phone conversation. By the end of the call, I indicated the possibility of a new book title. I was told the title isn’t quite right. Creative titles are not my strength, but I thought that one was pretty good. However, instead of becoming defensive, I wrote later, “Given we think differently, please tell me why you didn’t like the title and how you would re-word it.”
Being in business, sales and on a job requires that we take into consideration opinions of those who think quite differently. By asking questions to understand their perspectives, we may more easily come to a consensus.
In the case of the book title, the potential is to favorably reach larger audiences. In the case of money versus client satisfaction, both visions are valid, however, somewhere in the middle will probably work best for everyone.
Being in business, sales and on a job requires that we take into consideration opinions of those who think quite differently. By asking questions to understand their perspectives, we are likely to come to a common ground solution. In the case of the book title, the potential is to favorably reach larger audiences. In the case of money versus client satisfaction, both visions are valid, however, somewhere in the middle will probably work best for everyone.
This weekend, take the time to consider how you approach others. Do you purposely try to learn the thinking of those you encounter? Test yourself among friends to see how you do when a differing opinion arises. Usually, we get defensive. But when you can stand your ground to ask intelligent questions, much more will be learned.
One other strategy is not to get caught up in details at the start of a project. Instead, focus on the big picture and what you are trying to accomplish in the distant future. Once that is firm, then it’s time to figure out a plan with a discussion of varying viewpoints of how to approach it. You will be far more likely to accomplish goals quickly along with earning a returning and referring clientele to enjoy the Smooth Sale.
- Establish your vision first.
- Strategize with peers on how best to implement the path to your vision.
- Listen to differing opinions.
- Ask about experiences when it comes to surprising suggestions.
- Accept differing thought only if in alignment with your values and priorities.
- Experiment with your traditional approach vs. another method.
- Examine which types of approach work best.
- Analyze results for audience reach as experiments take hold.
- Listen to client feedback and implement reasonable suggestions.
- Celebrate Success!
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