> How Do You Say Hello?
How Do You Say Hello?
| Posted: Monday, April 13, 2009
Here’s a quick little experiment I want you to try. It’ll only take a minute or two but will have a lasting impact. I promise. Ready?
Put your hands up in front of you. Now count on your fingers how many times you’ve said “hello” or “hi” to someone today…this morning, afternoon, whatever. You passed them in the hallway, walked through the store, tootled around the office. How many times did you say “hi?"
That’s the easy part – depending on how many people you’ve come across already, you may have had to jump from physical counting of fingers to mental gymnastics. Now here’s the hard question (be honest with yourself): How many of those people did you really actually care to get an answer from?
I’m guessing that for the most part you were probably being more cordial than wondering how the person you passed in the hall was feeling at that exact moment. Chances are you probably rarely even say more than “hello” to them at any given time. Kids? Who knows. Married? Perhaps. You more likely than not were simply being polite and not expecting a dialogue. Even the people you know - did you really want a response? Honestly?
But is that bad? Well, let’s look at a business principle and then I’ll let you determine whether it's bad or not.
When a customer comes through a channel to experience your service, how do you treat them? Do you say “hi” in passing? Or do you try to establish a more meaningful relationship in a way that makes them feel comfortable?
Here’s an even larger, more foreboding question: Do you know how to develop a relationship beyond the simple "hello?" Are you able to get beyond the hello to express caring and concern for their needs?
It’s something to think about since what we do in practice is how we think in principle – and, typically, vice versa. If you don’t take the time to say, “Hello! How are you doing?" and then mean it, chances are that you’ll lose your customer. Chances are you’ll not engender any level of relationship, passion or comfort.
Let’s go back to how many people you’ve said “hi” to today (again – let’s be honest). What do you think the results would have been if you stopped just one person and, instead of saying “hi” in passing as you moved along, you stopped, touched them on the arm and said, “Hi. How are you doing right now?” And then you waited for a response?
When you deal with people in the hallway, in the store, or anywhere, consider the impact you can have in someone’s life by caring just a little more about them and a little less about being polite or even – dare I say it – aloof? By using this principle you can make the person you meet much more comfortable and more willing to engage you. By the same hand, when you take a little more time in your welcome of customers, be it online, via print, or through people walking in a door, you will also make them more willing to engage you.
It’s up to you how you will operate. Will you be polite…or will you do something more and create an environment where people feel they are cared about and willing to share? How do you