SLOW DOWN (and grow) by Dwayne Castle
Have you ever told yourself that you have too much to do and too little time? Usually, for me anyway, it’s because I have made some things more important than they really were, and not made time for the things that are most important. If you search YouTube for videos on scheduling what’s important, you would find tons of examples- most involving rocks, pebbles, and sand, in a jar.
I see it all the time in the workplace- people get so caught up in the day to day routines that they miss the only real opportunity for success- engagement with a customer. Our successes don’t come in the form of spreadsheets, tasks, or fantastic marketing blitzes; they come one customer encounter at a time.
I see these misses on a regular basis; employees so focused on a task at hand that they neglect the opportunity to engage with the customer in their vicinity. It could be a simple smile, head nod, and “hello”. It could come in the form of asking the customer if they could use some assistance, or offering to answer any product questions they may have.
This past week, I helped to install doors and windows for a friend who owns a home remodeling business. While on one of the job sites, the customer was verbalizing some questions about a certain computer program and how it compares to another piece of software.
Although I was installing a door at the time, I happen to have experience with both of the computer programs and was able to offer her details and opinions about each of them. All while continuing to add the finishing nails to the trim of her new door.
At another home, the customer was looking over my shoulder and expressing concerns about something she was seeing. I was able to not only assure her, in a patient and friendly way, that it would be cleared up during the natural course of installation, but I was also able to kid around with her, causing her and her husband to laugh and smile as they continued watching me work.
In the first instance, I could have continued focusing on the installation project and pretended I didn’t know anything about either of those computer programs. In the second instance, I could have shrugged off her concerns and simply continued working, or worse, I could have gotten gruff with her about doubting my abilities to recognize and fix her perceived issues.
In both cases, all it took was a moment of my time to express through my words and actions that I valued them as people. In both instances, my words and actions were met with expressions of appreciation and a small bond was built.
When you are going through your day, whether on your job or while being the customer yourself, slow down and notice the people around you. Slow down long enough to engage with them.
What may be completely out of your area of responsibility or what may seem small and trivial to you may very well be the perfectly timed Relationally Driven opportunity for you to grow your sphere of influence and your business.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? WHEN HAVE YOU SLOWED DOWN (or not slowed down) TO OFFER A RELATIONALLY DRIVEN MOMENT TO A CUSTOMER? WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN ON THE RECEIVING END AND WHAT WAS THE IMPACT TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THAT BUSINESS OR PERSON?