Are Your Salespeople Vomiting On Your Customers?
It was the summer of ’72, I was at my aunt’s house in Remington, Virginia. It was early on a beautiful summer night, all the doors were open with a cool breeze, crickets – you get the picture.
All of a sudden a car screeched up to the house and my cousin’s boyfriend came running through the backdoor soaking wet and smelling awful. My alarmed aunt asked, “What in the world happened to you?”
“Janis threw up on the rollercoaster,” was his reply. Everyone quickly left the kitchen while he tried to clean himself up.
You’re welcome for the visual. Visuals stick like, well… you get the point.
And my point is that salespeople puke on us every day.
So do partners, newscasters, teachers, business owners, employees, students; everyone. Heck, I’ve been known to do it.
In short, it’s the “my life sucks game.”
Here’s how it happens…
One person goes down the path of regurgitating how awful their day was and the other person has to stand there while it flows all over them, sticking to them, drenching them as they try to remain polite.
Here’s the trouble, there’s nothing the vomitee (is that a word?) can do to change it for the other person.
They’ve been there?
It sucks to be you?
And it sticks with the person covered in it much more than the puker. Nothing good comes from it. Especially when you are shopping for a product and run into someone doing this.
I’ve also seen this phenomenon at conventions. The natural inclination to be accepted is to say how stuff sucks – even among friends.
I was amazed when a friend returned from a three week European vacation to some of the most interesting places in the world: Dubai, Italy and France.
When I asked how the vacation was she said, “It was awful..” The corners of her mouth turned down, her eyebrows grew together, her voice became shrill as she belched how the baggage was lost, the WAITING, the [fill in vomit-induced speech].
I found myself looking for the door and I asked, “Did anything go right?” She looked like I slapped her and then responded that, yes, there were several lovely areas and as she told me, she smiled.
Or it could happen with an employee vomiting fact after useless fact, drenching the customer in what is not helpful.
Look, the mind has to think about something. And it only has two choices: Bad or Good.
But make no mistake. It’s a choice.
So today, this minute, think about the time you allowed yourself to be puked on by someone – or you did it to someone. Visualize it; was it just a bit or a full-on soaking? Think of how you could stop doing both.
While Janis couldn’t help doing it on the rollercoaster, its a choice you can make that will increase your happiness and your business.
Bob Phibbs is the Retail Doctor® an industry authority on customer service and sales, professional speaker and author of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley.) Phibbs has helped hundreds of businesses in every major industry, including hospitality, manufacturing, service, restaurant and retail. Find out more about him at www.retaildoc.com .